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Posts Tagged ‘Ben Silverman’

Meet the Cast of K-Town

Here’s a reminder of just how embedded Twitter has become in the whole reality TV media mash.

We’re still two months away from the debut of K-Town, a YouTube reality show centered around some colorful denizens of LA’s Koreatown district. But already, in a press release dispatched in support of an announcement made today at New York’s Internet Week, there are the Twitter handles of all the show’s main participants. They include:

@JASMINECHANG089: A hairstylist who was born and raised in Koreatown. Whether it’s her platinum blond locks or her loud infectious laugh, Jasmine is the undeniable center of attention wherever she goes.

@Scarlet_Chan (pictured): A former exotic dancer who is sexually liberated and not afraid to express it. Scarlet is a self-admitted troublemaker who is introduced to the Koreatown scene by her close friend, Jasmine.

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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.

Former NBC Entertainment Boss Ben Silverman On ‘Fashion Star,’ His ‘killer New York show’

Former NBC entertainment President Ben Silverman is partnering once again with his old network, producing the upcoming reality series “Fashion Star” through his production company, Electus.

The program features wannabe fashion designers facing weekly style challenges. While it may sound like a familiar concept, the program aims to be broader, and has Saks Fifth Avenue, H&M and Macy’s on board to judge–and eventually sell–the wining styles.

FishbowlNY sat down with Silverman at the NATPE conference in Miami, where he argued that the series is the quintessential New York TV program:

“There are elements of the gossip pages here, the business section and the style section, all in one concept, which I think makes it a killer New York show,” Silverman said. “When you think of walking down fifth avenue on your way to 44th st, you are walking past the Saks flagship, the H&M flagship and into biggest department store in the world, Macy’s, and that is so impactful I think around this content. obviously New York is a media and fashion town, and I think it will be a show that really resonates.”

The program will be hosted by Elle MacPherson, with mentors including Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos.

“One of the things that is getting lost in this incredibly interesting business model dynamic about the show is how fun it is to watch Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie, Elle MacPherson and John [Varvatos] go at it, and tease each other and have rooting interesting these contestants and have emotional breakdowns, and unbelievable moments of wit and comedy,” Silverman said.

As for working with his old network?

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DumbDumb Duo Scoring with Smart Viral Ads

For all those brands suffering from “arrested ad development,” actors Will Arnett and Jason Bateman (pictured) are ready to help. The DumbDumb.com duo recently received a “Startup of the Year Award” from Forbes magazine and are now getting the AdWeek cover story treatment courtesy of reporter John Ortved.

One of the benefits of interviewing comedians for a story is that it can lead to some memorable quotes. A few paragraphs down page one, Arnett offers this take on why digital ads are aiming for the funny bone: “Unless you’re making the ASPCA commercial with the sad puppies and the Sarah McLachlan music, it’s very difficult to get people to consume through dramatic advertising.” DumbDumb clients include Wrigley’s, Old Navy, Blackberry, and Denny’s:

YouGov’s BrandIndex reported that Denny’s had an impression-score spike from 6.2 to 25.4 in that demo after DumbDumb’s “Always Open” Web series for the chain began in March. (Overseen by Denny’s agency, Gotham, it features comedian David Koechner interviewing funny types, like Sarah Silverman, at a Denny’s in Hollywood.)

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Getting the Skinny on Forbes‘ Blog Plans

Last night, FishbowlLA attended a swanky bash at Drai’s in Hollywood thrown by Forbes magazine. In honor of the newest Celebrity 100 list and cover story “The New Celebrity Money Makers,” the publication handed out fancy crystal trophies to several members of Tinseltown’s entrepreneurial elite: Bethenny Frankel, Gene Simmons, Khloe Kardashian and DumbDumb.com, the Internet content project of actors Will Arnett and Jason Bateman. (Ben Silverman accepted on behalf of the absent DumbDumb duo.)

One of the first people we ran into was Lewis D’Vorkin, Forbes‘ Chief Product Officer and formerly of Tru/Slant. He told us that Forbes.com currently has an astonishing 700 bloggers and that the plan is to up that total to 900 by the end of the year.

