>Articles by " Kate"
Comedy Central is serious about their promotions, and has promoted heavy weight (in terms of career not bathroom scale) PETER RISAFI to lead their creative efforts. His new title will fill up a whole business card: VP of Brand Marketing and Executive Creative Director. He’s a New Yorker, of course, and report to MICHELE GANLESS, EVP and Manager. He came over to CC six years ago, before that he was Creative Director of SoapNet, making their launch a success. He’s also done creative work at Lifetime, FX and fXM, Nick at Nite and Nickelodeon. Yep, I told you he was a heavyweight.
HUMBUG list could really take off here. But no. I throw in the towel. There is no holding back the greedy “spend money and save the economy” thrust that the holidays have taken on. The final straw came yesterday when, in a banner ad on Yahoo, Sonic Drive In has the 40 Days Til Christmas slogan flashing at me, accompanied by a tater tot in a Santa hat. You win. I give up. Let the retailers fight it out for the money. I’m giving homemade gifts. Tater tot in a Santa hat, indeed.
Thought to hold in mind and ponder: “When you hear the toilet flush and the words ‘uh oh’, it is already too late.” ~ Mothers Everywhere
Tuesdays are not very special, as a whole. But yesterday was an exception. It began with a phone call from a TV promo guy who is as talented as they come. When he was my boss, he made me laugh while we all worked ourselves silly. PHIL MICHAEL has some very impressive call letters listed on his resume, such as #1 stations WBS in Atlanta and WSOC in Charlotte. For the last several years, he’s been in Savannah, making sure his daughter gets the special programs she needs. He was involved in non-profit PR, but now he’s looking for something else that allows the family to stay put. All you delightful Creatives can get those brain cells to come up with something. I’ll pass it along.
The perfect weather of San Diego is why that city is always tapped as the perfect place to live here in the US. I couldn’t agree more. The official San Diego website touts the city’s nickname as America’s Finest City. But jobs being what they are, one can’t always hunker down in such perfection. SARAH GARRISON is currently promo producer down in SD for the 11 pm news on NBC’s O&O station KNSD. But the peacock family made her an offer she can’t refuse, so she’ll be packing up and moving up the PCH to KNTV in the Bay Area. She’ll be promo producing for the folks in SF beginning Dec. 13. Like an early Christmas present. Her new job will bring her closer to her roots – she’s a Tacoma Washington girl who has her diploma from UofW. And yes, she loves the Pacific Northwest and those rainy soft days. Before she moved to SD, she was a promo producer at KIRO in Seattle, which was her first job out of college. Nice. In addition to winning her first Emmy this last year, she also completed her first half-marathon. On the horizon, besides the learning the SF area, is a full marathon. Hearty congratulations to you, Sarah. Keep in touch.
HUMBUG LIST continues to grow, the new addition is the Postal Service. I have NEVER been a fan of the PO (please, don’t bother to comment…sorry, but I don’t care if your family has delivered mail since the pony express days – today’s snail mail has no excuse) but now they are on the humbug list. Last night’s prime time was full of fake snow and some self-congratulatory message about the PO. Not buying it, and don’t appreciate the message. IF you have to be on the air at this point, it’s for planning ahead mailing, not ‘aren’t we great at what we do’ mailing. Remember, these are our tax dollars folks.
Thought to hold in mind and ponder “”A knowledge of the path cannot be substituted for putting one foot in front of the other.” ~M. C. Richards
My son, being a tennis pro and all (yeah, he makes a VERY good living doing exactly what he loves to do…is that the way to live or what?!), has me hooked on The Tennis Channel, that wonderful Santa Monica based cable net focusing on the game of love. It gets even better, because TTC covers all the tourneys, which means all kinds of great marketing is afoot. So it makes perfect sense they would turn to PROMAX to find their Director of Marketing. NEIL ROBERTS is that guy, and he comes with a background at VARIETY as well as Roadshow Entertainment. Also coming aboard is LAUREN LEDER, Director of on-air creative. Her background includes stints with iNDemand and work with CBS and ESPN.
Because this is Tuesday, a great day for All Tennis All the Time, we continue with news of promotions at the same locale. Signing up with TTC in 2003, KATE VARLEY was senior producer of on-air promos and is now director of short-form content and special projects. Kate has worked with King World, Game Show Net and Hallmark.
Sounds like TTC has definitely got game.
