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Posts Tagged ‘Al Roker’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon Unveils Fire TV | Strahan to Join GMA | Peabody Award Winners

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Amazon Announces Set-Top Box ‘Fire TV’ (LostRemote)
Amazon continues its quest to become more than an e-commerce powerhouse, announcing Wednesday a set-top box that allows HDTV viewers to connect to Amazon’s video offerings. Mashable The set-top device, called Amazon Fire TV, will be sold for $99. It is a small flat box with a remote control. The hardware aims to take on the Apple TV, Roku and even the Xbox One. The Internet-connected set-top box, which uses voice search when you speak into the remote and also serves as a gaming console, was announced during a launch event in New York City on Wednesday with Amazon VP Peter Larsen playing master of ceremonies, not CEO and founder Jeff Bezos. WSJ The new Fire TV is an ambitious move by Amazon to break into the living room. Amazon offers a streaming-video service to its Prime subscribers, but until now has been largely dependent on other hardware manufacturers to deliver that content to televisions. Sales of streaming media devices such as Roku are expected to grow 24 percent this year, according to market researcher Strategy Analytics. Apple currently leads the market, followed by Roku and Google, the firm said. NYT Fire TV will show a range of content from other providers, including Hulu, Netflix and ESPN. With a separate $40 controller, it can be used to play games, including a version of the extremely popular Minecraft. Among the improvements and enhancements promoted for Fire TV: a voice search function that allows users to utter a name like “George Clooney” or a genre like “horror” and see results instantly pop up, and a prediction feature that knows what you want and queues it up. THR The small black box began shipping Wednesday, Larsen told a crowd of reporters. It has a premium price point in line with Apple TV. Roku, meanwhile, costs as low as $50 and Chromecast retails for $35.

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Lauren Berger Writes New Book for Young People Entering "Real World"

Lauren Berger Welcome to the Real WorldCareer Expert, Lauren Berger, releases her second book, Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job Into Your Dream Career (Harper Business), on April 22nd. In this book, Berger shares everything she wishes someone told her after graduation. Her book is the essential guide to anyone starting their first, second, or third job. She encourages readers to be fearless, step outside of their comfort zones, and go after what they want.

Too Much | Jumping the Sharknado | Bad Moves

306301-facebook-declineAllFacebook: Study confirms that there are too many idiots sharing too many articles on Facebook. Or something close to that.

TVNewser: Al Roker and Matt Lauer will have roles in Sharknado 2, but neither will overshadow the acting skills of Tara Reid and Ian Ziering.

PRNewser: Mozilla’s incoming CEO, Brendan Eich, can’t seem to stop making stupid decisions.

Bette Midler, Al Roker & Bravo’s Bickering Brokers From Million Dollar Listing New York

LunchAtMichaelsWhen it comes to Bravo’s ever-expanding slate of reality stars, it’s hard to keep the players straight without a scorecard. Between the Housewives, hipsters and wannabe singers, few have retained more than a few seasons of fame (or infamy) outside the realm of their melodramatic universe give or take a few Life & Style covers. I can count the number of Bravolebrities on one hand that have left an impression on me beyond registering their sheer delight at their own insta-fame. That’s why my lunch with Luis D. Ortiz and Fredrik Eklund, stars of the network’s Million Dollar Listing New York, was such a pleasant surprise.

Luis Ortiz, Diane Clehane and Fredrik Eklund

Luis Ortiz, Diane Clehane and Fredrik Eklund

Besides being charismatic, funny and extremely well dressed (more on that later), these guys are driven beyond belief and smart as hell. Over the course of our lunch to dish about the new season, (premiering next Wednesday, April 2 at 9 p.m) I learned quite a bit about Fredrik and Luis (unfortunately their castmate Ryan Serhant was tied up at a pitch meeting and never made it to Michael’s.) Fredrik heads up the country’s top selling real estate team (which he founded) at Douglas Elliman. Between bites of his Cobb salad, he told me he sold 36 apartments last year, raking in 2.2 million in commissions during season two. So far this year, he’s sold $400 million (yes, you read that right) worth of real estate. Luis, who now works with Fredrik at Elliman, where he heads up his own real estate group, has sold over $300 million in residential real estate in the past three and a half years.