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Mogul Mania with Jack Welch & David Geffen

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— DIANE CLEHANE

It was SRO at Michael’s today with moguls Jack Welch and David Geffen holding court at their respective tables while the celebrity du jour, none other than George Hamilton, caused more than his fair share of double takes. We overheard one fan gush, “I loved you on Dancing With the Stars!” (So did we, but we’re too cool to say so.) Meanwhile, the rest of the crowd was so busy air kissing and table hopping between bites it’s a miracle anyone actually got to eat anything. We’re glad we did, because the new fall menu is fabulous!

I was joined today by Debbie Phillips, life coach and founder of Women On Fire, and Sophfronia Scott, author and founder of The Done For You Writing & Publishing Company. Debbie is busier than ever with her Women on Fire tea parties that have been helping women from all walks of life ignite their true passions since 2004. She’s hosting one at Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon in Gramercy Park on Friday, and there are others scheduled for Columbus, Ohio, Boston, Santa Fe and Naples this fall. Debbie is on track to reaching her important goal of “connecting 50,000 women to each other” through Women on Fire this year. You go, girl!

Sophfronia, who I first met when we worked at People together another life ago, got to know Debbie after she attended one of her tea parties. She is really on a roll. This mom of an adorable six year-old boy has been regularly cranking out books since she published her first novel All I Need to Get By in 2004. She recently published How The Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times (Two Harbors) in which she compiles words of wisdom from high rollers, including Donald Trump and Jack Canfield. Just how does she juggle it all? “I can write for about four hours at a time; then I have to get up and do something else,” Sophfronia tells me. See, it’s just that simple.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. The “Imber Gang”: Dr. Gerald Imber, Jerry Della Femina, Jeff Greenfield, Andy Bergman and Michael Kramer

2. Peter Brown and Grace Hightower (That’s Mrs. Robert De Niro to you.)

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong

4. Alan Grubman, David Geffen and Bob Daley

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Daily Show Slams Obama| Breitbart Attacks Gawker’s Deal With Business Insider | Ben Silverman Heads Up DumbDumb | Snooki Applies For New Jo

The Daily Show: Who said Jon Stewart took it easy on this administration? Last night he slammed Obama for breaking his promise of an “open government.” On C-Span.

MediaIte: Andrew Breitbart just launched his Big Journalism website yesterday, which is not at all why he’s suddenly prickly over Business Insider‘s very public content sharing deal with Gawker.

TVNewser: Rachel Maddow gives readers a glimpse of what her show would look like in 3-D.

Variety: Ben Silverman, NBC‘s former wunderkind, has teamed up with former “Arrested Development” stars Jason Batemen and Will Arnett to develop a digital production company called DumbDumb. We eagerly await the Web series!

FishbowlDC: Everyone’s favorite “Jersey Shore” character, Snooki, is auditioning for a job as the local weather girl.

All Things D: Google’s Eric Schmidt is having dinner with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tonight. Maybe to hash out a way for French President Nicolas Sarkozy not to tax citizens for using the search engine to buy products?

Will Leno Return To 11:30?

Rumors swirled yesterday that NBC was considering moving Jay Leno from his convention-breaking primetime 10 p.m. slot back to his old home at 11:30 — effectively pushing current late-night host Conan O’Brien out.

In response to the rumors, which ranged from Leno’s 10 p.m. show being suspended or canceled to O’Brien getting the boot altogether, NBC issued statements in support of both hosts, but refused to deny the rumors. But as the night wore on, The New York TimesBill Carter had the scoop: discussions are in the works to shuffle NBC’s late-night line up while the network tries to hold on to all its current hosts:

“The network has a plan in the works to restore Jay Leno to his old spot at 11:35 each weeknight for a half-hour, while pushing the man who replaced him, Conan O’Brien, to a starting time of 12:05 a.m. Mr. O’Brien would then have a full hour.”

The change, which would take place after NBC’s Olympic coverage wraps up in February, comes in response to complaints from NBC’s local affiliates, who have seen local news ratings dip following Leno’s primetime debut in September, Carter added.

