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Georgia-Produced Show Offers Practical Tips on Becoming a “Real Savvy Mom” (Points North, November 2006)

Georgia-produced PBS show Real Moms, Real Stories, Real Savvy is set to launch in the Atlanta market. I interviewed Hector Herrera, the show's producer, and host Liwaza Green, host of the show and a local girl to boot. Read on to catch the story -- I'll put up a PDF soon.

Georgia-Produced Show Offers Practical Tips on Becoming a “Real Savvy Mom”

What’s for supper? How can I exercise safely after giving birth? How do I keep a spark in my marriage after kids come along? These questions and many more are answered by Real Moms, Real Stories, Real Savvy™, a show coming this month to Georgia’s public television network. The show celebrates moms, their kids, and all the stages of motherhood, from prenatal care to dealing with teenagers.

Real Moms, Real Stories, Real Savvy™ offers a unique blend of expert opinion and practical advice from real moms. “Today’s moms are different from moms in the past,” says executive producer Hector Herrera. “They’re much more technologically savvy. Ninety-six percent are online, hungry for information. They want to hear what the experts have to say, but they also place a lot of value on what their friends have to say.”

Part of the show’s success is due to the producers’ willingness to put an ear to the ground, relying on the experiences of real moms to drive the show’s format. At the show’s companion Web site, realsavvymoms.com, over 250,000 unique women visit on a regular basis, participating in mommy blogs, message forums, and surveys that help determine episode content. “We really listen to what moms are telling us. We focus on the questions they ask and the issues they find pertinent,” says Herrera.

Herrera says he and fellow producers Lisa Taylor and Kate Rolston had simple goals: “We wanted to take content and give it to women at multiple points of contact, answering questions like how to have a happy, healthy pregnancy, how to deliver, and how to have a healthy baby.” Some of the episodes treat serious issues, such as domestic violence. Other episodes look at the joys and trials of giving birth to multiples, offer tips on planning and cooking healthful meals, and show how to make family travel fun. The show has won seven “Telly” honors, awarded for excellence in television production, since launching nationally last year.

Alpharetta resident and co-host Liwaza Green agrees that the show is nothing if not practical: “We cover the things you don’t read in a book -- the things only other moms can teach you.” She speaks from experience, since all the hosts are mothers. Fellow presenter Kathie Larkin, who lives in Marietta, has three kids, two of whom are teenagers, and her co-hosts watch her carefully. Liwaza laughs: “Having Kathie on the show is preparation for what is to come. She is both preparing us and scaring us.”

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