I watch PBS a lot. Not enough to be considered a TV snob, but enough to realize that WGBH TV in Boston is the Mecca of quality programming for the non-commercial crowd. Well, they’ve got a new VP of marketing and communications. Welcome to JAMIE PARKER, who makes the transition from Sr. VP of brand communications at Arnold Worldwide, where one of their clients was Jack Daniels. Cool. A shot of jack black in your pumpkin pie will make it better than anybody’s grandma’s. Really it will.
HUMBUG LIST GROWS. Target is now off target. At least the spot I saw had a turkey in it, and I’m not talking about the fake-smiled housewife models in the spot. And Intel is out. I don’t believe my Apple has Intel inside, but folks, it’s JUST TOO EARLY!
Thought to hold in mind and ponder “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Let’s do a lot of quick catching up this Monday morning. Swig that latte, put your track shoes on and let’s cover some ground right quick:
STELLA MIN is the new Sr. Director of Creative at Court TV, promoted from Sr. Design Director. HARRY SWARTZ-TURFLE was upped to Sr. Producer from Producer at the online Court site. Others with promotions include BRAD DUNN, who is now managing editor from deputy managing editor. No longer a deputy, I wonder if he keeps his badge…
Former COO of Broadway Video Entertainment BRIAN OFFUTT is now Sr. VP of entertainment products at Nick and Viacom.
Know about CONCRETE PICTURES? They do some amazing work out of their Philly suburb offices (as well as their NY and LA ones, too). You’ve seen their work on The Food Network, Discovery, CBS Sports…long list. They’ve got LAURA GILLESPIE doing producing now, as well as former Trib Philly WHPL guy MIKE YOON who is now Art Director.
DANIEL BRAGG is now VP of Creative at Discovery’s many channels, giving up his own biz Bragg Creative, whose clients included FX, Scripps and, well here’s a surprise, Discovery.
JOE GESUE is Editorial Director of NBC Sports Olympics and NBCSports.com. Yep, he’ll be sure all the good stuff about the upcoming Beijing games is exciting and correctly done.
Another addition to the HUMBUG LIST. You remember – those stores that are airing TV commercials pushing holiday spending, airing NOW. It is, according to my iCalendar, quite some time until Santa shinnies down the chimney. Joining BEST BUY is WALMART. They are pushing their toy department with the kind of franticness an ice sculptor salesman does on a hot July day. So far, the online stores have been in keeping with the early November time frame.
Thought to hold in mind and ponder: “I don’t know if there are men on the moon, but if there are, they must using the earth as their lunatic asylum” ~ George Bernard Shaw
Some people are just lucky. They get to be raised in a great place AND get to work in their hometown as well. Such a person is PAMELA WOON, a Seattle native who is going to stay put in her Starbucks and Microsoft headquarters locale, even though she’s getting a new title and a new work address. Switching from Television Writer Producer at Comcast to Executive Producer Creative Services at KSTW, which is The CW affil. Her official first day is November 27. Pamela has worked at Storyteller Communications as well as Fisher Communications’ KOMO where she was a writer and on-air talent. Congrats Pamela, and stay dry. Even in Seattle, the rains they’ve had in the last week have been record breaking.
I’m starting a HUMBUG LIST. On this list goes TV commercials pushing holiday spending. Please note the folks making the Humbug List will all be hocking their wares WEEKS before Thanksgiving. Come on, people. First on the list is BEST BUY SUPERSTORES who assaulted my LOST reverie last night. Bye bye Best Buy. Not spending one cent with you over the holidays. Oh, and the websites where I shop are in the mix as well. One sprig of holly before I carve a turkey, and they’re out as well.
Thought to hold in mind and ponder: “Somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windshield. It said Parking Fine,” ~ Tommy Cooper
Let’s take a moment and go back in time. Not that far. Just to October. Time frame – World Series. Focus – the Cardinal’s victory. Wahoo! I’ve been a Cards fan forever, having grown up in a family that spent summer nights on the back porch, listening to their games on an old radio. Harry Caray, a former neighbor, called the games. When he took off for Chicago, Jack Buck took the mike. Baseball on the radio was magic. The boys in red, as they were called, were class acts who made the game important.
With the recent Series win notched on the Cardinals belt, fans of the Redbirds have come out to share their enthusiasm for the team. Isn’t it interesting that, with my radio memories of the Cards, the person who emailed works for an audio company. World Wide Wadio’s STEVE JACOBSON, now residing in LA, is a Cardinals man. He and Wadio’s PAUL FEY were at the first World Series game in the brand new Busch Stadium. HOW COOL! Yes, the Cards have a new stadium and that series pennant must look like a million on the new flagpole! The duo was also at the first Rainout. If you missed it, there were several rainouts.
