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My First Big Break

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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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.

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:

Larry King: My First Big Break

In celebration of Larry King‘s 80th birthday today, the mediabistroTV crew took the train down to Washington, D.C. to ask the iconic talk show host to look back on his long career and tell us how he got his first big break.

The current host of “Larry King Now” on ora.tv told us a story with names like Ted Turner, Jackie Gleason, Frank Sinatra, Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin that sounded more like a who’s who than your typical tale of “how I got started.” Plus, he may have given us the key to his longevity as a talk show host when he told us, “Listening is as important as asking.”

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

Rosanna Scotto: My First Big Break

You may know her from the cable clip show “The Soup” as the woman who puts up with co-anchor Greg Kelly‘s antics.

Rosanna Scotto, morning anchor for New York’s FOX owned station WNYW, sat down with the mediabistroTV crew to talk about how St. Patrick’s Day and the antics of world-famous director Woody Allen are what lead to her first big break.

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

Jerry Springer: My First Big Break

Say the name Jerry Springer and the first thing that comes to mind might be a daytime talk show where people throw chairs at one other to make a point. So it may not be much of a surprise when you find out Jerry got his start in politics.

The former lawyer, former campaign adviser for Robert F. Kennedy, former mayor of Cincinnati and former anchor for the city’s local NBC affiliate tells mediabistroTV his career wasn’t launched by one big break as much as it was the result of being ready for anything.

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

CNN’s Roland Martin Kickin’ It With His Homegirl Soledad O’Brien

The funk is back. At least for a few days.

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien put in a special word for her friend and CNN Contributor Roland Martin to appear on two of the remaining days of “Starting Point” this week. Martin appeared on her program this morning and is scheduled to show up again on Friday.

Martin, whose six-year contact with the network ends on April 6, has had sparse appearances on CNN as of late as producers were told not to book him.

Needless to say, Martin was ecstatic to appear on O’Brien’s program, even if he is perceived to be a persona non grata within certain circles there.

 

Antoine Fuqua: My First Big Break

So what happens when you take a kid from Pittsburgh, PA, put him in the wrong place at the wrong time, sprinkle in some college basketball, a little Caravaggio, some Akira Kurosawa and a few rap music videos?

Antoine Fuqua, whose latest film “Olympus Has Fallen” shows D.C. and the White House in various stages of disarray, recently sat down with mediabistroTV and told the crew how the odd mix of bad luck, athletics, an acclaimed Japanese director, and the influence of a 16th century bad boy Italian painter led him to a career as one of Hollywood’s premiere action film directors.

Olympus Has Fallen” opens in theaters March 22.

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

Al Roker: My First Big Break

Former Washington, D.C. weatherman, Al Roker appears on NBC’s “Today” Show, has his own show “Wake Up with Al” on The Weather Channel, owns his own production company “Al Roker Entertainment,” has co-authored three mystery novels, written a couple of cookbooks, and a has penned a couple of New York Times Bestsellers.

So how did everyone’s favorite morning forecaster go from being a flannel shirt and overall wearing student at SUNY Oswego to media kingpin? Al said his first big break came from being in the right place at the right time when someone said the wrong thing at the wrong time.

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

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