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Exclusive Interview

Lauren Dolgen, Creator of MTV’s Teen Mom and 16 & Pregnant: ‘Bring on the Criticism’

Lauren Dolgen, EVP of MTV series development and creator of Teen Mom and 16 & Pregnant, is no stranger to dealing with negative press. Critics have deemed these shows as “glamorizing” teen pregnancies, but Dolgen says the buzz surrounding the shows is a good thing for exposing the plight of teen mothers.

“I think if you watch the show you realize there’s nothing glamorous about being a teen parent,”  she told Mediabistro for its latest So What Do You Do? interview. “And the truth is that when I do see the girls in the tabloids or [hear] people asking about the glamorization, I really do say, ‘At least people are having the discussion now.’ I mean, they were not talking about teen pregnancy at all when we first created the show. So, I say bring on the criticism, because we are actually dealing with it in a very real way, and at least it’s being talked about and discussed now.”

Read the full interview in So What Do You Do, Lauren Dolgen, VP of MTV’s Series Development?

Sherry Yuan

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Jess Cagle on Taking Entertainment Weekly to TV and Radio

How do you keep an established brand on its feet? For Entertainment Weekly managing editor Jess Cagle, it means launching a radio channel and a reality series. However, just because the mag is making forays into other media (not to mention EW.com’s 7 million-plus monthly uniques), doesn’t mean print is on the decline.

“The print magazine is still the spine of our brand,” Cagle told FishbowlLA’s  Richard Horgan in the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?. In the interview, he reveals why the magazine won’t be doing sponsored content any time soon, what makes their online community engaging and intelligent and what freelancers can do to get in his good books. Here’s an excerpt:

EW doesn’t use freelancers much, but what is your advice to anyone seeking to pitch a story to the magazine, or website?

We’ll use freelancers to cover events and things like that, but what I would say to any freelancer is that everybody today has an opinion, and we don’t need your opinion. All we need is news. So come with a great bit of access to something that we can’t get ourselves. For that, I’ll write a check, immediately.

Read the full interview in So What Do You Do, Jess Cagle, Managing Editor of Entertainment Weekly?

How Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars Came to ABC TV

Before Pretty Little Liars was an award-winning hit on ABC with its own spin-off,  it was the brainchild of YA writer Sara Shepard. The prolific scribe managed to publish over 20 books in eight years and get two of her series optioned as TV shows. In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Shepard tells how her series ended up on the screen and what she thinks of the TV incarnations of Pretty Little Liars and Lying Game

Pretty Little Liars I’m really satisfied with. Pretty Little Liars more sticks to what the books are,” she said. “[The TV writers] take their own liberties, and sometimes their ideas are just great. Sometimes I’m like, “Oh, why didn’t I think of that?” So that’s always really fun. But, I mean, it’s just pretty amazing to see it on TV at all. Even if it wouldn’t have lasted a season, it still would have been this pretty incredible thing.”

For more, read So What Do You Do, Sara Shepard, Author of Pretty Little Liars?

Actor Turns Hollywood Hills Break-in Into Indie Film Showcase

The devil really is in the details. When a stranger entered the LA home of Eddy Salazar in the spring of 2011 – in broad daylight, the writer and star of the upcoming psychological drama The Insomniac was struck by the intruder’s wardrobe.

“The man was wearing a button-down shirt and pants, dressed as if he was coming home from work,” Salazar tells FishbowlLA. “The cops later told me experienced thieves dress like that to blend in with the neighborhood.”

“That’s one of the angles we explore in The Insomniac,” he continues, referring to the resulting film set to premiere at Hollywood’s Chinese Theatres on June 6 as part of the Dances With Films festival. “Anyone can just waltz into your home and dramatically change your life in one quick second. And it’s usually the more inconspicuous individuals.”

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Live Talks Los Angeles Celebrates Its Third Anniversary

Tomorrow night’s Live Talks Los Angeles event featuring Burt Bacharach in conversation with Mitch Albom is notable for a couple of additional reasons. It will mark the three-year anniversary of the popular local series and is the first of several Live Talks events planned for Glendale’s Alex Theatre.

It all began May 14, 2010 with author Jane Smiley interviewing Dave Barry. Since then, series founder-producer Ted Habte-Gabr has staged more than 100 events, bringing together everyone from Steve Martin and Tina Fey to Fred Willard and Darrell Hammond to Sharon Waxman and Sir Michael Caine. In addition to the evening series, which focuses for the most part on arts and culture, Habte-Gabr curates a downtown daytime business-themed bracket, Live Talks Business.

“We have three events booked at the Alex,” Habte-Gabr tells FishbowlLA via telephone. “The first one is Burt Bacharach; the second one is Phil Jackson in conversation with John Salley on June 12; and the third one is Neil Gaiman in conversation with Geoff Boucher, June 27. Then the Alex shuts down for some major renovations and they open back up in November, at which point we’ll probably have one or two more events there before the end of the year.”