LA has Cards fans all over. FOX’s ERIC POOLE and STEVE HAMMEL are from St. Louis, as is voice talent AMY McINERNY, who works with Paul’s wife at ELAINE CRAIG CASTING. BILL SCHULENBERG, who does sound design/engineering/producing for Wadio, is also part of the St. Louis Creative Mafia out there.
Back at home under the Arch, WALT JASCHEK is doing his creative thing. He’s a former partner of Paul’s and one day gave me great advice that I pass along to you as the Thought…
Thought to hold in mind and ponder: “Just like a plant, every few years you have to repot yourself so you don’t get root bound.” – Walt
Get out your pencils, children. Time for a quiz. Where is the largest chest of drawers in the world located? No fair using your laptop to find the answer. Anybody? For those who gave the answer High Point, North Carolina – you are right! And you no doubt have the best furniture in your neighborhood. Yes, High Point NC is the furniture capital of the world, and does indeed have a 5-story chest of drawers. It also has a FOX O&O TV, WGHP, and they have announced a new Vice President of Creative Services. Stepping into the new slot is Promo Producer TIM TAYLOR. Name sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Well, this Tim is NOT the Tool Time Guy from ABC’s HOME IMPROVEMENT. This Tim is the guy who’s been producing at the central Carolina station since 1997. He first clocked in there in1985, having originally been a photojournalist in the News Department. He’s been married 21 years and his 19 year old is in college studying business administration. In his spare time, Tim loves his sports bike, also known as a crotch rocket. Cool. He sends his best to fellow sports biker, PHIL KRAFT up at WJLA in DC. Phil used to work at WGHP.
From the Wish I’d Thought of That Department…DYI Network has a new series that sounds like exactly the kind of thing most of my friends need. It’s called TECH OUT MY HOUSE and it’s all about explaining how the various technical gadgets we all love work, and how to install them in your house. You know, it’s a how-to so you don’t have to ring up your cousin…the one who always makes you feel stupid when you ask him to help you with your iPod or your laptop. Most families seem to have a tech snob in the fold, huh. Anyway, the show begins Nov. 21. Check your listings for more info.
Thought to hold in mind and ponder: Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. ~ George S. Patton
Here’s a happy way to begin an Election Day…. with a DOUBLE Congratulations kind of item. Yes, two times the happiness going for Phoenix, Arizona creative TODD LONG and his wife Jina. First, he’s welcomed home a new little baby girl as of October 12. Hannah is her name, and I can only imagine how precious she is. Great name, which means Grace of God. Can’t do much better than that. Hannah is welcomed by two brothers, Jeffery and Jonah, ages 6 and 3 respectively. My bet is that, when Hannah begins noticing boys, her two brothers will have her dates jump through hoops.
Little Hannah is the first good thing for TODD. Second is new his new job at FOX’s KSAZ in the Valley of the Sun. The Cape Girardeau, Missouri native is loving living in the desert and is leaving his current gig at Scripps’ ABC affil KNXV to go down the street and work with the one and only JIM GIRODO. Todd has a diploma from South East Missouri State U, called SEMO by the natives, and yes, Cape is the hometown of Rush Limbaugh. Before moving west, Todd worked at KFVS, the Raycom CBS affil in the lovely Missouri River town.
Sadly, one of my favorite Florida icons is no more. Gatorland, whose gaping mouthed reptile and long scaly body was in fact a building, was one of those sites you don’t forget. On my first trip to
Disney World, my kindergarten-aged son and I drove by this tourist attraction that promised gators jumping right out of the water. It was so outrageously fun, it became a perennial favorite. We always drove by Gatorland when we had the chance. Monday, it burned, along with several snakes. We mourn the structure and are not distressed to hear of a few dead snakes.
