A Message from James Holst: In-Depth Outdoors TV

  • James Holst
    SE Minnesota
    Posts: 18924

    Good morning all,

    As I assume most will understand, it has been a day of mixed emotions here at the Holst household. I’m feeling overly blessed to have had the chance to share my life’s passion for fishing with many of you as the host of IDO TV for the last 17 years combined with sadness over the reality that IDO TV has come to its end. Today’s episode, filmed with two of my favorite people, Konner Kleist and PJ Vick, is, in fact, the final episode.

    Coming to the decision to end the TV show was not an easy one. To help everyone understand why that decision was made I’ll share some details about what lead me in this direction.

    As a few of you know I’ve had more than a few irons in the fire these past few years. In addition to hosting the IDO TV show for 6 months of the year I own In-Depth Media Productions (IDMP). IDMP started out as the production company responsible for producing the IDO TV show. About 5 years ago I made the decision to start focusing on offering advertising and creative services to clients outside of the fishing industry in addition to producing the TV show. Over the last 5 years the IDMP client base has grown exponentially which resulted in the number of IDMP employees more than doubling in that same time period while adding some incredibly talented people to our team. And every time I added people to the team, the client base continued to grow which has taken more and more of my time to manage as the CEO.

    Two years ago I was presented with the opportunity to invest in an upstart lithium battery company called Norsk, Inc. I accepted this opportunity as the IDMP staff and I enjoy the process of working with small to medium sized companies that have good products but find themselves short on infrastructure and systems. My initial role was intended to be Chief Financial Officer and Chief Marketing Officer but that later expanded to assuming responsibility for operations as well. Over the last two years Norsk sales volume and the complexity of the operations both took off like wildfire. To say I’ve been finding myself spread a bit thin at times would be an understatement.

    Early on in the spring of 2022 several larger companies started making inquiries about acquiring IDMP and Norsk, Inc, separately. During one of the initial meetings one of the interested parties recognized how important IDMP had become to the current and future growth trajectory of Norsk, Inc and expressed interest in acquiring both companies in separate deals.

    Talk about being presented with a decision. On one hand I had an offer to sell my ownership in not one, but two, businesses that I had poured my blood sweat and tears into building for the purpose of one day, if I was lucky, to sell those businesses. And the buyer was offering me the opportunity to assume a Chief Marketing Officer role for all their business units, that include a growing international presence.

    On the other hand, if I sold the businesses I would no longer have the production team that I had built over the last 10+ years to continue to produce the TV show. As much as I like a good business challenge I had / have no interest in trying to replace a group of people that I consider some of the most talented and dedicated individuals I’ve ever met, not to mention that each of them have become family friends. Combine that with the fact that my new role as Chief Marketing Officer for the acquiring company would require all of my available time and attention and everything boiled down to a simple choice – sell the businesses and sunset the TV show OR walk away from the offers on the table and keep the TV show.

    In the end, once I took emotion out of the decision making process, the decision was an easy one for two reasons.

    1 – Each of my current employees would receive significant salary increases and benefits of the sale went through that I could never dream of providing as a small business owner. As a team all of us at IDMP have prospered. Over the last 5 years members of the IDMP team have purchased dream homes, saved significant amounts of money for retirement, added investment properties, all while growing their families. Accepting the offers would mean that the team at IDMP would be guaranteed economic security and prosperity long into the future and I wouldn’t be where I am today without each of them.

    2 – For all their love, and support my family has shown me over the years they also deserve economic security. As I mentioned previously, I was building IDMP and Norsk, Inc. to sell those businesses and, as any small business owner will tell you, opportunities like this don’t come along every day. My wife, Cheryl, has been both an employee of IDMP as a Project Manager from 2019 – 2021 and an unwavering supporter from day 1.

    I’d like to share this personal story, so please hang with me.

