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How CBS’s James Brown Got his First Big Break in Washington, DC

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James Brown has come a long way from his days at Channel 9 — then WDVM-TV. The CBS News and CBS Sports anchor, who begins hosting Thursday Night Football tomorrow night, got his first big break as the commentator for the then-Washington Bullets. He got the job after impressing the bosses when he brought the team’s star over on his day off “and conducted a pretty decent interview,” he says. But it wasn’t always smooth sailing:

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What Started in ‘The West Wing’ Goes Viral

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From working behind the scenes in Aaron Sorkin‘s “West Wing,” to a congressional run, to viral video host, like DC politicians, Beth Troutman‘s career has evolved.

“When you have experiences that you’re open to, it kind of informs you as human being, and makes you comfortable in your own skin,” Troutman, host of the syndicated viral video talk show “Right This Minute” told FishbowlDC recently. Before serving as a host covering the Internet’s best videos, Troutman was a politico at heart. She worked for years as an assistant to “The West Wing” EP Alex Graves. That jolted her inner politico, leading Troutman to run for U.S. Congress at 27. “I think all of the things that have been part of my past helped me be interested in the future.”

Jose Antonio Vargas on Why He Brought ‘Documented’ to CNN

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Jose Antonio Vargas‘s documentary Documented makes its CNN debut this Sunday. The film follows the Pulitzer prize-winning journalist’s journey from outing himself as an undocumented immigrant to advocating for comprehensive immigration reform

If he takes a side on one of the most controversial issues of the day, does he still consider himself a journalist? WATCH:

For more videos from MediabistroTV, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV.

Erin Burnett: ‘I Was a Willow Bay Stalker’

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Erin Burnett‘s first big break came in a very old school way. She wrote a letter to someone in the TV news business whom she admired. But it went beyond just letter-writing. “I was essentially a Willow Bay stalker,” Burnett tells us. But her desire to work in broadcast news began much earlier in life and involved Dan Rather. “I kissed Dan Rather every night. I’d go over and give him a peck on the lips on the TV.” Here’s Erin Burnett’s First Big Break:

Dan Rather was one of the first people we profiled in our “My First Big Break” series back in 2012. For that, and more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Jim Cramer: My First Big Break

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You may know him for his stock-picking strategies, staying ahead of the bulls, and out of the way of the bears. But Jim Cramer‘s big break happened far from Wall Street, in Tallahassee, Florida, at a sorority house, which became the scene of a grisly crime.

Following a humble start as a newspaper reporter, along the way Cramer became a magazine writer, a lawyer, a hedge-fund manager, an online publisher and a best-selling author. And he did it all while honoring his parents’ wishes. Here’s Jim Cramer’s First Big Break.

Maria Bartiromo: ‘What’s Your Show?’

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After 20 years at CNBC, Maria Bartiromo has hit the ground running at Fox. Bartiromo is among a small group of TV news anchors who host two shows on two different networks. MediabistroTV visited Bartiromo on a recent Friday where her day started with editorial meetings for her FBN show, then a round of affiliate interviews, followed by the 2-hour “Opening Bell,” then a planning meeting for her Sunday show on Fox News Channel. In a “What’s Your Show?” first, we ask Maria Bartiromo: “What Are Your Shows?”

To watch more mediabistroTV videos, subscribe to our our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV.

Katie Couric’s First Big Break Came While She Was a Reporter at WRC

Katie Couric‘s life in TV news included stops at WRC in Washington and as a Pentagon correspondent for NBC News. Her current transition from daytime talk show host to global news anchor for Yahoo News, is just another turning point for the journalist best known as co-anchor of the “Today” show. Couric tells us timing and luck have been on her side. But she has one man to thank for her First Big Break:

How Al Jazeera America Aims to Cover More Than ‘Political Three-Ring Circuses’

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In the latest video from MediabistroTV’s “What’s Your Show?” series, we look at Al Jazeera America’s primetime newscast with TV news veteran John Seigenthaler, which airs at 8pmET weeknights.

The news start-up has many current and former DCers on its roster. Network President Kate O’Brian and SVP of news David Doss used to work out of the nation’s capital. “Inside Story” host Ray Suarez, “America Tonight” host Joie Chen, White House Correspondent Mike Viqueira, and Senior Executive Producer Kim Bondy all currently work from DC.

And Seigenthaler, who is based in New York, tells FishbowlDC that AJAM’s mission is quite “radical”: providing unbiased, in-depth journalism. His show’s Sr. EP, Mary Caraccioli, tell us AJAM offers something different than the cable competition covering the “political three-ring circuses.”

What Does ‘All In’ Mean to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes?

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes is not your “central casting news anchor guy,” his executive producer Denis Horgan tells us as part of MediabistroTV’s new video series, “What’s Your Show?”

The 8pmET primetime host will mark one year as host of “All In” a week from today, a show name he sees as a symbol of total commitment, along with welcoming all voices and ideas on-air.

Not your typical cable news show, “All In” often strays from what the rest of the TV news pack are focused on: “Chris wants to bring light to issues, and topics, and stories, that are not generally being covered on cable news,” Horgan said.

Shepard Smith, ‘What’s Your Show?’

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Shepard Smith has been a part of Fox News since there has been a Fox News. But the longtime anchor took on a new challenge late last year: hosting a high-octane newscast from a futuristic (yet functional) studio without compromising the mission: report the news, first and fair. Oh, and keep the show No. 1 in the ratings. So far, so good.

In the first edition of the new MediabistroTV series “What’s Your Show?” Smith and his team take us behind the scenes of “Shepard Smith Reporting.”

Look for upcoming episodes of “What’s Your Show?” from MSNBC, Al Jazeera America and more. And to watch more MediabistroTV videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV.

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