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Name Game: Who’s the Real “Hollywood on the Potomac”

When the book “Hollywood on the Potomac” was recently released in Washington, long-time DC publicist Janet Donovan bit her tongue. But she’s talking now to FBDC…

Donovan writes about celebrities and happenings around town on her blog “Hollywood on the Potomac” and for a Washington Life column by the same title– she even owns the Trademark rights. So she was a bit surprised, to say the least, when Jason Killian Meath‘s photo book was published with that name.

Tell us about how you came up with “Hollywood on the Potomac.”

When I first came to Washington some of my friends would show up on movie sets as extras to make some money. Occasionally I went with them. I think I even showed up in something with Burt Lancaster but probably ended up on the cutting room floor. Because I live in Georgetown, many films have been shot here including right outside of my old house on O Street. The amount of work that goes into these shoots is staggering and it was fun interacting with the crews. I have always had a great respect for the movie industry. Imagine life without Sesame Street for children, old Betty Davis movies for folks in retirement living, Disney family night at the cinema…

Around 2000 I started thinking maybe there is Hollywood on the Potomac and started following it. Now, of course, it is a mega attraction for the industry, not only in the film business but lobbying for various causes. Ironically, all of my children ended up in this creative world. My oldest son became a film producer, my youngest went to USC Film school and is now on staff there, my daughter went to journalism school at NYU and is Senior Product Director Interactive One LLC, a Radio One Company.

What makes you “Hollywood on the Potomac?”

I got there first. I also took it to the conventions a few elections ago where I did a daily column for CQ and covered the stars in Boston and New York.

Donovan photograph by Patrick Ryan and with Matt Drudge.

Continued after the jump…


How are you going to defend and protect your trademark from now on?

My lawyer has a “cease and desist” letter ready to go whenever I say so. It’s really quite thorough and we have already passed around a few. Because I own so many of the “Hollywood on the Potomac” domain names, people are now using something else as the domain with Hollywood on the Potomac directly under it. That is a direct violation. I do, with permission, a monthly column for Washington Life called Hollywood on the Potomac. I also write a blog which I intend to enhance at some point, but as for now, I need to keep my day job as a publicist.

Any books titled “Hollywood on the Potomac” or some variation in your future?

No. I gave the author of this book a pass on the trademark and also sure would not like to be confused with it.

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