    Back in 2008, about the time IDO TV really took off, I was deep into the process of borrowing $100,000.00 against our newly built home to invest in staff and equipment that I felt would fast track our growth. I was very confident in my business plan but keep in mind as a country we were deep into the Great Recession of 2007 – 2009 and, while I felt my plan was solid, everything that was going on around us felt incredibly unstable and chaotic. As a newly married man, with a wife I loved deeply, I was all too aware of the fact that if my plan failed and I couldn’t repay the loan I would lose the house which, in most cases, also leads to a broken marriage. I remember sharing my business plan with her, talking about my fears around failure and I started focusing on all the reasons I SHOULDN’T do it. She stopped me and essentially said “if this doesn’t work one thing I’m sure of is it won’t be because you didn’t work your ass off.” She ended the discussion with something about if we lose the house we’d farm goats and be the happiest goat farmers that ever lived and that I should move forward with the loan. I can say, without question, of all the events over the course of my career, both the good and the bad, that one interaction with my wife where she showed me her unwavering support and trust did more to shape the direction of IDO TV and IDMP than any other.

    How I’ve been blessed with such an incredible wife and partner I’ll never know!

    So that brings me back to #2. To be able to provide for my family, and the family my young daughter will have someday, with financial security that should last generations is something I couldn’t pass up. Essentially, if I didn’t want to work another day I could move to the Keys tomorrow and buy a 39′ Contender and spend the rest of my days getting wrinkly in the gulf sun! But I’m not wired that way. I still have goals and the offer to assume the Chief Marketing Officer role for the group of businesses owned by the acquisition group did, and still does, feel like the perfect fit.

    So that brings me, and all of us, to the end of IDO TV. It was an amazing journey that I got to share with a small group of some of the most talented and dedicated anglers in the Midwest… and all of you that watched the show each week.

    For those that are wondering, the sale did not include the IDO TV show, this website or Social Media channels, so for those that like to call this place home trust that I’ll do my part to keep the community here for years to come.

    Thanks…. everyone. It has been a crazy journey and I feel blessed knowing that many of you were along for the ride each and every week!

    Forest Lake / Lake Mille Lacs
    Posts: 4675

    Thanks for sharing James. Sad to see the show go but hopefully the forum and the memories will live on. Sounds like an incredible opportunity that couldn’t be passed up. Congratulations!

    Posts: 8700

    Congrats to you and your family James! toast

    Shell Rock Iowa
    Posts: 2897

    Going to tell you something you already know,,,,,, You have a soulmate for your wife. Bless you both going forward.

    Central Mn.
    Posts: 15316

    applause applause applause

    Posts: 6

    Good on you and good luck in your future ——- but that doesn’t mean I will not miss the best outdoor show I have been watching for years! toast

    Farmington, Outing
    Posts: 9056

    You made it!
    I’m so happy for you James.
    Be very proud of your accomplishments.
    Most importantly, you are blessed to have such a great and supportive wife.

    Joe Jarl
    SW Wright County
    Posts: 1467

    Congratulations James! Quite a story.

    Sauk Rapids, MN
    Posts: 788

    Congrates James, well deserved I would say. Show will be missed but can’t pass up a good opportunity for your family. If you do want to buy that 39’ contender and need someone to keep an eye it for you until you’re ready, I can be that person!

    Inver Grove Heights MN
    Posts: 4288

    What will happen to the white moon bootS??

    Posts: 1030

    Congratulations! You have worked hard and deserve it.

    James Holst
    SE Minnesota
    Posts: 18924

    If you do want to buy that 39’ contender and need someone to keep an eye it for you until you’re ready, I can be that person!

    Ha! I’m not ready for that Contender yet so to keep me busy I bought a Warrior 238 with 400 Verado. I cannot wait to have that rigged here in a couple weeks and have it ready for some of the good spring bites.

    James Holst
    SE Minnesota
    Posts: 18924

    What will happen to the white moon bootS??

    Man were they looking rough on our last shoot. PJ might just have to break down and get some boots that aren’t 30 years old. jester

    North branch, mn
    Posts: 15706

    Congratulations James

    Posts: 8

    Sap Warning:

    Just wanted to say Congrats and wish you the best of luck, James. Also, wanted to say thank you! You have been a huge influence on me as well as countless others. I was quite moved by your message, excited for you and sad at the same time.

