Behind the Scenes at Focus on Suppliers

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A young lady walks cautiously into the room and takes her seat in front of the large desk. Nervously, she begins going over her notes. The lights lower just a little when she’s joined by a warm smile and reassuring words, “This will be great. Hey, don’t worry if you need to stop and start again. It’s all being recorded and we can always edit. At least it’s not live.”

It’s not a job interview. It’s a taping of 8th & Walton’s “Focus on Suppliers” broadcast, where having a relaxed guest is almost as much a priority as outstanding content.

“Focus on Suppliers” is the only show of its kind. Being a dedicated program for suppliers, it puts the personal touch in presenting case studies, best practices, trends and insights. The warmth conveyed watching “Focus on Suppliers” is due in large part to its staff and their interactions with guests behind the scenes.

As described above, the first time guests meet Emmy award-winning journalist, Neile Jones, she makes them feel like an old friend. With years of experience in front of the camera, Jones welcomes the first-timers and helps them ease into the taping.

“We’re just going to have a conversation,” Jones says. “I’ll keep an eye on the time, so you can relax.”

It’s not long after when guests might say, “It’s over? That went by faster than I thought.”

Interviewer Andy Schuch has a true gift for breaking the ice with new guests, too. At a recent taping, suppliers walked into the studio to meet Schuch for the first time. Behind the desk, the polished Schuch looked top-notch in his sports coat and tie. Standing up to walk over and shake hands with the show’s guests, he put them at ease as he smiled and explained why he could wear shorts and sneakers: They were below the desk.

“The camera won’t know. This is our little secret, right?”

Supporting guests of “Focus on Suppliers” continues from those working behind the camera as well. Amazingly, this large scale production is put together by a talented crew of one. Rotating producers from Vista Productions Inc. of Bentonville take the helm to serve as director, producer, sound technician, editor, lighting and all things broadcast.

Each technician does a great job of lightening the mood to make the guests smile.

“Andy, I need to get some shots of you reacting,” Schuch is told from an off-camera voice. “Just nod your head and smile for 30 seconds. Pretend you’re absolutely fascinated.” Schuch happily complies, and the guest smiles.

The young lady who walked into the studio so cautiously now thanks the team as she chats before leaving. Her nerves quickly turned to excitement about telling her co-workers when to watch and inviting them to be on the next appearance.

The “Focus on Suppliers” broadcast exemplifies everything that is 8th & Walton: a powerful tool with a personal touch.



The show broadcasts weekly on KNWA-NBC at 6:30 p.m. Saturdays and 5 a.m. Sundays. Full episodes and extended interviews can also be found online at or Currently scheduled guests and episodes, which are subject to change:

June 4: Shareholders Weekend

For the weekend of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Shareholders Meeting, “Focus on Suppliers” invites industry leaders to explore several of Walmart’s key initiatives. Topics will include Walmart’s commitment to convenience for customers, associate development, diversity and inclusion.

Guests include Campbell’s, Network of Executive Women, Mars Inc. and more.
If you missed the BBQ Kickoff show, watch its rerun on KNWA-NBC at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 28, and at 5 a.m. Sunday, May 29, or view it any time online at: