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Posts Tagged ‘Al Roker’

So What Do You Do, Arienne Thompson, Entertainment Reporter at USA Today?

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Arienne Thompson‘s head is filled with golden pop-culture nuggets. But unlike most people who live and breathe all things celebrity, from Kimye’s fashion choices to Taylor Swift‘s relationship status, it’s her job to obsess over the minute details of celebrities’ lives. And there’s nothing she’d rather be doing. As an entertainment reporter at USA Today, Thompson knows who’s dating who, who wore what where and who’s got beef on everyone from Justin Beiber to Blake Lively to Beyoncé, so she can give pop-culture fiends their daily fix.

She spills the tea in the pages of the nation’s No. 1 newspaper in daily circulation, in USA Today‘s DailyDish vlog, and in the pages of USA Weekend, the paper’s weekend magazine. Sound cool? It is. But don’t get it twisted. Entertainment reporting is not for the faint of heart. You have to go hard. “You cannot be scared or shy or a wallflower. You can’t be psychotic — well, sometimes you have to be a little psychotic — but you have to be so aggressive,” Thompson explains.

Here, she serves up the scoop on how she went from being an extra in an America’s Most Wanted reenactment to being a sought-after pop-culture expert. 

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Morning Media Newsfeed: CBSN Launches Glitch-Free | Aereo to Downsize, Cut Staff

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CBS Launches Digital News Network CBSN (LostRemote)
After announcing a subscription-based streaming service, CBS launched an all-digital streaming news network, CBSN, on Thursday. So now you can watch live, anchored news whenever you want, for free. TVNewser It didn’t look like launch day at CBSN, and that’s a big achievement. Freed from the burden of launch day hoopla and high expectations, CBS News turned on its brand new live streaming news channel, and did so without a hitch. Capital New York The company is stressing that the move is not meant as a way into the 24-hour cable-news channel fray. “We are not endeavoring to start a cable news channel online,” CBS News president David Rhodes said. “We are trying to create something that is native for connected devices.” Those devices include laptops and PCs, smartphones and tablets, and, yes, Internet-connected TVs. The target audience: younger viewers, some of whom may not subscribe to a pay-TV service. THR The network — available on CBSNews.com, the CBS News app and connected TV devices such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku — will feature 15 hours of live, anchored coverage from 9 a.m. ET to midnight ET every weekday. The segments will be split into 60-minute blocks of live, updated news. CBS News special reports will be simulcast on CBSN during breaking news and content will also be fed in from CBS affiliate stations, CNET, CBSSports.com and Entertainment Tonight. New York Post The owner of CBS broadcast network, radio stations and Showtime missed the cable boom of the past decades but appears to be diving headfirst into a mobile future. Last month it joined with its affiliate partners to launch CBS All Access, a standalone digital platform for current and archived content.

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Special ‘Evening’ Edition: The Media Mob Turns Out for Michael’s 25th Anniversary

LunchAtMichaelsWe’re serving up an extra helping of Lunch this week to bring you the rundown on Michael’s 25th anniversary party at 55th and Fifth last night. At one point, it felt as though all 600 invited guests were there at one time. A few minutes after six o’clock, the steady stream of A-listers had already bottlenecked at the front door, filled the dining room and had migrated to the Garden Room, causing one regular to quip, “Oh so this is what it looks like back here!” Here’s a collection of news and notes we collected as we ricocheted from one cluster of fabulous folks to the next…

Hilary and Bryant Gumbel

Hilary and Bryant Gumbel

I arrived right behind Jann Wenner and his perpetually scruffy son, Gus Wenner, who dutifully waited on the check in line. “Name please?” requested the clipboard-wielding young gal at the door. “Wenner, the two of us,” said Jann, who put an arm around his son and ushered him inside. Right behind him came Bryant Gumbel and his wife, Hilary Gumbel. I’d last seen Hilary at a Michael’s lunch for Cosmo editor-in-chief Kate White a while back when we feted Kate on the occasion of her latest book. “Hilary’s got a book now,” Bryant told me. The book, Unichef, is a collection of international recipes from chefs around the world with proceeds from book sales benefiting UNICEF. Hilary has been a consultant for the U.S. fund of UNICEF for years.

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Critics Sip on ‘Shark-Tinis’ at Sharknado 2 Premiere

Monday night’s screening at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Los Angeles was, appropriately enough, poolside at the Beverly Hilton. Among those in attendance: Chuck Barney, critic for the Contra Costa Times and other Bay Area newspapers.

From his write-up, ahead of The Second One‘s broadcast debut on SyFy Wednesday July 30:

While the sequel features just slightly better production values, it is louder and splashier. In short, there’s more bite for the buck – and more chain saws.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: CBS News Taps Capus | MSNBC Apologizes | Disney’s Earnings Soar

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Steve Capus Named Executive Producer of CBS Evening News (TVNewser)
Former NBC News president Steve Capus is joining CBS News as the executive producer of CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley and executive editor of the news division. He will begin in his new role in July. Capital New York Capus is no stranger to the evening news beat. He served four years as executive producer of the NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams before taking over NBC’s news division in 2005. Capus is currently an “executive in residence” at IESE Business School at the University of Navarra, a role he will continue in after he joins CBS. HuffPost / AP Capus left NBC in 2013 after eight years as president of the news division, part of a turnover triggered by troubles at the Today show. He was Tom Brokaw’s last executive producer at NBC’s Nightly News and is close to Williams, whom he will now compete with each night. Capus will also have broader responsibilities as executive editor of CBS News, behind chairman Jeff Fager and president David Rhodes. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media His appointment has raised internal speculation that he’s in line to succeed Rhodes, perhaps as early as next year. Several CBS News sources believe that Les Moonves, the chairman and CEO of CBS Corp., tapped Capus in order to position him for that role. THR Rhodes and Capus have been in discussions for several months with more specific talks about the Evening News role evolving over the last few weeks. The broadcast has been on a rating uptick since Pelley took over; notching a gain of 6 percent so far this season among total viewers. But it is still stuck in third behind Nightly News and ABC World News With Diane Sawyer.

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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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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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