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Posts Tagged ‘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

Mediabistro Course

Get a Literary Agent

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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?

The Fader‘s Andy Cohn: ‘Great content first, figure out where it goes second’

With a bimonthly print publication, podcasts and a robust website and online store, The Fader has succeeded as a brand by allowing each of its outlets to have its own style, says Andy Cohn, president and publisher of Fader Media.

“We saw a lot of other music publications trying to become websites and just becoming very busy and very formulaic,” Cohn told Mediabistro for its latest So What Do You Do? interview. “For us, we let our website be the website and let the magazine play to its own strengths, both from a visual — design, photography — and medium- to longer-form journalism standpoint. The approach that we’ve always taken is great content first, and then figure out how and where it goes second. And we’ve always been willing to let our readership play a role in that, because we’re not going to ever be married to one medium.”

For more, read So What Do You Do, Andy Cohn, President and Publisher of The Fader?

Nicholas Braun

Vibe’s Jermaine Hall on What It Really Takes to Be EIC

In the same year that music mags Blender and Giant folded, Vibe shuttered, as well. But, luckily for the iconic mag, it was snapped up by a private equity firm, and editor-in-chief Jermaine Hall was brought on to resurrect the pub. And resurrect it, he did.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Hall explains how the mag is winning again and gives advice to aspiring EICs.

“A lot of things that come with being editor-in-chief aren’t necessarily drilled down into the day-to-day tasks,” he said. “It’s a lot of schmoozing; it’s a lot of fixing relationships; it’s a lot of bartering; it’s a lot of people skills, I would say. It’s really going out there to be the ambassador of the brand on all levels.”

For more, read So What Do You Do, Jermaine Hall, Editor-in-Chief of Vibe?

NYT Veteran Gives Tips for Journos Who Want to Write a Book

It’s a pretty big accomplishment for a first-time author to land on the New York Times bestsellers list, but Isabel Wilkerson definitely deserves it. The Pulitzer-prize winning journalist spent 15 years researching and conducted over 1,200 interviews for The Warmth of Other Suns, an account of the men and women who lived through the Great Migration, when 6 million African-Americans moved to the North.

In the latest Mediabistro feature, she talks about her writing process and gives tips to fellow journos who want to write a book. Below, an excerpt:

You interviewed more than 1,200 individuals. What skills do you possess that made people feel comfortable sharing their stories and information?

I always go into interviews with a great sense of gratitude for the courage it takes to share one’s story, particularly one so painful and heartbreaking, things that they had deep within themselves and had just gotten to the point of being able to share. So I think being an empathic listener, someone who was truly wanting to understand what they had endured — those are things I think they could pick up and sense in me. I also think they felt I had a sense of connection with them.

For more, read Hey, How’d You Write a New York Times Nonfiction Bestseller, Isabel Wilkerson? [Mediabistro AvantGuild subscription required]

O‘s Adam Glassman: ‘Even Oprah thought I was nuts in the beginning’

If only he had enough hours in a day. That’s the most challenging part of Adam Glassman‘s gig as creative director of O: The Oprah Magazine, a post where he’s constantly navigating the worlds of graphic design, fashion and media. In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do? series, Glassman recalls his groundbreaking decision to use real women over fashion models.

“I don’t want to say that we don’t ever use models because there are times that we do, but as we speak to these three generations of women, how can you do that?” he said. “You need something that is going to appeal to everyone. So I started using women of all ages, and not just all ages, but really all shapes. And I thought that was really key. Even Oprah thought I was nuts in the beginning. She was like, ‘You really want to do fashion on real people?’ And I said, ‘Yes, why not? You do it on the show. You show your people in makeovers; you have it in the audience. Let’s try it.’”

Read the full interview in So What Do You Do, Adam Glassman, Creative Director at O Magazine?

Pitchfork Founder to Bloggers: ‘Be willing to work for a long period of time for just the love of it’

Way back in 1995, Ryan Schreiber was a high school graduate working as a record store clerk. Finding little on the Internet about indie music, he decided to start his own Web page and launched Pitchfork. With no publishing experience, the site eventually became the online authority on indie music, and nowadays a review there can make or break a career.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do? series, Schreiber says that aspiring entrepreneurs should “be willing to put in the work for a long period of time for just the love of it.”

“Today, more so than any other time, it seems really difficult to make a living in the media, especially in the music media,” he explained. “It’s just so crowded, and at this point the publications that are really able to establish themselves are the ones that are the most passionate and the most relatable. I find that the publications I tend to connect with most are ones that are, in many cases, written by a single voice, somebody who has a really interesting viewpoint or perspective.”

Read the full interview in So What Do You Do, Ryan Schreiber, Founder and CEO of Pitchfork?

Meet the Woman Who United Over 170,000 Freelancers

When Sara Horowitz was hired as a lawyer, she was made an independent contractor and wasn’t given any benefits. Since then, she’s created Working Today, a nonprofit for uniting freelancers, Freelancers Union, an organization that promotes the needs of independent workers, and Freelancers Insurance Company, which provides health insurance. She also authored the recently released Freelancer’s Bible, a practical guide for the self-employed.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Horowitz talks about the best and worst parts of freelancing, and gives advice on networking, budgeting and getting ahead. Here’s an excerpt:

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take the dive into working for themselves?
Really pay attention to your network. By network, I mean the people you care about. So when you go to a networking event, don’t just take your card out and shove it in somebody’s face. Look to find the one or two people you like and can relate to and nurture those relationships. Your network is going to be everything. The second thing is look at your consumption and stop overspending. It’s bad for America, but you’ve also got to keep your expenses down. People become very anxiety-ridden because they try to maintain a standard of living, but when you’re starting out, you don’t know what your standard of living is going to be. So be frugal.

For more, read So What Do You Do, Sara Horowitz, Founder and Executive Director of the Freelancer’s Union?