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Lunch: TV Titans, Ivana Trump, & Devo!

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— DIANE CLEHANE

You never know who you’re going to meet on any given Wednesday at Michael’s. I’ve chatted with former presidents, Oscar winners, and tabloid targets who have made the usually unflappable crowd turn and stare, but it’s those unexpected, below the radar moments that are often the most fun. When GM Steve Millington introduced me to Jerry Casale of Devo, one of my favorite ’80s bands, I was delighted. Just last week, I’d just seen Pearl Jam’s cover of the group’s famous anthem, “Whip It,” on YouTube where they wore copies of those infamous yellow jumpsuits and red flowerpot hats. I asked Jerry if he’d known about the act in advance. “No, and I wished they’d told me,” he joked. “I would have been able to tell them about the hard hat holders we wore to keep our hats in place. They had to settle for those silly elastic straps under their chins.” Still, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, says Jerry. “I’ve gotten so many calls since it wound up in Rolling Stone and gone viral. It’s a lot of fun.”

Larry Kramer joined me for lunch today and was excited to tell me all about his upcoming book, Talespin, which was bought by HarperCollins earlier this fall (Freddie Friedman agented the deal). In it, Larry tackles the idea of how all businesses are grappling with “the recreation of storytelling” from publishing to retailing. The game has changed, says Larry, especially in media. He takes “the media guys” to task for “protecting the business model instead of the business.” Besides getting top executives from here and abroad to weigh in (in his reporting Larry discovered Europe was way ahead of the curve in adapting to a changing multi-platform world) — the book is a sum total of Larry’s experience in “the old and new worlds of media.” In addition to his two decades as a reporter and editor for top papers including The Washington Postand the San Francisco Examiner, Larry founded MarketWatch in 1997 and has helmed CBS Digital Media. These days, he’s consulting for a cross section of media ventures including Discovery Networks and The Weather Channel. In January, Larry will begin teaching a graduate level course at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School where some of the lectures will be Skyped in and students will be “embedded” into companies to study their strategies first hand.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Cosmo editrix Kate White with a table full of gals we didn’t get to meet.

2. Peter Brown

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong, uber agent Ed Victor and Don Epstein of Greater Talent Network.

4. Author Ed Klein and Owen Laster

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Zucker To Lead Comcast-NBCU Venture

zucker2.jpg If Comcast ends up with a controlling interest in General Electric-owned NBC Universal, it looks like NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker will be staying on to lead the new venture.

Reuters reports, citing unnamed sources:

“Under the terms being discussed, Zucker will lead the new entity, with no clauses for him to leave after a specific period, the sources said on Tuesday…There has been a lot of speculation about who would head the new company, especially since Peter Chernin — the former president of News Corp. — has been advising Comcast.

The sources said Zucker would be chief executive, but no decisions had been made on what role Chernin might play, if any. Discussions about what the new board would look like are ongoing, the sources said.”

Comcast has been in talks to purchase a controlling interest in NBCU for a number of weeks, and a deal is expected to be announced soon. By keeping Zucker on, it looks like Comcast is putting its faith in him. But can NBC’s recent ratings challenges all be chalked up to the the recently departed Ben Silverman?

Zucker to head new NBCU-Comcast venture — sources –Reuters

Earlier: Comcast Purchase of NBCU Stake A Done Deal?

(Photo via)

Media Moguls Make Their Mark On Fortune‘s “40 Under 40″ List

jmurdoch.jpgFortune magazine has revealed its “40 Under 40″ list — a compilation of the youngest and the brightest minds in the business world. And we were pleased to see a number of media executives making the cut and ranking near the top. Our industry could use all the young blood and new ideas it can get right now.

Topping the list are Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page — tied for first. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is number two.

And coming in at number three is the first media mogul, News Corp. heir James Murdoch (above). Rupert Murdoch’s youngest son, James currently serves as chairman and CEO for News Corp.’s operations in Europe and Asia. Fun fact: he raised his desk so he can work standing up. So the key to rising to the top of an international media conglomerate by age 36 is never sitting down. We bet being the son of a media czar helps, too.

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