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Remembering the Quest for Tom Snyder’s First Guest

TomSnyderOn this date seven years ago, Tom Snyder passed away in San Francisco. To honor the broadcaster’s life and legacy, longtime friend and producer Michael Horowicz likes to annually at this time share a fond Snyder anecdote.

Adding to the significance of this anniversary is the fact that July 29 is also the date that Horowicz himself was born.

“Much has been made recently about a new talk show’s ‘first guest,’” Horowicz tells FishbowlNY. “There was excitement over Jimmy Fallon’s first guest on The Tonight Show (Will Smith), as well as Seth Meyers on his first show (Amy Poehler). It was the same in December 1994, as we prepared to debut The Late Late Show with Tom on CBS the following month.”

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Mediabistro Course

Get a Literary Agent

Get a Literary AgentStarting August 6, learn how to find the right agent for your book and write a query that will get the deal done! Taught by Barbara Clark, a book agent and publishing consultant, you will learn the best methods for finding a literary agent, the proper protocol and etiquette for seeking literary representation, how to send queries and more. Register now!

Filmmaker Prefers to Ignore ‘Lesbian Lena Dunham’ Label

From Down Under comes a fun interview with Desiree Akhavan, an Iranian-born actor-director who made waves this year at Sundance with her comedy Appropriate Behavior, in which she stars as Brooklyn bisexual Shirin.

Gay News Network Australia editor Rachel Cook asked Akhavan what it’s like to be saddled with the media label of being the “new lesbian Lena Dunham” (as opposed to the old?!). Here’s Akhavan’s answer:

“If I took that shit seriously I would spend the bulk of my time in the fetal position at the foot of my bed.”

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This EIC’s Ambitions Are ‘Much Bigger Than Bikinis’

Joe Pompeo‘s piece in the August issue of Capital magazine about the National Enquirer is full of descriptive detail.

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Sourcing of Enquirer stories, the reporter writes, sometimes ‘looks thinner than a supermodel’s waistline.’ More flatteringly, he found editor-in-chief Dylan Howard to be ‘looking sharp in his tortoise-shell glasses and dark-blue linen Ludlow suit’ during a recent visit to the AMI publication’s consolidated NYC operations. To Pompeo, Howard appeared even a little… angelic:

The cherubic 32-year-old was installed in the Enquirer’s top masthead slot when American Media Inc. moved the title back to Manhattan from the company’s flagship Florida headquarters this May. His ambitions are much bigger than bikinis.

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Jane Fonda Doesn’t Want Murdoch to Buy Time Warner

jane fonda GGood news for those of you who desire more media commentary from Jane Fonda: She has given her thoughts on Rupert Murdoch potentially buying Time Warner. In short, she think it’s a bad idea.

“I think it would be a catastrophe,” the 76-year-old actress told The Wrap. “If that happens I’m going to be so angry at the FCC. They cannot let that happen.” FCC, you’re officially on notice.

Fonda wasn’t done there. She went on to explain that Murdoch uses his media outlets to spread bad politics. “It’s no secret that Rupert uses his media outlets for political reasons,” said Fonda. “And he is not neutral. And he, you know, his news outlets do things that are unconscionable. And it just cannot happen that he becomes that much of a dominant force in American media.”

We imagine Fonda and Murdoch won’t be getting together for afternoon tea anytime soon.

In Face of ‘Capitalist’ Criticism, Michael Moore Remains Silent for Now

MMFlintTwitterPoint Web browser to @MMFlint… Refresh after seeing no recent tweet(s)…. Repeat.

That’s been our intermittent routine here at FishbowlNY HQ (a.k.a Chris & Me) as we await Moore’s comeback to a massive amount of media and public criticism. The details of the filmmaker’s messy divorce battle, first reported by The Smoking Gun, were picked up with a vengeance this week. It turns out MM owns many more homes in Michigan and New York than most people were aware.

The right-leaning press especially has been relishing this news. For example, the headline over at United Liberty reads: “Socialist Weasel Michael Moore Hates Capitalism So Much That He Owns 9 Homes.”

