The creation of the Porthole Cruise TV series
Sidney M. Cohen's (executive producer - Porthole TV) first cruise was in 1985 on the Carnival ship Festivale. He and his wife Susan had one of the most enjoyable holidays ever and like most people who take their first cruise, they were hooked.
The cruise director on that first fateful voyage was Bill Panoff, who helped contribute to the wonderful memories Susan and Sidney took home from their first cruise. Sidney a successful TV producer and program creator ("Thrill of a Lifetime", "The Mad Dash") befriended Bill Panoff, who was according to Sidney, "an incredible entertainer and the best cruise director I have ever seen".
1996 as luck would have it, while looking for a cruise magazine, Sidney came upon Porthole Magazine for the first time and found to his surprise, that his old friend Bill Panoff was the publisher. He ran home and immediately called Bill and told him "I love this magazine, let's do a TV show based on cruising!" Bill, the ultimate entrepeneur agreed and Sidney's production company produced the pilot episode for Porthole TV. It's had a successful run internationally. More episodes are in development.
Since the completion of the pilot and developing the series, Sidney Cohen and Bill Panoff have worked on other projects. Cohen on a variety of TV shows for broadcast, specialty cable and the Internet, while Panoff COO of Panoff Publishing, built a burgeoning company which has grown from just Porthole Magazine (available in over 40 countries), to a major publishing group, with a total of 36 issues, covering 19 Titles. In addition to handling numerous commemorative books for inaugural ships, the company also handles: Art Auction Programs, Port Lecture and Shopping Programs, and Concession Services. SPPL provides casting services for PPI in Canada.
Porthole TV reached more than 20 million homes internationally.