The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
An Open(-minded) Letter to Dixie Carter
The Kingfish Arnie Katz wrote a letter to the main owner of TNA – and it’s not like the others you may have read..
Dear Ms. Carter:
I guess you’re getting pretty tired of all those “Open Letters” folks have launched via the Internet. My boss, the eminent Brad Dykens, wrote a pretty good one last week and I know there have been others, too.
They` wrote with good intentions. They write because they care/ They re[resent the hardcore, knowledgeable wrestling fans, the group that has sustained TNA during its first seven years. They are important to the business and deserve to be heard.
Since they have stated their case so eloquently and exhaustively, this letter comes from an entirely different direction.
I have great sympathy for your current situation. You own something that it essentially static with the nation mired in a prolonged economic slump. Specifically, the TV ratings have not broken through and the PPV buy-rate is astonishingly low.
You have assumed greater “hands on” control in the wake of Jeff Jarrett’s situation with the company. It’s clear that you are seeking productive new directions to cure both those problems.
You’ve made some moves and talked about others that will soon be evident. By and large, I think you’re probably on the right track, because the only way to grow TNA is to expand its current fan base.
Obviously, doing things the way they have been done is not going to attract those fans. That means change – and that’s never popular with the existing audience. The hardcore wants a TNA that is at its artistic zenith, but that might not translate into acquiring a wider audience.
Some of the things they emphasize, such as the lack of consistent and logical booking are necessities no mater what direction TA takes.
The installation of Taz as the color commentator, the expanded role for referee characters, the augmentation of the Knockout Division and the decision to push the younger performers all are sound.
Yet poor storytelling and bad writing sabotage even the best concepts. Repeated babyface/heel turns that diminish characters, stories that stop short and plots that don’t move forward at a reasonable pace repel all fans, not just the hardcore ones.
I want to give you one piece of advice I would give any owner in the sports and sports entertainment fields: get expert help. The successful operations leave personnel and related decisions to experts. You should consider bringing in someone to run the creative side of the business.
This could well be a difficult year for TNA. Like all of your promotion’s fans, I’ll be watching to see whether you can substitute a coherent show for the shaky presentation that has held back TNA.
That’s it for today. I’ll be back on Monday with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising wrestling column. I hope you’ll join me and, please, tell your friends about “The Katz Files.”
— Arnie Katz