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Newspaper Reporter Explains the Reasons for His Departure

KevinSabanKevin Sablan (pictured), one of the Orange County Register journalists who recently took a buyout, has blogged today about how that decision was reached. He devotes a great deal of his post to what were, for him, the better Register days:

During my first eight years at the paper, I worked on advancing our digital efforts. I started as a slightly glorified Web monkey, part of a team that got stories online and made sure the site’s many moving parts were updated throughout the day.

Freedom. It was a great time. There weren’t enough bosses to review everything that published online, and standards were still being set. I could experiment without fear of losing my job. I threw in some fancy CSS and JavaScript trickery. I did things like embed a tour of the Rose Parade (a Google Map that could be navigated with custom buttons) into an article. I made tables sortable. I never had to ask for permission…

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Weird Al’s Early Jobs Included ‘Accordion Repo Man’

ShutterstockAccordionIt’s been a long time since a comedy album topped the Billboard 200 charts. Today, Weird Al Yankovic, the man responsible for that feat, sat down for a radio interview with KFI AM 640′s Bill Handel.

Yankovic started off the conversation by talking with Handel about his earliest jobs. He reminded that while studying architecture at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, he went by the DJ name of “Al Matthews” for an off-campus, paid radio gig.

The man born Alfred Matthew Yankovic also, hilariously, talked about being an “accordion repo man.” He was a teacher at a music school, and when students discontinued their lessons, it was often up to Yankovic to show up at their door and request that they return the loaned musical instrument. “They were more than happy to give it back, for some reason,” Yankovic deadpanned.

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Paul McKenna on What Makes a Great Interviewer

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Paul McKenna has worn many hats during his eclectic, impressive career. He’s an international best-selling author, a hypnotist, a self-help guru and, now, a TV host.

On his new show McKenna (currently streaming on Hulu) he interviews media moguls like Simon Cowell, Ryan Seacrest, Harvey Weinstein, Rachael Ray and Randy Jackson to find out “what makes them tick.” In our latest So What Do You Do column, McKenna gives advice to up-and-coming media pros and shares his thoughts on what makes a great interviewer:

I’m not a journalist. So I haven’t come from conventional journalistic training, which is to go for the jugular, you know, sneak one question in under another, try and get the other person [to] expose something. I’m just fascinated and curious. I think 25 years in the trenches, working with the most challenged of people you can imagine, has given me an ability to have a politely inquiring manner, I hope. I think you get more from people if they feel that they’re being genuinely listened to and understood, and that they don’t need to be on guard.

For more from McKenna, including how a chance encounter on Simon Cowell‘s boat resulted in his latest gig, read: So What Do You Do, Paul McKenna, Best-Selling Author, Hypnotist and Host of Hulu’s McKenna?

Nikki Finke Cranks Out Her Best New Story Yet

JeffBlakePicWhy did Nikki Finke return to the Internet airwaves, under threat of litigation from her former boss Jay Penske? So she could continue sharing stories like this one.

Finke’s behind-the-scenes account of what led to this week’s forced exit of Sony Pictures Entertainment vice chairman Jeff Blake (pictured) expertly triangulates his fate with the politics of a conglomerated studio lot, the machinations of Dan Loeb and the actions of Blake’s scrambling, fearful bosses (Amy Pascal, Michael Lynton). It’s a must-read and, best of all, is only Part One.

Finke reveals that Blake was almost scapegoat-fired last summer following a secret July 4 meeting. She notes that when it all, almost came crashing down last year, Blake, a longtime box office source, shared an unusual request:

I loathe those calls I sometimes have to make telling Hollywood bigwigs they’re in danger of getting axed. To my surprise, Blake verbally shrugged it off except to say “Water rising here”.

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Hardcore Pawn Stars: ‘We’re Not Actors’

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Viewers of reality TV often want to know if they’re watching actors or real people.

Recently, we got a chance to ask the people who might know, the starts of truTV’s Hardcore Pawn Les and Ashley Gold.

While Les told MediabistroTV he’s an actor inasmuch as a good salesperson needs to be an actor, the two assure us what you see on the show is real.



Part Two: Why are Pawn Shop Shows so Popular?

Part One: Five Weirdest things Pawned

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