TRACEY FINLEY'S BIO:
Tracey Finley is an Emmy Award Television Producer and Creator, whose creative mind and business mind co-exist. She has a wide range of experience in a variety of formats from reality television, talk shows, game shows, documentaries and digital media working for networks such as The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), ABC, CBS, FOX, E!, Scripps Networks and Discovery Networks. Industry professionals, who have worked with Finley, credit her success to her ambitious nature and hard work. In addition, Finley is known for her story sensibility, curiosity, knowledge in all facets of production along with her ability to work with high profile talent. Simply put, Finley knows the business from inception to culmination and delivery.
In 2007, she was nominated for her first Daytime Emmy Award in the “Outstanding Talk Show” category for The Tyra Banks Show she produced around homelessness. In 2014, she was nominated for a second Daytime Emmy Award in the “Outstanding Lifestyle Programming” category for Home Made Simple which aired on the OWN Network. In 2015, she won her first Daytime Emmy Award forHome Made Simple.
In addition, Finley is the Director of The Carma Foundation (www.carmafoundation.org), an organization started by Grammy Nominated singer, songwriter, composer Melky Jean. The Carma Foundation’s mission is to improve the health of poor, vulnerable women and children in Haiti.
Since the inception of the Carma Foundation, Finley produces the organization’s fundraisers and performances along with effectively executing the foundation’s mission, initiatives and goals. Several successes include the renovation of an orphanage in Leogane, Haiti. The start of the Carma Kitchen and the 2010 Gemini’s Give Back hosted by Vivica Foxx with a performance by Patti Labelle.
Spot-Light on Tracey Finley
by Jessica Wenck
Tracey Finley, a talented and experienced executive producer in the television industry, knows what it takes to make good TV. The Emmy Award-winning television producer and creator has worked on everything from reality television to documentaries, to talk shows and on networks such as The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), ABC, CBS and E!. She started working towards being a producer while studying at the University of Southern California after a short attempt at a career in broadcast journalism. Tracey knew she was a natural interviewer but once she discovered being a producer was an option to interview and find stories without a journalism background, there was no turning back. “I just started doing producing, I think I’m a producer by nature,” Tracey said. “You have to be a problem solver and idea oriented type of person.” She’s been nominated for three Daytime Emmy Awards, winning her first last year or “Outstanding Lifestyle Programming” category with Home Made Simple with OWN Network. One of the main aspects of television that has changed since Tracey came into the industry is selling and pitching content. Having sold a pilot to the HBO network, it used to be a lot easier to pitch an idea. “You could literally walk into a room with a piece of paper, throw an idea out and networks would buy it,” she said. “Today that’s not happening.” Right now, Tracey is really looking for good therapists and experts that have TV experience and also have good social media numbers, real ones not fake numbers. “They have to be good on camera if they don’t have the experience per say then shoot something. For example, if someone pitches me a chef who wrote a book but has no television experience, then show me something that highlights that they’re good on camera.”
Tracey’s advice to any PR people looking to work with a producer or get a client on TV...
is to know what the producer needs, they often focus too much on sending out a press release instead of pitching something with substance.
1) Be aware that what you’re pitching isn’t always airing the same time you pitched, it may be
months later so be able to pitch something that is timely with when it will run.
2) I recommend PR people go to a talk show’s website and look at their casting posts, see what
they want and then send over 3 ideas that relate to those posts because that’s their immediate
need, so do the research.
3) Have a balanced follow-up approach. Don’t be that annoying person calling every day, but a
lot of times producers are engrossed with what’s happening right in front of us—so we might
forget that talent that was pitched a while back.