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Nancy Allen Hosts Special RoboCop Screening

In the years since RoboCop first burst on to the scene in 1987, there have been just two screenings at which stars Peter Weller and Nancy Allen were reunited with director Paul Verhoeven. The first occurred last July on the UCLA campus for the film’s 25th anniversary; the second will take place Saturday May 18 at Harmony Gold to raise money for the Sherman Oaks non-profit Allen now oversees as executive director.

“Actually, the UCLA screening is what gave me the idea for the Harmony Gold event,” Allen tells FishbowlLA via telephone. “Everybody came out, we had such an amazing experience seeing the movie together so many years later and talking about it.”

“It was a small event but it got me thinking,” she adds. “I thought, ‘My God, I have so many fans, what if we did this for something good? What if we did this and it could help benefit weSPARK. I wrote to everybody and I got a resounding, ‘Yes!’”

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Jay Mohr on Juggling Acting Gigs with FOX Sports Radio Duties

Just how hot is Jay Mohr these days?

Well, in the short time between when we spoke to him for Mediabistro’s weekly series “So What Do You Do?” and the publication today of that interview, he added a Hulu game show. Money Where Your Mouth Is premieres later this year and will feature male friends wagering their most prized possessions in a three-round, head-to-head Mohr-hosted battle.

We wondered how Mohr’s daily FOX Sports Radio show is affecting his ability to pursue TV guest star roles, feature films and the like. He told us so far, so good:

“I just did the season finale of Suburgatory, and they were very accommodating. I thought I might have trouble continuing to do the acting, but so far people are making it work.”

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San Francisco Tumblr Keeps Tabs on Who Pays Writers What

The Tumblr Who Pays Writers was launched in December 2012 by Manjula Martin. It grew innocently out of a Twitter conversation the San Francisco-based freelancer was having with some friends.

“There’s been a lot of talk lately about how publishing is changing,” Martin tells FishbowlLA. “Whether or not everyone agrees with that, it inspired a question for me: How can we as culture workers navigate this industry – or help it evolve new models – if we’re not talking openly about its economic realities?”

“I had been thinking about this a lot as a freelance writer and editor who moves between copywriting, consulting, journalistic work and “creative” writing,” she continues. “Then one Saturday morning, I was having a conversation on Twitter with some other writers about how a lot of publications don’t pay at all, and it seems like that’s not common knowledge. I had been making my own running list of rates I knew about, and I decided to ask others to contribute to a public listing on Tumblr. The response was much larger than I anticipated, which is great.”

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Mediaplanet Prepares to Empower Bay Area Female Tech Leaders

As a Mediaplanet Publishing project manager, Janel Gallucci (pictured) oversaw a series of four 2010-12 USA TODAY 16 to 24-page broadsheet insert sections titled “Investing in Women & Girls.” The success of that campaign has led Gallucci to San Francisco, where she is newly installed as a managing director and working on a similar initiative to be published through the San Francisco Chronicle.

The impetus for Mediaplanet’s upcoming July 5 section is pretty clear. According to Gallucci, only three percent of tech startups are female-led and women are receiving just one percent of venture capital funding.

“We’re the global leader in themed media,” Gallucci tells FishbowlLA via telephone. “What that means is we partner with the top newspapers around the world to produce niche, focused publications.”

“For the USA TODAY series, our editorial team authored all the content, but it was unbiased,” she adds. “So it’s not an advertorial in any way, and the content was all about raising awareness in this global ‘women and girls’ movement.”

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EXCLUSIVE: Dick Clark ‘Lost’ Interview – Part 2

[Editor's Note: The following, never-before-published interview (Part 1 here) was conducted via telephone on December 23, 1993 by the late Jim Mitteager. The tape, part of a much larger collection bequeathed to Hollywood private eye Paul Barresi, was only recently discovered and graciously provided to FishbowlLA. Our thanks to Barresi for allowing us to share this great bit of nostalgia with our readers, on the anniversary of Clark's April 18, 2012 death.]

Mitteager: Has MTV impacted in a negative way on talent? There’s a lot of packaging that’s going on now that involves skills other than the ability to sing and write good songs. Is it impacting on new talent as opposed to the old days?

Clark: I wouldn’t blame it all on MTV. I’d blame it on the consolidation of the music business, between five or six nationally owned companies. You’ve got all of these big debts that they’ve got to pay. They’ve got them on a timetable, and that includes videos and personal appearances and promotions and all of that. So some new guy, it makes it very difficult to get launched. That’s the whole thing about what’s wrong with the business these days. It’s tough to break through.

Mitteager:  What would be your best advice to an aspiring artist out there that is in that pickle right now, that have no representation and has some talent?

Clark: I would try to get to one of the cities where people find talent, LA, New York, Nashville, Seattle… Get out there and showcase yourself.

Mitteager: I want to rack your brain about people that got there start on Bandstand, or with you in general and have now become award winners on the American Music Awards.

Clark: New Edition, they debuted on Bandstand.

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