Almost thirty minutes before the appointed hour, Luis arrived at Michael’s and we sat at the bar chatting about the fickle finger of reality television fate waiting for the rest of our party. Besides being struck by Luis’ impeccable made for GQ style (a perfectly cut, made-to-measure suit “from a tailor in Mexico,” Patek Philippe watch and a Zara coat I’d kill for), I couldn’t help but notice his laser-like focus on my questions. The guy knows how to listen (a very underrated character trait, if you ask me). When I inquired if he thought the show had created a ‘character’ for him he said, “Television can’t edit you differently if you are yourself. I respect myself and I’m myself at all times. I understand the need for drama, but the business is inherently dramatic enough that we don’t have to make things up. I feel like the camera is telling the truth.”

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Today Show Hosts Get Photoshopped

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Here’s what happens when experts at Cosmopolitan add the magic of photoshop to the cast of the Today show. The changes we immediately noticed? Matt Lauer became less bald, Al Roker grew a few inches, and Savannah Guthrie had her chest uh, enlarged. But there were plenty more.

Below is a diagram of all the changes made. Jezebel would be fake furious!

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Roker Slams NYC Mayor | Charter’s Next Moves | Maxim Nearly Defrauded

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Al Roker Rants About Mayor de Blasio, School Snow Policy (FishbowlNY)
Al Roker went on a Twitter rant Thursday morning, blasting mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s department of education for allowing schools to be open — and then ultimately closing early. Roker wrote that “It’s going to take some kid or kids getting hurt before this goofball policy gets changed.” When schools announced they were closing, he said “And how about all the parents and caregivers who have to scramble to get their kids home? Is there no one there with any common sense?” Politico Roker was especially critical of the mayor’s decision to keep schools open, complaining about his daughter’s school going to an early release day. “I knew this am @NYCMayorsOffice @NYCSchools would close schools. Talk about a bad prediction. Long range DiBlasio forecast: 1 term,” Roker tweeted. NYT Told that Roker was bluntly predicting a one-term mayoralty, de Blasio ventured some humor. “I respect Al Roker a lot,” the mayor said. “It’s a different thing to run a city than to give the weather on TV.” NY Post Roker conceded he doesn’t have the skills to be mayor of New York City, but took one more shot at City Hall. “Mr. Mayor, I could never run NYC, but I know when it’s time to keep kids home from school,” Roker tweeted.

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Al Roker Rants About Mayor de Blasio, School Snow Policy

Al Roker went on a Twitter rant this morning, blasting Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s department of education for allowing schools to be open — and then ultimately closing early — today.

Roker wrote that “It’s going to take some kid or kids getting hurt before this goofball policy gets changed.” When schools announced they were closing, he said “And how about all the parents and caregivers who have to scramble to get their kids home? Is there no one there with any common sense?” He also tweeted that the Mayor’s office had no right “throwing NWS [National Weather Service] under the bus.”

Finally, Roker issued a damning prediction:

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Meredith Vieira Wonders: When Was Last Time Russian Police Choir ‘Got Lucky’

This morning’s Today show reprise of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs choir covering Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” looked and sounded even better than the group’s smash-hit performance during Sochi’s opening night. With the added, sideline benefit of a dancing Al Roker and other NBC show personalities, crew.

TODAYShowRussianPoliceChoir

During an interview with choir conductor General Victor Eliseyev (translated by NBC News Moscow bureau chief Albina Kovalyova), Savannah Guthrie suggested that it won’t be long before some enterprising booking agent brings the group stateside. The choir performs around 200 dates every year:

“When we first made the collective, I had a dream to perform in Japan, France and the U.S.A.,” explained the general. “We’ve performed in Japan and France, and we’ve still not been in the U.S. And it’s my greatest dream.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Grantland Under Fire | BBC Host Dead | Roker Feeling The Heat?

