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Posts Tagged ‘Ron Lieber’

Fishbowl5 With Suze Orman

Suze Orman takes compliments well. For instance, when she showed up to the National Press Club this week for a presser with TV commentator Tavis Smiley and Prof. Cornel West, Tony Gallo, who heads up the newsmaker program, told her she looks much better in person. Her reaction? “Thank God.” Another compliment came during an elevator ride to the first floor where she was doing an interview for CNN. This one was on her hairdo. “We did it ourselves,” Orman boasted. “We’re trying it.” By “we” she means she and her life and business partner, K.T., who was along for the ride. “I can’t tell other people to save money and not do it myself. I saved myself $200.”

As charming in real life as her SNL impersonator, Orman was just what you’d imagine her to be: blonde and chatty with spanking white teeth, and in your face about your finances. Case in point: Suze wasn’t in the building 10 seconds when a woman recognized her in the elevator and began sharing her financial woes. This scenario would repeat itself for hours as complete strangers poured out their pain. The woman said she avoids reading her column in O Magazine because she “can’t face her truth.” Suze started asking her why not, what’s stopping you… and then the woman got off on the 10th floor.

The press conference involved poverty and Orman unveiling her new prepaid card — the Approved Card — which she’s hoping will revolutionize how people experience their money. “We barely have the heart to look in the mirror and tell ourselves how we’re doing,” she told a packed room of media and ordinary people who came to share their hard luck stories. “The one fascinating thing about money is you can’t look at someone and know they’re poor,” she said, instructing an unemployed woman in a black suit to stand and be the poster child for poverty. “There should be no face of poverty in the United States,” Suze stressed, making her point. As for her new card, she said emphatically, “This card is to give people a viable alternative. I have put my name on it. I have put my reputation on it. And no financial institution or blogger is going to stop me.”

At the end of the presser, Gallo concluded: “I judge each event by how many people fall asleep and how many leave early. We had absolutely zero — the highest possible score.”

I trailed Suze and K.T. to her interview with CNN. Not surprisingly, behind the scenes Suze is no-nonsense and doesn’t like annoying surprises — so she’s a tad irked that the CNN spot wasn’t better planned. “She hates lipstick and she hates makeup,” remarked K.T. “So we argue — it’s the only time we do.”

“She’s not a prima donna at all,” said CNN Commentator Hilary Rosen, whose firm, SKDKnickerbocker, is handling Suze’s press for the card.

Finally we gathered in a quiet conference room on the first floor of the building for five questions with Suze and discovered one thing for certain: She knows her way around a Fishbowl metaphor.

The Questions…

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Morning Reading List, 08.31.07

morningsun.gifGood morning Washington.

  • An NBC release announced, “According to Nielsen Media Research data, ‘Meet the Press’ was the dominant Sunday morning public affairs program, winning the week in all categories across the country and in Washington, D.C.” On Sunday, August 26, the program averaged 3.325 million total viewers, 40% more than second place CBS “Face the Nation”, a 50% advantage over third place ABC “This Week”, and 173% more than FOX “News Sunday”.

  • Reuters reports, “The CNN cable television news network said on Thursday it would stop using the Reuters news service, ending a 27-year relationship, to cut costs and invest in its own news gathering operations.”

  • A GLAAD release announced, “The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today called on Tucker Carlson, NBC News and MSNBC to apologize for remarks made on Tuesday night that appear to condone violent assault.”

  • Media types a big percentage of The Palm’s new faces.

  • We hear Mike Causey stepping down from his on-air duties on Federal News Radio.

  • B&C reports, “The Supreme Court has given the solicitor general an extra month to decide whether to ask for high-court review of the federal appeals court decision that the FCC has not sufficiently justified its crackdown on cussing.”

  • Boston Phoenix’s Sharon Steel poses a very good question, “Why can’t more writers be smart enough to be beautiful, handsome, or at least cute”

  • Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Henniger writes, “It’s the possibility that too many people now simply don’t much care about the major media anymore.”

  • The Tampa Bay Business Journal reports, “The slowdown in the residential real estate industry is not just affecting buildings and mortgage lenders. It seems to be having a significant impact on newspapers as well.”

  • Talking Biz News reports, “The joint venture between The Wall Street Journal parent Dow Jones & Co. and IAC/InterActive Corp. aimed at developing a personal finance web site for younger readers by the end of the year is getting closer to reality. Ron Lieber, the former Journal columnist who is managing editor of the operation, which was announced back in March, tells Talking Biz News that a blog called FiLife written by the venture’s writers started about 10 days ago.”

  • E&P reports, “In its latest broad survey of the industry, issued Wednesday, Fitch Ratings says newspapers are doing even worse than it expected at the beginning of the year.”

  • DCeiver writes, “DC’s Media Hotties Demonstrate Uselessness of Media in August”

  • One Village Voice reader responds to this. “I think that was and is a very useful site for a working writer, a resource, and something for which Laurel Touby should be thanked. … I read Tricia Romano’s (hostile and not well-written) piece, ‘The $23 Million Boa’ [August 15–21], and found myself liking Touby and respecting her more than before (nice pictures, too). I think Romano’s cynical, even nasty reportage suggests a great deal about what’s wrong with journalism today.”

  • ClickZ reports, “Survey: Web Video Watchers Favor News Clips and Shorter Ads”

  • reports, “U.S. Internet advertising spending is poised to overtake radio advertising for the first time, providing a reminder that broadcasters need to be more aggressive in their embrace of online opportunities.”

  • The AP reports, “Trying to better compete with rivals Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc.’s president announced in a staff memo Wednesday its plans to reorganize the company’s leadership. Yahoo’s president Susan Decker announced that Gregory Coleman, the company’s global sales executive vice president, will leave in February as his responsibilities are folded into a new division.”

  • New York reports, “Bad news has brought good news for business news cable channel CNBC: With a boost from the credit crisis and a rollercoaster stock market, the channel posted its best August numbers in five years.”

  • Atoosa Rubenstein gives Forbes “a little surfing lesson.”

  • A Washington Capitals release announced, “The Washington Capitals and Bonneville International Corporation have reached a two-year agreement that will put broadcasts of all 82 Capitals games on Bonneville stations. The new Talk Radio 3WT, on 1500 AM, 107.7 FM and 820 AM, will be the flagship station for the broadcasts, carrying Capitals games plus pre-and postgame shows on some of the region’s strongest radio signals.”

  • The Business Journal of Phoenix reports, “State Rep. Mark Anderson, R-Mesa, is considering a challenge of freshman Democratic Congressman Harry Mitchell in next year’s elections. … Anderson is a Realtor and a member of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church. If elected, he would be the only member of Congress to be part of the Unification Church.”

  • Jackie Berkowitz is leaving Fox News’ PR shop to pursue a higher degree in communications.

  • Mother Jones’ stories took first and second place plus an honorable mention in the Medill School’s John Bartlow Martin Awards.


  • Reading Is Fundamental is looking for a Web Designer/Developer.

  • Council for Advancement and Support of Education is looking for a Director of Integrated Marketing.

  • The News and Advance is looking for a Lifestyle/entertainment writer.

  • Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram is looking for a Washington, D.C. Correspondent.

  • The Baltimore Sun is looking for a News Producer.

    Hat Tips: DCRTV, TVNewser, IWantMedia, Romenesko, MediaBistro, JournalismJobs, JournalismNext