Mike Freda Engages the Media in a Pressure-Packed Week

A television taping extolling North Haven as a “hidden gem” follows a national outcry over a rabbit.

When minored in public speaking at Southern Connecticut State University, he did so with no thought of the white-hot media glare concerning in mind. 

Rather, he expected his skill to serve him well in the corporate world.

“And it did,” said Freda, who has served as president and CEO of prominent marketing agencies.  “In the corporate world, I dealt extensively with the media in times of corporate success and in times of corporate crisis.”

Still, last week’s bunny brouhaha persisted into this week with an on-air telephone interview Freda conducted with CNN Headline News on Tuesday—the same day he extolled the town’s virtues for a television documentary that will, quite warmly, describe North Haven as “a hidden gem.”  

That day, a production team from the television program Today in America with Terry Bradshaw, which is headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla., taped in North Haven.  The program airs on the Disney Channel in addition to affiliates of NBC and CNN Headline News in this country and Canada.

Once framed by the comments that football legend Bradshaw will provide, the segments the team taped in North Haven are expected to air in a “couple of months,” according to Valerie Goodkin, who serves as Freda’s assistant. 

Freda said the program first contacted him in January after hearing of the town’s economic development initiatives.  He said he had conducted a series of interviews with representatives of the program before learning the program had decided to visit the town.

Today in America, Freda said, has deemed North Haven one of the best cities and towns in which to live and raise a family.   

In fact, he said, representatives from the program have termed North Haven “a hidden gem.”

“I talked about the town’s community spirit, its low tax rate, the services the town provides, recreation, economic development,  education, and our initiative to bring in health care services in the future on State and Devine Street,” Freda said Wednesday. 

He said that, while the crew brought a “loose” script, he was also able to speak extemporaneously.

In addition, he traveled with the production crew to area facilities such as Union Station in New Haven and Tweed Airport just into East Haven.  The day concluded with the crew taping Tuesday evening’s “Music Under the Stars” concert on the Town Green.

On a scale of 0 to 10 in pressure-packed situations, Freda termed the pressure that resulted from the outcry concerning the rabbit a 10.  Yet, he conceded he enjoyed the taping as well.

“I am comfortable in a crisis management format but I would much rather prefer to showcase the town positively,” he said.


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