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Weekly Features
Letter from New York
Mathew Tombers is Managing Director of Intermat, Inc., ( a television company which executive produces programs and consults with industry companies on a variety of issues. Intermat, Inc. is currently involved in approximately thirty hours of television in various stages for a variety of networks. He is one of the Executive Producers of OFF TO WAR, a ten hour series for Discovery Times and for a one hour on international adoptions for Discovery Health. He has consulted a variety of companies, including Ted Turner Documentaries, WETA, Betelgeuse Productions, and Creation Films, Lou Reda Productions as well as many others.
October 9, 2005

As I so often have before, I am writing this while riding a train, aboard,
this time, a Regional Train from DC to New York, going back to the city
after an edit session for a demo tape of a project I am working on.
Afterwards I had dinner with friends at their home in Bethesda, spending the
night before returning to New York for a lunch meeting.

There is a group of us who get together approximately once a month. All of
us are independent and work in the media industry. It’s an interesting
amalgam of talents, including the former head of a home video company,
former head of a syndication company, former head of business affairs for a
major cable network, a former William Morris agent?

You get the idea. We all formerly worked in the corporate world and at one
point or another either left voluntarily or were burped out by downsizing
[me] and either had to or wanted to find a different entrepreneurial role
for ourselves, all of us had been executives and all of us are now hustling
to make livings as independents.

We get together to share information, ideas, recognizance, rumors, facts and
fallacies, opportunities, anything we can do to help each other survive and
succeed in the world of being entrepreneurial in the rapidly changing media
world of 2005.

We fondly call ourselves the Hustlers. Many of us will have a “Hustler”
dinner in France at MIPCOM, coming up in a week.

We will discuss my world travels, an article in the New York Times today
about the Internet as an alternative distribution method for producers.
[The man who gave us THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT has a website called where, for 99 cents per episode you can watch his newest

We will no doubt talk about the newest reorganization at Discovery and
debate among ourselves whether or not this is another shuffling of
deckchairs on the Titanic. And of course, we will talk about whether there
is truth to the rumor that Judith McHale, CEO of Discovery, will be heading
up, as rumored, the Presidential campaign of her good friend, Hillary
Clinton, Senator from my now home state of New York.

It will be good to see them all. It will be grounding in my brief time back
in the states. I was to have finished my international travels with my
return on Friday from Warsaw. However, one of my other clients has pressed
me into service to fill in for an ailing employee at this year’s MIPCOM, one
of the great annual gatherings of television executives in Cannes. So I am
thrusting my passport back into my pocket and head for the south of France
in another week.

This stateside sojourn, which I had planned to be restful and productive for
writing my report for Animal Planet International, is being less so than I
had wanted. Scurrying between DC and NY at least twice in eight days,
living up in the country, with friends and business associates wanting to
catch up and to get together prior to my leaving for MIPCOM.

Plus, once I am back from there I’ll be down in DC for the following week
for various business meetings and from there to California and the Southwest
for a relatively extended stay as I will be working on a pilot Discovery
Channel has ordered.

I found myself thinking on the train coming down yesterday that lives pick
up a velocity sometimes and mine has since I started the global project.
Getting on the road in June seems to have brought about things that are
keeping me on the road.

Out there, “on the road,” traveling the byways of the world has brought back
to me a heightened sense of my existential aloneness, strengthened even more
now by personal events. “Hustling” has taken me to the road, the road has
been evoking the philosopher in me and it now seems likely the philosopher
will be more on the road than he had planned.