Today’s Guest: Tony Little, HSN fitness, exercise guru, author, There’s Always A Way
Watch this exclusive Mr. Media interview with TONY LITTLE by clicking on the video player above!
Mr. Media is recorded live before a studio audience full of self-righteous men and women who swear by their daily fitness routines, eat right at every meal, and – whenever you’re not looking – Cheat! Cheat! Cheat!… in the NEW new media capital of the world… St. Petersburg, Florida!
The Tampa Bay area of Florida – where Mr. Media has been recorded twice a week since 2007 – has produced its share of national brands and personalities.
• Remember the “Morning Zoo” radio phenomenon of the 1980s? Cleveland Wheeler and Scott Shannon started that here at Q105.
• Hooters Restaurants began in a Clearwater shack; the chain also launched original Hooters Girl Lynne Austin to fame, fortune and Playmate of the Year.
TONY LITTLE podcast excerpt: “I must have called Roy Speer and Bud Paxson, who started Home Shopping Network, every day for a year at their offices and said, ‘I’ve got this video…’ I could never get through to them directly! Someone always said, ‘We have no interest in fitness videos here. Fitness doesn’t fit in with our categories of stuff for women.’ But I don’t take ‘No’ too easily. I think every ‘No’ is an opportunity to negotiate.”
• Another restaurant chain, Outback Steakhouse, also emerged from here.
• The late as seen on TV commercial spokesman Billy Mays – best known for Oxy-Clean products – got his explosive start out of Palm Harbor.
• This is also the community where Roy Speer and Bud Paxson launched the Home Shopping Club – which morphed into the international powerhouse Home Shopping Network – HSN.
And that’s where today’s guest, first captured your attention and imagination 29 years ago.
TONY LITTLE podcast excerpt: “I read the authors we all read — Norman Vincent Peale, Dennis Waitley, Tony Robbins — all the motivational books and it really helped me set goals. If you don’t have a goal, you’re like a boat without a rudder.”
Just look at him – tanned, taut and mischievous, Tony Little is the kind of health and fitness guru only a beach community in Florida or California could have produced. He exudes that wide-eyed confidence and eternal optimism that has merrily convinced a generation of followers in search of a better lifestyle to follow him.
Like so many other unlikely retail stars created by the Home Shopping Network – they currently offer 73 different Tony Little products, plus recipes – Little has a compelling backstory of highs and lows that made him the man he is today.
(And, of course,you can read all about it in his memoir, There’s Always A Way.)
Key interview moments:
• 10:30 Who inspired Tony Little?;
• 18:25 Adversity in Tony’s life;
• 24:00 The real story of how Tony broke in at Home Shopping Network.