Thought to hold in mind and ponder: “Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen, and thinking what nobody has thought.” ~Albert Szent-Gyo
Two New at Nexstar, one from within and one from afar. SEAN REYNOLDS is a film guy. Went to Southern Illinois University’s film school and started out as an independent film producer in the Windy City. And if you’ve ever been in Chicago when it gets gusty, you understand just how accurate that nickname is. But we were talking about Sean, who’s married to the lovely Katie. She is, you guessed it, a documentary filmmaker. Besides, wine, traveling and architecture, Sean and Katie like, of course, movies and collecting movie posters. This all has a point because now Sean is applying his passion for film as the new Promotion Manager for WTVW, FOX 7, one of the top performing FOX affiliates located on that gentle bend in the Ohio River – Evansville, Indiana. Sean is no stranger to WTVW, as he’s been there for the past 4 years in commercial production. Sean is really excited about his new role and vows to bring a film-like quality to all the news promotion. Good idea, Sean. Share some of your spots! Now that one can email them…there’s no real reason not to do so.
ALYSON POWELL-WILSON, like many of us in promotion, came to Nexstar’s KARK, the NBC affil in Little Rock the long way via Omaha, Wichita and Jackson, Mississippi. Mostly, she was a news producer, which should serve her well in her new job at KARK as a topical producer. When not at work, Alyson and her husband, Jesse, and 7 year-old son, Jordan, love to watch movies.
They must get to know the Reynolds in Evansville.
Thanks PAUL GREELY for the excellent writing and good info. Now get back to that novel!
You’ve been doing planning for the election, right? Have plans for special Topicals, perhaps some POP action? Well, the MOST important thing you can do tomorrow is to V O T E. We can take on the subject of whether the voting machines will actually count your vote on a later date…
See ya tomorrow.
Thought to hold in mind and ponder: “”There is a place in each of us that is so beautiful, angels smile in its presence. _That presence is who you really are. When you can stand spiritually naked, look at yourself and like what you see, you have achieved a great feat.” _~Ron Rathbun from THE WAY WITHIN
Music City is, of course, Nashville. You know – home of country music and Nicole Kidman…the city where Reese Witherspoon grew up. Site of Vanderbilt. Oh, THAT Nashville. At Landmark Communication’s CBS affil, WTVF, ALAN ADKINS is the latest addition to the creative promo team. Don’t you love the AD part of the name…AD – Promos…get it? OK, not all my material is A list. The point of telling you about Alan is he’s a steal from the News Department and is going great guns in the Topical area, blending in with the promo team like a champ. Alan is a six-year veteran at WTVF and has been spending his time editing news. AA, as I have now dubbed him, is from the Knoxville area. All this great info comes from RICHARD ELLER, who has been heading up the Creative Services since he came over from Kansas City. Richard, btw, has a new title. He’s now Senior Operations Manager, with all the engineers and production folks reporting to him, as well as the creative gang. Way to go, Richard!
The Hampton Roads area of Virginia is very special to my mother’s family. They are from that part of the US, having arrived so long ago, they are part of the crowd called First Family of Virginia. It’s a great place to live and work, and my pal, Marketing Manager CUTCH ARMSTRONG, is an ace at keeping me informed of new hires at Cox Media there. The newest member of the promo gang is ROBIN HARRIS whose title is Promotions Specialist. She’s a real pro at the promotion biz, having been Promotion Director at Sinclair’s WTVZ in Norfolk and a promo producer at Viacom’s WGNT before that. Her diploma is from Norfolk State. What a lucky lady to get to be in the biz and stay in the Hampton Roads, too.
Seen that new Honda CRV spot where the black SUV turns white as popcorn pops inside it? It’s MUCH cuter than the description. Look for it.
Thought to hold in mind and ponder: “The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next.” ~ Mignon McLaughline from THE SECOND NEUROTIC’S NOTEBOOK.
Ready for the book to begin? You better be!
Getting a boost up the ladder is one of those precious moments in life when you actually feel like someone out there is “getting” you and your work. Come on, admit it. Everybody creative knows this feeling, whether you want to admit it or not. So it’s time to throw the confetti and make merry over the announcement of a promotion out in my lovely New Mexico. Over at ABC affil KOAT, owned Hearst Argyle, the new Assistant Creative Services Director is TONY D REED. Tony hails from Ft. Wayne, Indiana and his first few years in TV were spent as a News producer, using his University of Missouri Journalism diploma. He decided that News wasn’t where he wanted to be, and ended up getting hired out in the Duke city, where he’s working for CSD LARRY KELLOGG.
What’s Tony doing in his spare time? Looking to buy a house in the Northeast Heights. Lovely places. Can’t wait to see what new address he’ll find. Congrats Tony, and keep up the good work.
