BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
KNOXVILLE, Tenn, – Her dream job would be to host a travel show on television simply because, well….she loves television and loves to travel.
That makes perfect sense, but a lofty goal for sure. But don’t count out 2011 Holy Trinity Catholic graduate Colby Hoyer. She’s taken a few healthy steps in that direction.
Hoyer, the daughter of Gary and Lynn Hoyer of Fort Madison, is now a producer of a reality television program on the HGTV network called “Going for Sold”.
The show follows the adventures of Jon Pierre and Mary Tjon-Joe-Pin as they renovate houses into affordable homes in their hometown of Houston, Texas. Jon is a real estate agent who’s knowledge of the Houston market helps the buying and selling of the flipped homes. Mary is former flight attendant-turned designer.
The show airs Thursday nights at 10 p.m. Central on HGTV.
Hoyer said the production gig is the most exciting thing – to date – that she’s done with her double major in anthropology; and film, television and theater from the University of Notre Dame.
During her junior year she applied for several different internships on advice from a friend. Red Arrow Industries, a production company out of Knoxville, was one of those companies and invited Hoyer out for a summer internship.
Hoyer said after heading back to Notre Dame for her senior year, the company called her during the spring semester and offered her a job. She said she had a few other offers, but she loved the people and the company at Red Arrow, and went to work.
“This is really exciting. Red Arrow found Mary and Jon online and thought they had a great story and fantastic chemistry both on and off the camera,” she said. “We pitched them to HGTV and they loved Mary and Jon instantly. That’s when Red Arrow set out to produce the series.”
Then the reality of reality television set in.
“I went to Houston and there the real work began last year in the heat of the summer,” she said.
“The easiest way to describe what I do as a producer is to say we organize and manage all the things you see on camera before the cameras get there. We coordinate with Jon, Mary and their construction crew as they work through each renovation, and then we decide which parts of that renovation make it into the show.”
Hoyer served as a field producer on six of the seven episodes in 2018 and 19. She was working on a different series when the pilot episode was filmed.
She said eight years ago she had no clue she would be where she is now, living in Knoxville and traveling to Houston to produce the show.
“If you would have told me growing up I was going to move to Knoxville and produce television I would have laughed – loudly,” she said Wednesday from her home in Knoxville.
“I love this and the challenges it brings, and I’m happy with the way things are going. This is giving me tons of opportunities.”
Hoyer said she got her inspiration from Anthony Bourdain and Samantha Brown. Bourdain hosted the award-winning CNN travel program “Parts Unknown” and died last year. Brown is a Travel Channel host who’s programs focus on weekend getaways and vacations such as “Girl Meets Hawaii”, and “Great Vacation Homes”.
“Honestly Anthony Bourdain and Samantha Brown were my idols, but Ellen is my girl,” Hoyer said of Ellen DeGeneres.
Hoyer stopped short…just short…and laughed at the idea of a “Colby” show on the horizon saying she’s very happy doing what she is and continuing to learn the business of television with Red Arrow.
“My dream job would be to host a travel show. I love to travel and I love the television industry. How great would it be to get paid to do that,” she said.
“But these are fun shows that teach you something, too. You want that as a producer. It’s really a double win when you get to produce a show for people that are legitimately good people. Mary and Jon are super kind and extremely welcoming. You just want to keep doing it.”
Hoyer said her parents have also has a profound influence in her life.
“They’ve always encouraged me. I have a great job and I’m doing fine and I can support myself. But they always encouraged me to do what I love and everything else will come along.”