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How Steve Hofstetter Went From Writing for Sports Illustrated, to Hosting a TV Show

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Queens-born comic Steve Hofstetter can take the heat. The stand-up comedian has been heckled more times than he can remember. But that doesn’t faze the former Sports Illustrated columnist. “Stand-up, to some people, is a springboard. To me it is my life force,” he tells MediabistroTV.

For his new show Laughs, debuting Saturday night on FOX5 and more than 20 other TV stations, Hofstetter has scoured the country to find the best club comedians. “Being a king and a kingmaker at the same time,” he says. And he doesn’t kid around when he predicts “Laughs” will be around for a long time. We caught up with Hofstetter last week at Gotham Comedy Club.

Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now! 

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

Hardcore Pawn Stars on Popularity of Pawn Shop Shows

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Remember when pawn shops were dark, dirty and cramped storefronts where fictional detectives would go to sweat a confession from an equally fictional shop owner? Now that pawn shops are featured on reality TV, the former dens of iniquity are now revealing a softer side complete with a family focus.

Recently Les Gold and daughter Ashley, stars of truTV’s Hardcore Pawn sat down with MediabistroTV to give us some insight into why viewers like to watch shows about what they do. One hint? Anyone looking for a slightly used prosthetic leg?



Last week: Hardcore Pawn stars talk about the weirdest things they’ve bought or sold.

Next Week: Is Hardcore Pawn real or just reality show?

Hardcore Pawn Stars Talk About the Weirdest Things They’ve Pawned

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Two members of Detroit’s Gold family, the stars of truTV’s hit reality show Hardcore Pawn, recently made a swing through New York City.

We asked Father Les and daughter Ashley about some of the weirdest stuff they’ve seen people sell for quick cash.

Number one on the top five list? Jack Kevorkian‘s “Death Mobile.”

Next week we’ll ask the Gold’s why they think Pawn Shop shows are so popular.

Erin Burnett Planned to Marry Dan Rather

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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

Gloria Steinem, Queen Latifah Talk Careers at the 2014 Matrix Awards

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The New York Women in Communications held its annual Matrix Awards in April, and our MediaJobsDaily editor Vicki Salemi was on hand to chat with powerful women in media on their careers. Presenter Gloria Steinem remarked on the importance of female mentorship; honoree Eileen Naughton, vice president of sales at Google, revealed what makes an outstanding Googler; and Grammy winner and actress Queen Latifah, also honored that night, shared why she made the leap from performer to daytime host. Also doling out nuggets of advice: Today show co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. Watch:

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 at the hands of a notorious serial killer.

Following his 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.

Maria Bartiromo: ‘What’s Your Show?’

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After 20 years at CNBC, Maria Bartiromo has hit the ground running at Fox. Bartiromo is among a small group of TV news anchors who host two shows on two different networks. MediabistroTV visited Bartiromo on a recent Friday where her day started with editorial meetings for her FBN show, then a round of affiliate interviews, followed by the 2-hour “Opening Bell,” then a planning meeting for her Sunday show on Fox News Channel. In a “What’s Your Show?” first, we ask Maria Bartiromo: “What Are Your Shows?”

To watch more mediabistroTV videos, subscribe to our our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV.

Katie Couric’s Advice for Young Journalists

As she winds down production of her syndicated show and ramps up interviews for her role as global news anchor at Yahoo News, Katie Couric spent a few minutes with MediabistroTV earlier this month to talk about her First Big Break in the business. It was a break that would put her on the path to “Today” show anchor-dom. How she got there, what she learned, and what advice she has for young journalists who want to break in to TV news:

To watch more MediabistroTV videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV.

How a News Start-Up Operating Out of a Former NYC Bank Is ‘Building a Culture’

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In MediabistroTV’s latest “What’s Your Show?” video, we go behind the scenes at Al Jazeera America’s primetime newscast with John Siegenthaler, who previously worked at NBC News for 11 years. For nine of those years, he anchored the weekend edition of “NBC Nightly News” from New York.

He now serves as the signature news anchor at AJAM; a news start-up composed of former top broadcast and cable talent, temporarily producing their newscasts from a midtown New York City newsroom that was previously Manufacturers Hanover Trust bank.

“Though this is temporary, and it feels cramped and small, I actually think this is a tremendous advantage for us,” SVP for news programming David Doss tells FishbowlNY. “It’s about building a culture.”

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