Sunday, September 4, 2011

The End of an Era - for reals this time

As you know, I'd been out of the loop on the wine thing for much of the summer. I decided to check in and see what Gary Vaynerchuk was up to on his new Daily Grape show. I was greeted with this:

I'm like "What?! Again?!" It was just back in March he decided to end his Wine Library TV run after 1,000 episodes. Had it ended there, I could respect him bowing out gracefully with his final episodes featuring many long-time "Vayniacs". Those episodes are my favorite -- seeing the Wine Library community reviewing a few wines with one another in person. Even though I think it would have been a great new format, it was a good way to bow out.

I felt really bad for Professor John Boyer of Virginia Tech (see the Drink This Now! book linked on the side? Yeah. Him.), because it had only been a few weeks before episode 1000 that he and his students made this epic video mimicing Gary's famous intro.:

But then Gary V. announced Daily Grape with all the gusto he could muster (as per his form). My wife and I were astonished. Wine Library TV, we felt, wasn't broken and was doing pretty well from what we could see. Besides making some of the similar technological advances Daily Grape seemed to continually grapple with in it's formative weeks, we felt WLTV still had a lot to give and a lot of drive. Why change? I think the answer is somewhat simple: Because he wanted to. Gary has the personality that thrives on change. He is never satisfied with what he has for long; he's always after more.

Gary did visit Virginia Tech in late April with a large audience. He recorded a Daily Grape episode after giving his shpeal on business/technology. Then they recorded what would have been episode 1001 of Wine Library TV, but I later found out from the professor that Gary didn't find it to have been a quality enough episode (maybe the wines were sub par, or maybe it was just Boyer was so starry eyed it was embarrassing).

Gary's biggest push was the $5 monthly newsletter. I can only guess that after 5 months, they were not hitting the numbers they wanted to and the anticipated revenue wasn't coming in. With Wine Library TV being a branch of the Wine Library store owned by his father, there was an indirect revenue from wine sales. With Daily Grape, the show and newletter WAS the product and that's a tough commitment to make when there isn't enough money coming in from it. It's much like blogging I can tell you; the paying gigs come first.

So only after 5 months, Gary announced he was done with Daily Grape as well. You could tell he was a little embarrassed to be having to do an exit episode again in the same year. He knew he'd be letting people down; people who like Boyer's wine class (and myself) who daily sought to expand their wine knowledge which I guess leaves us with less entertaining (though no less knowledgeable) wine stars like Jancis Robinson and Kevin Zraley.

I tried to find out if his Sirius/XM radio show was still on, but my lengthy search on the Sirius website denies any knowledge of it.

So as best as I can tell, Gary's big push right now is his marketing arm: Vayner Media. I wish him well in his future endeavors and will smile proudly when I hear he finally owns the New York Jets.
"If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success."
-- John D. Rockefeller 

1 comment:

  1. BTW, if you want to see Gary at VT, here's the archived UStream video, but it's not the easiest to watch.