Digital Talk Network Television is shaking up film and TV in TuckerPreston Harris with DTNTV talent Chelsea Speaks, left, and Nicole Castoreno, right.
Tucker, GA — Leaving a message for Preston Harris is like getting a personal pep talk. His voice mail message is the standard request to leave a name and number, with an added request: Never be average.
Harris hails from Nebraska, but he has found a home in his new role at Digital Talk Network Television (DTNTV), an emerging arts and entertainment television channel based in Tucker. He is the director of business development and an emcee of “The Insider” show, but it’s hard to define the 6 ft. 1 in.-tall former college football player at Concordia University, personal trainer and motivational speaker. He’s got hustle. And he’s only 32.
Harris was living in Jacksonville, Fla., when he met producer Truly 1000 at a Nova Networking event for media. Radio personality Chelsea Speaks told him, “You’ve got to get up to Atlanta.”
A month later, Harris had moved to metro Atlanta and was working at the DTNTV office on First Avenue at the former City Hall annex. His first impression? He’s happy to see so many people succeeding at a high level.
“You have to step your game up to be here,” Harris said. “Atlanta and Tucker are a little more beautiful than I expected. I like the trees, I like the open spaces, I like the parks. The people are friendly.”
In Tucker, Harris said DTNTV wants to be the go-to company for jobs and marketing businesses.
“We want to highlight Tucker businesses. We want to shoot commercial and ads to serve the businesses around here on Main Street and help them get more exposure,” he said. “DTNTV is the place you want to show your talent, and we can provide that opportunity and be that catalyst.”
DTNTV is still a startup, but growing quickly. The network employs less than 75 people, between the Tucker office and talent. Current shows feature fine arts, history, travel and real estate. DTNTV is in 36 countries, all 50 states, on all platforms.
“We want to be the big dog. We want to be the network everybody has a show on, that they have to watch. I think that there’s a lot of opportunity in media and people have been craving something fresh and something new. And I think that we can provide that,” said Harris.
Harris observed that Atlanta has more energy and hustle than Jacksonville. People are hungry in Atlanta, he said. But as hardworking as Atlantans are, he said they’re open to collaboration. Harris said he plans to get a booth at the Tucker Farmer’s Market to get out in the community and make more connections.
Tucker Assistant City Manager John McHenry said the city has embraced film and television production, in part thanks to a relationship with DeKalb Entertainment Commission (DEC), a division of Decide DeKalb. McHenry said the city of Tucker is excited to see continued growth and redevelopment in downtown.
“We are seeing a large number of films made in Tucker, on Main Street, in residential areas and in industrial areas,” said McHenry. “It’s good to see folks spending dollars here in Tucker.”
Attracting clients and spending money in Tucker is Harris’ goal, too. As a sales and marketing guy, Harris reaches for the stars.
“There’s so much stuff to distract us from who we really are, and the talent inside of us. Sometimes people need a reminder that your dream is possible. You have a responsibility for that dream, and you can go get it. It may be harder than you expected it to be, but you’re capable of it. The world needs you to do it,” said Harris.
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