    I live in a state where walleye are tough to find and even tougher to catch regularly, especially on the ice. I was at the point of giving up on ice fishing for walleye, that is until I stumbled across your show on YouTube. You provided common-sense techniques, products, and ideas that literally changed my world. You have opened my eyes and given me the confidence to become successful in the activity that I love most, chasing fish on the ice.

    I often visit MPLS through work and have family there, so I will continue to hang on the hope of catching you at a show or seminar someday.

    Going to miss you like a friend!

    AK Guy
    Posts: 1045

    It was a great run. On to the next chapter…

    Wright County, MN
    Posts: 1599

    Not going to lie, this news brings mixed emotions. First off Congratulations!!! Couldn’t be happier for you, and you definitely deserve it. As much as I love fishing and especially ice fishing, I don’t think I would ever have the drive to grind as much as you did each week to bring us a show filled with valuable content. I’m going to miss the show. I’ve learned so much over the years, and I’m now wondering how I’m going to keep learning as there’s so much more I wanted to learn. I am also jealous. You achieved something that I think everyone of us followers could only dream of. I’ve got a feeling we haven’t seen the last of you or the other guys from the show. Again, congratulations and thank you for teaching me how to become a better angler so I can pass something I love so much down to my kids and hopefully to their kids.

    Central Mn
    Posts: 1122

    I saw your first show and every one since, including today. You were pretty green during that first one but I liked what and where you were fishing, so I was hooked. I believe in the northern markets you have positioned yourself as one of the leading influencers in the industry. Good job, and remember- I told you there was a future in those new fangeled electric augers! Gonna miss you, and like the rest of us here, you’ve become a friend. Best wishes!

    James Holst
    SE Minnesota
    Posts: 18924

    I’ve got a feeling we haven’t seen the last of you or the other guys from the show.

    You definitely have not. waytogo

    James Holst
    SE Minnesota
    Posts: 18924

    Going to miss you like a friend!

    That’s about the nicest thing anyone could say in response to this news. I’ve always felt a special connect with everyone that visits this website and I hope that never changes.

    Posts: 2394

    Congrats James! Everyone will miss the show bawling but I’m sure everyone wishes you and your family the best of luck in your future endeavors. Onward and upward!

    Oh the memories from the Rainy houseboat trips!!

    Again thanks and please stop in on the website occasionally.
    applause applause applause applause

    Central Mn.
    Posts: 15316

    Thanks for not putting me in a timeout all these years. jester

    Pete Bauer
    Stillwater, MN
    Posts: 2589

    Congrats, James! Very well deserved. waytogo

    Minocqua, WI
    Posts: 1581


    Congratulations Man!!! That is fantastic News, to be able to grow a different baby and have it bear fruit. Happy to hear that we can still keep ya up to date on the Minocqua bite!!! You guys read my mind on that last show from up here, caught my share of suspended muskies off that place!!! I was trying to figure out today if I started on fishtheriver in 2002… Continued successes!!!


    cottage grove, mn
    Posts: 1227

    Congratulations James. You have had a very positive effect on my fishing success and had some fun along the way. Really enjoyed the shows the ice fishing get together on Lake of the Woods and caught a few of your seminars at Skeeter Boat Center. Wish you nothing but continued success and hope to see you on the water!

    Gregg Gunter
    Posts: 668

    Good luck and congratulations! You know how to move the needle and I’m certain that more success is coming. By the way I bought a Norsk this year and love it! Plus I got outstanding customer service when I called with a question and a small issue. Keep on doing your best!

    Posts: 4

    I never post on social media anymore but I want to take a moment to truly thank you James and the entire IDO team. I have greatly enjoyed the show and learned a ton watching. I am also a daily reader of the forum. Your show/site helps me to find some joy each week.

    Thank you also for taking the time to write your story and sharing it with all of us. I am very happy for you, your family and the IDO team.

    Thanks for giving us all so much and giving me something to look forward to every Sunday morning.

    Best wishes only!!

    Hudson, WI
    Posts: 925

    Congrats, James! Being a small business owner myself with employees I can understand the magnitude of that opportunity…and decision. I’m happy for you and the IDMP team and wish ya all the best!

    Jamie Van Beek
    Posts: 10

    I wish you all nothing but the best. Thank you for basically letting me fish with you each week.

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