Music television is back.
SWC telemedia instructor, Scott Richison is the reason why. His new show “Unherd” is now airing on ABC.
“Unherd” is a hip, personable and updated version of MTV’s golden era Total Request Live (TRL) with a cast of established San Diego-area journalists who have promised to spoon out jam-worthy gems from the flood of content streaming services provide.
“The goal of ‘Unherd’ is pretty simple, to turn people onto music they otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to,” said Richison.
“Unherd” unpacks the best of new, classic and underground music released through the phalanx of giant streaming services that constantly unleash a tsunami of new music to drowning listeners.
“Streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal really changed consumption patterns,” said Richison. “Having access to the world’s largest catalogue of music for a few bucks a month can be kind of overwhelming.”
Richison’s “Unherd” team promises to calm frazzled modern music mavens with pop culture and music news, spotlights on local artists and throwbacks to voices tucked away on dusty vinyl.
“I don’t think we will actively try to strike a balance,” said Richison. “Much of the content is going to depend on what is released that week or who is coming to town. If a pop artist releases an album and it’s good, then we’ll cover it.
The same holds true for indie artists. So it’s not so much about being intentional or equal in our coverage in terms of genres as it is about offering all artists an equal footing.”
Richison carefully curated his team of seasoned music aficionados.
Alex Zaragoza, best known for her San Diego CityBeat column, There She Goz, hosts the show and news segment.
“The show is not pretentious, it’s fun, funny and genuinely something I would like to watch,” she said.
Zaragoza said she hopes to establish a laidback but enthusiastic tone.
“It’s like when you find out you’re watching the same Netflix show as someone and you just want to talk about it and nerd out, that’s how I want the show to feel,” she said. Zaragoza said she will offer a feminist perspective of the music scene.
“Feminism, women’s issues, the way women are presented in the media, I want this show to align with my beliefs on those topics,” she said.
Jeff Terich, known for his work as music editor of San Diego CityBeat and underground music blog Treblezine, will highlight the best of the San Diego music scene, suggesting events and top picks for viewers.
91X DJ Michael Holloran will guide viewers through with weekly music history lessons.
“I approached each of them because of their tastes and expertise,” Richison said.
“They have total control and final say in what they cover. I want their voice and the show as a whole to be absolutely authentic.”
Richison brought in former Southwestern College students Mark Liwanag and Lito Buendia. Liwanag is a production supervisor and Buendia is an editor.
To work for the two-time Emmy Award-winning instructor, students have to be finishers, he said.
“Even if you’re taking an entry-level class (I look for the people who are) still going to finish and want to get perfect grades,” he said. “People who want to be the best or expect to turn in best work at all times.”
Both of his SWC hires, he noted, were self-taught before entering his class.
“I know I can hand them a problem or issue and they will have genuine curiosity to go figure it out and strive to do their best and be their best,” he said.
Richison shot the pilot during winter break. “Unherd” was picked up by ABC earlier this year and is airing locally for San Diego audiences, but he has bigger plans.
“We’re hoping to take the localized segments and have other media personalities host them in markets elsewhere,” he said. “But for now, it’s just on in San Diego and we’re very excited about that.”
“Unherd” has a mission to un-herd music listeners and help them hear the unheard.
“What we listen to has a lot to do with our social groups and the manner in which we were raised,” he said. “There is kind of an inherent herd mentality in our music consumption. So if we can encourage you to get away from your herd and that mentality by exposing you to something different, then we’ve succeeded.”
“Unherd” airs Saturdays on KGTV at 11:45 p.m.