Jack of the Red Hearts and CRN

In the Fall, I met a screenwriter who had a movie coming out in February. This would be Jennifer Deaton’s first film. It was based on her family’s battle to get help for their extremely autistic child. Her film, Jack of the Red Hearts, won film festival awards and earned a national but limited release in AMC theaters. The movie was also written and produced entirely by women. It received excellent reviews last week by The New York Times and The Boston Globe. One reviewer claimed it was “better than Rain Man.

When I met Jennifer I thought we could help this struggling but talented crew launch this inspirational movie. Maybe we could get some stations somewhere to interview someone from the film. This wasn’t a business proposition; it was a nice thing to do.

I gulped when I asked Ron, our Co-Director of Media Relations, in the midst of everything (we’re always in the midst of everything) if we could “just” send a notice to some stations to see if they could do something.

Unflinching, Ron said, “Sure. Of course.”

And the next thing you know, Debbie, our SVP of Administration, and Katie, our Co-Director of Media Relations, were communicating with Jennifer, sharing their know-how through station selection, communications and follow-through with stations to make it happen.

Media Relations jumped on it, reaching out to 200+ stations, lining up interviews, PSAs, web promotion, and more.

I saw cheering emails from enthusiastic CRNers every time we locked up a station. The enthusiasm of our company to jump in and help out just to be nice was awesome, not to mention the professionalism and skill to pull this off.

Many stations, in markets big and small, got behind the cause. So we created a little miracle.

Jennifer, the writer, was moved, awed, and grateful, as am I. She commented to me in a note recently on how loyal and good CRN people are.

This is just one of many, many examples of how we are and how special this place is and has always been. There is a magic at CRN that resides in our work and play, but most especially, inside the essence of everyone here.

And Dick and I can’t express our appreciation enough.

We’re thankful for Employee Appreciation Day; it gives us the opportunity to thank everyone. But be advised that we have never, ever, considered CRNers employees in the standard connotation. Sure, this is a job, but we haven’t found a term that truly embodies how we feel about this very special group of people that goes way, way beyond “employees” and lasts a lifetime.

And speaking of “lifetime,” Jennifer’s movie has been bought by the Lifetime network and will also be streamed and released by a major distributor.



Barry Berman