Career Builders


ERA has helped launch and nurture careers for 25 years, bringing together reputable marketers, premium products, and top talent to produce TV winners. Starting with the very first meetings of the National Infomercial Marketing Association (NIMA) in 1990, the association’s events became the place to network, strategize, and strike multimillion-dollar deals in the world of direct response marketing.

In 1992, NIMA Chairman Earl Greenburg reached out to rising home-shopping host Tony Little, inviting him to the association’s annual awards banquet, hosted that year by former Police Woman star Angie Dickinson. “Earl calls me up and says, ‘I need you in Las Vegas. Show up, and I’ll get you a seat,’” Little says. “He sits me down at a big table in the front and introduces me to Bill Guthy and Greg Renker, Kevin Harrington, and Mike Levey from National Media. I just started wheeling and dealing.”

Little soon went into production on a long-form pitching his Target Training exercise videos as part of National Media’s seminal Amazing Discoveries infomercial series, and the program fast became one of 1993’s biggest sellers. “It was a giant hit—over 7 million copies,” Little says. But he didn’t know how well DR could pay off when produced with conscientious partners. “When the infomercial hit really big, I didn’t know I still owned the retail rights,” Little says. “They handed me a check for $1.4 million, and I just started shouting, ‘I love this business! I love this business!’”

Today, the energetic, often-parodied, ponytailed Little, “America’s Personal Trainer,” markets a laundry list of successful products including iconic fitness equipment such as the Gazelle and Easy Shaper; exercise regimens; footwear and apparel; and healthy food products. And he still sees potential in DR even in an omnichannel landscape. “I think that the amazing, innovative, and creative people in direct response are going to make big bucks in all the media,” he says. “It’s an exciting industry to be in.”