Hey, remember when I posted that PAUL IANNACCHINO was CD at USA Network? Well, Paul is no longer at USA, but is CD at inDemand Networks in NYC. The info I got was incorrect, and I passed it along just as I got it. So, if you need Paul, he’s at inDemand. That’s where you can reach him. Sure is.
Had a real surprise when I got hold of a new CSD down in Birmingham. She’s a lady who’s had no background in TV promotion, or TV for that matter, and does NOT want her name used anywhere at all. I promised her I wouldn’t. WOW, has this business changed! No, she’s not at one of the big net stations down there.
Thought to hold in mind and ponder: “Challenge is the core and the mainspring of all human activity. If there’s an ocean, we cross it; if there’s a disease, we cure it; if there’s a wrong, we right it; if there’s a record, we break it; and finally, if there’s a mountain, we climb it.” ~James Ramesy Ullman
While we all try to resist the temptation of the candy that appears all around us today, let’s try to look at life like the little kid in eachc of us. In other words, resist the desire give out healthy treats. Nobody wants to be known as “the raisin house”!
Look at that…all the fine folks at 602 are blushing. Seems that the new writer-producer-editor at Media General’s NBC affiliate in Raleigh, NC is not only a huge fan (always good to hear), but says 602 has been a real Go-To source for him. The him in question is BRANDT DOTSON, a native Arizona boy who knows that 602 is the area code for Phoenix. He’s a self-taught kind of TV guy who began as a DJ and just kind of fell into TV when he was living in Tucson. Originally, he was at the WB affil then moved across the street, so to speak, to KGUN, where he got to focus on News promos and writing. Now he’s in North Carolina’s capital, hands full with the slew of work that accompanies November. Enjoy your new gig, Brandt. And check out all the gourmet coffees at Southern Seasons over in Chapel Hill. Good stuff!
The Food Network has lost Sr. VP of Marketing and Creative Services,, LYNN BRINDELL, to The Weather Channel, which means Lynn is moving to Atlanta and her new title, Sr. VP of Marketing. Bet she’ll love the milder winters and wait til spring when those dogwoods bloom, making the city seem like a movie set. It’s just breathtaking.
Backchannelmedia has a new Chief Marketing Officer. STEVEN EDELSTEIN has taken the Boston-based job and is hard at work. Thanks to ALEX JOHNSON at Backchannel for the heads up. BTW, Steven is quite the gentleman and should be sending his mother beautiful flowers as a thanks for teaching him such gracious behavior.
Down Houston way, there’s big doings. What a whirlwind year DARIAN WARD has had. Darian is a TV producer as well as host of Joy In Motion Productions down in H-Town, and her company has been named Minority Media Firm of the Year. The Rochester, NY native has a lot of experience in front of the camera, having anchored and reported at WCCO in Minneapolis, WTMJ in Milwaukee as well as Houston’s own FOX affiliate KRIV. Speaking of FOX, she was a NATPE-FOX Diversity Fellow this past July, which The Hollywood Reporter covered. The talented Ms. Ward is married to BYRON NICHOLS, a photog at Post Newsweek’s NBC affil KPRC. The two of them even wrote a book together! What is Darian up to right now? She’s shopping two shows, one called Pimp My House and the other is Fantasy Woman Camp. Can’t wait to hear how it works out. For those of you into programming check out www.goodlifeameriica.com for more info. Keep in touch!
Thought to hold in mind and ponder: “Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I am doing.” – Werner von Braun
How do you celebrate 40 years of marriage? The Agency’s DENNIS FITCH and his lovely wife MARGE flew to Italy, where they enjoyed the food, the atmosphere, the roads, the sunsets, the entire magical ambiance that Florence, Rome and Tuscany are known for. Ah, toto romantico. A nice break from the world of co-op advertising.
Does one become a spud if one goes to Idaho? One of the greatest guys who ever wrote a promo, JOHN TISCHENDORF, was from Idaho and enjoyed telling people he was a stud from the potato state. The gorgeous mountains, clean air and laidback living are all found in Boise, and now RICH BRASE is in Boise as well. Rich, who’s been Chairman of PROMAX, is helping out the fine folks of Fisher Broadcasting at their CBS affil K___. He just loves the Pacific Northwest and spent 7 plus years in Portland, where he was CSD at Belo’s KGW . I wonder if he knows that Boise was named the number one mountain biking town in America a few years back….
Thought for the next coupla days: “As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”_~Henry David Thoreau
we’ll figure this out