The Good News
Greg Scheinman's Profile comes to CultureMap
If you want to know how to be a success, talk to people who are successful.
That was Greg Scheinman's thinking, at least. Fresh off selling his children's video company, Team Baby, to former partner (and former Disney CEO) Michael Eisner, Scheinman was looking for inspiration in his next venture and hoping to talk to some of Houston's biggest names. Inspiration struck when he realized he could sit down with outstanding Houstonians — by turning those conversations into a show.
And thus Profile with Greg Scheinman was born, produced, says Scheinman, "on my own time, on my own dime," with airtime on Houston PBS. After a successful first season, the second season of Profile premieres Thursday at 10:30 p.m. on Channel 8 with Sam Gainer of accounting mega firm Gainer Donnelly & Desroches as the first week's profile.
And this season CultureMap is the official online home of Profile. You can watch video clips and full episodes from both seasons — and get behind-the-scenes insights on upcoming shows on a special Profile page on the CultureMap Web site.
Scheinman focuses on people from across the cultural and business spectrum, with one important thing in common — they have to live, work and breathe Houston.
"I just go after people who I'm interested in, people who are successful interesting and well-rounded. I have five main areas — business, philanthropy, media, arts and sports — and I try to have a line-up that is a mix of those subjects," Scheinman says. "I just try to pick people I'd like to have lunch with, except they'd never really have lunch with me, so I bring a camera. People who I can learn from and who inspire and motivate me. There are so many people who are doing great things and there isn't enough coverage of them out there.
"I want to know how they got their start, what their journey was like, what was the biggest risk they've taken — because they've all taken risks to get where they are. I'm interested in what could help me be a better businessperson, father, etc. Plus, there are some people who just make it seem easy. That's amazing to me. They never seem frantic, they just inherently know how to delegate, manage and see the forest for the trees. Like, Sam might be an accountant and Monica might be a chef, but they have the same personality traits that make them successful."
Scheinman, a native New Yorker, settled in Houston seven years ago. "I was excited to move here because whenever we had visited before my wife and I were married I was always struck by how nice and genuine the people are," he says. "Being from New York, it seems like everyone is so jaded. Houston is a great environment, a great place to raise a family. For the fourth biggest city in the country, it's amazing to me how Houston is still like a small town. There's that six degrees or less of separation in people in business and culture."
What guests are Scheinman excited about this season?
- Jeff Kalina, the director of emergency medicine at Methodist Diagnostic Hospital ("It's unbelievable to see what he does every day.")
- Phoebe Tudor ("I was not quite sure what we were going to talk about, but she's spearheaded this amazing renovation of the Julia Ideson Library. Some people think that world is just luncheons and balls, but she has a master's in historical preservation from Columbia.")
- John Daugherty (who took Scheinman to see his boat collection on Lake Conroe)
- Gracie Cavnar
- Jaime Rootes ("He's such a young guy. ... You almost feel inferior, like how does he get it all done?")
- not to mention Monica Pope, Janet Gurwitch and more.
But at the end of the day, Profile still feels like peeking in on a long lunch with figures from across the spectrum in Houston. "The goal is just to have a candid conversation," Scheinman says. "We don't have a set, these aren't half-hour interviews with talking heads that can come in with prepared answers. It's interesting how some of the answers change by the end of the day, people really open up."