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ESPN Responds to Criticism of Grantland’s ‘Dr. V’ Story (BuzzFeed)
ESPN issued a statement Sunday in response to continued controversy and criticism over a Jan. 15 Grantland article about a transgender physicist and golf club inventor. The story in question, “Dr. V’s Magical Putter,” profiled Dr. Essay Anne Vanderbilt, the inventor of the Oracle GXI smart putter club — and ultimately outed Vanderbilt as a transgender woman, against her wishes. At the end of the piece, author Caleb Hannan wrote that Vanderbilt killed herself. Slate / CultureBox Over the last few days, Twitter has bubbled over with arguments about what Hannan did and didn’t do. At one extreme are the people calling Hannan a murderer, alleging that a trans woman killed herself because she believed a reporter was about to out her. At the opposite pole are those who say Hannan did what journalists are trained to do: report out a story until he unearths the truth. Glittering Scrivener It is not the mandate of a writer to keep pursuing a private citizen’s secrets (secrets which have exactly no impact on the product you are writing about) until they kill themselves. This is not an honorable act. Jezebel It appears from the story’s tone that there was zero ethical concern whatsoever concerning the trans status. This is the sort of stuff that comes up, by the way, in 101 ethics classes: Say you’re called to cover the story of a hero who saved a drowning man from an icy river, and in the course of reporting you determine the hero is also gay, and would prefer to remain anonymous for privacy reasons. Do you report on it? The answer, of course, is no, you don’t report that detail, because the hero being gay is irrelevant to the story. But real-life scenarios are not so simple. Shakesville This is one of the most cavalier, irresponsible pieces of journalism I have read in a very long time. New Republic An inquiry to Grantland’s editors was redirected to an ESPN spokesperson. He said that Bill Simmons, who runs Grantland, will respond via Grantland soon, and wrote: “We understand and appreciate the wide range of thoughtful reaction this story has generated and to the family and friends of Essay Anne Vanderbilt, we express our deepest condolences.” Hannan did not reply to a request for comment. Nieman Storyboard I spoke to Hannan Sunday afternoon. He told me he has been following the reaction to the story, and that he is working with his editors to prepare a statement. He said he will discuss the story when he and his editors feel the time is right.

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TODAY Show Delivers New Meme: #Rokering

Oh man, this is hilarious. Even more so when you consider that all that is needed to participate is “a lamp and an angry face.”

On this morning’s TODAY show, weatherman Al Roker did his own, accidental version of photobombing. Something more akin to “video scowling.” As he subsequently explained, he had no idea at the time that the spot he chose behind investigative reporter Jeff Rossen positioned him perfectly next to a lampshade.

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Joanna Coles, Wendy Williams and the Inside Story on the New JFK Book

LunchAtMichaelsForget about having to dig out a coat for the first time this season to ward off this morning’s chilly temps, the real sign of fall here is that the power lunch scene is back in full swing at Michael’s. Today the dining room was full of famous faces (Al Roker and wife Deborah Roberts at separate tables, Wendy Williams, Star Jones); entertainment bigwigs (Tad Smith, Nick Verbitsky); social swans (Margo Nederlander and pals); and more spinmeisters than there are Kardashian tabloid covers on any given week. You get the picture.

Fall also means the launch of a plethora of “important” titles and made-for-gift-giving books. I was joined today by Steve Koepp, editorial director of Time Home Entertainment, the book publishing division of Time Inc., who gave me the inside story on the company’s impressive and incredibly diverse fall list. He came toting three books to illustrate the point: the just-published Zoom: Surprising Ways to Supercharge Your Career by Daniel Roberts, born out of Fortune‘s compulsively readable “40 Under 40″ annual list and featuring original interviews from headline-making top execs, including Marissa Mayer and Under Armour founder Kevin Plank; LIFE‘s bookazine The Wizard of Oz: 75 Years Along the Yellow Brick Road; and JFK: His Enduring Legacy (published by Time as both a book and bookazine).

Steven Koepp and Diane Clehane

Steven Koepp and Diane Clehane

Between bites of Cobb salad, Steve told me the book business is, in fact, thriving over at Time Inc. thanks to the company’s multi-pronged approach to reaching all different readers with books that often connect them back to those people and eras that “resonate” and seem to grow more iconic over time. This is certainly true with The Day Kennedy Died from Life, which Steve described to me as “magisterial.” Certainly sounds like it. Due out Oct. 15, ahead of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the book is full of fascinating reporting, artifacts and images from Nov. 22, 1963. In fact, there is so much material that has been thoughtfully assembled that the book comes with a magnetic closure to hold a full-size exact replica of the issue of Life published immediately after Kennedy’s assassination as well as a gatefold with the entire Zapruder film — all 486 frames — published for the first time. Reporting includes the “centerpiece” of the book: a narrative by Dick Stolley, then the magazine’s Los Angeles bureau chief who flew into Dallas after the shooting and recounts his experience covering the event that made the world stand still. Read more

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