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Posts Tagged ‘Tammy Haddad’

Barbara Walters, Harold Ford, Jr. and Bravo’s Chris March

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We could barely keep up with the steady stream of A-listers who poured into Michael’s today. When we arrived a little before noon, there was a handful of power brokers quietly hunkering down to business over their Cobb salads in the back of the room. By the time Bravo’s latest star, designer Chris March arrived with Jennifer Geisser, the network’s senior vice president of communications, and publicist Alana McElroy, there was a palpable party vibe in the dining room.  Late arrival Harold Ford, Jr. worked the room like nobody’s business while social swans Muffie Potter Aston and Suzanne Johnson doled out air kisses like they were candy.

While it was a little hard to hear over the chattering crowd, I thoroughly enjoyed dishing with Chris, whose new show, Mad Fashion, premiered Tuesday night on Bravo. Chris, you might recall was a finalist on Project Runway. (Christian Siriano was the winner that season). His quirky couture and good natured personality ( gotta love that laugh!) made him a fan favorite. Chris tells me when Bravo’s resident boy wonder, Andy Cohen, got wind he was shopping a show around, he got in touch with Chris and insisted Bravo see it first. The deal was done in a matter of days.

Unlike most of those ubiquitous Bravolebrities, Chris isn’t into the fame game. “I didn’t do either show to get famous,” he tells me. “I did it to get to do the type of work I wanted to do.” Things have worked out pretty well on that score. On the Wednesday before the I Heart Radio concert in Las Vegas, Chris got a call from Lady Gaga’s office requesting he make something fabulous for her appearance at the show. In less than a week, he delivered the studded motorcycle cape she wore on stage. “That wouldn’t have happened without being on television.” Maybe, but the guy has definitely got it.  This is the same man who made Meryl Streep‘s last Oscar dress at his kitchen table. His secret weapon: a drama-free attitude when dealing with people who live and die for style.

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Cathie Black Resurfaces, Jann Wenner at Table One, and Dish from The Millionaire Matchmaker

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Despite the worst case of Gotham gridlock in months (Thanks, Mr. President), there were plenty of media heavy hitters (Jann Wenner, John Huey),  high-profile editors (Martha Nelson, Kate White) and a spin sister (Peggy Siegal) at Michael’s today. While the power lunch set was chewing over their next big deal between bites, I had a dishy lunch with Bravo’s Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger and my good friend, the network’s SVP of communications, Jennifer Geisser. If you’ve seen any part of Matchmaker, you know that Patti tells it like she sees it no matter what. “I’m a truth-teller; that’s it,” she told me after sharing some particularly searing commentary on some boldface names we all know. Sorry, but it’s off the record.

Fortunately, Patti did let loose over lunch and share her thoughts on her ‘overnight success’ — “Total bullshit. I worked my ass off for years,” she said. It certainly sounds that way. Before starting Millionaire’s Club International in 2000, she toiled in a number of positions ranging from garment center executive to astrologer before finally landing at Great Expectations, the country’s largest matchmaking service, running their Florida division and then as their director of marketing. Quickly realizing she had a knack for finding dates for just about everyone she met, she started her own firm and, she tells me, grossed $1 million the first year.

In 2001, she had a fateful meeting with Telepictures and pitched an idea for a reality show where one man would find love by ‘dating’ a group of women. Sounds familiar? Thanks to an inept agent at ICM (“He was terrible,” says Patti),  The Bachelor premiered without Patti’s involvement and went on to become TV ratings gold. Undeterred, Patti “cried for a night,” got a new agent and moved on. After a few other stops and starts involving, among others, Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest, Patti found a television home with Bravo in 2008 with The Millionaire Matchmaker and is currently in her fifth season of the show. Her dating pet peeves? Rude guys:  ”I want to teach young men some manners. They’ve got to learn to be gentlemen.” Scantily clad girls: “I always tell them ‘leave the Fredrick’s at home.’” And mothers who think their sons walk on water: “Jewish and Italian mothers are the worst. They think their sons are messiahs and expect everyone to treat them like one. It makes dating them impossible.”

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Morning Media Menu With BBC’s Rome Hartman

mornmm.gifThose of you who attended the TVNewser Summit last month will probably recall the lively panel discussion between Rome Hartman and Tammy Haddad, much of which revolved around the benefits of Twitter (Haddad) and the not benefits (Hartman). Hartman joined us on the podcast today to revisit the issue of Twitter (he’s still not a user), as well as discuss what BBC World News America, where he is EP, brings to the table (hint: it’s not Pamela Anderson’s breasts), and the recent trend in cable news toward emo-anchors.hartman_4-14b.jpg

Anchors are human beings, and if something is real and emotion is real, and frankly the events or news that produces that emotion are real, it’s hugely powerful, and it’s appropriate…Where I have a problem with it is when it’s manufactured more to draw an audience or as part of a business plan…I aspire to never have anyone cry on our program ever again. If it happens and it’s real, fine.”

Rome also makes me feel better about my disastrous NCAA bracket run. You can listen to all the past podcasts at BlogTalkRadio.com/mediabistro and call in at 646-929-0321.

Video from Today’s Summit Panel ‘New Tools of the Trade’

Everything’s better when Tammy Haddad is involved, but the BBC’s Rome Hartman very much held his own in today’s opening panel about the “New Tools of the Trade’ — namely Twitter. Hartman is not a fan of Twitter. Haddad is not a fan of Twitter not making money. Also weighing in were online luminaries Rick Klein, Rachel Sterne, Jim Long, and Michael Meyers. At the end of the session, Haddad presented Hartman with a parting gift (above).

Morning Media Menu With Tammy Haddad: ‘Do You Want to be Number One?’

mornmm.gifToday on the Menu we welcome the always lovely and delightful Tammy Haddad. Haddad has had a long career in the broadcast world saw her produce for MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, NBC and CBS. Now, as president and founder of Haddad Media and, needless to say, a force in new media. She’ll also be moderating a panel at the TVNewser Summit next week on “New Tools of the Trade.”

Haddad had plenty to say about the importance of old media embracing the new. “The way people consume news…they just want it when they want it and shouldn’t we give it to them…We want to ride the wave [of new media] we don’t want the wave riding us.”

In terms of Facebook, Twitter, and the like, Haddad thinks there’s no question that everyone in media should be using the platforms to their utmost advantage.

haddadzk.jpg“People now come together through tribes. It used to be who you grew up with, where you went to school, your family, your college, your political party…those are not the basic ways younger people are defining themselves. They are on Facebook, they are on MySpace, they come to you through a different kind of grouping. And that’s why we in media have to figure out how to make money from the new kinds of tribal programming.”

“The use of interactivity has been part of media for a long time but the thing you have to do is incorporate it into how you deliver news and what your priorities are in news…It’s naive for anyone to think they could look at social networking and say ‘I’m not going to be part of it’ if you want to win. And I think that’s the question: do you want to be number one?”

Haddad also talks about how “the Robert Gibbs show is the greatest show on earth” and why she was at the head of the line to have her picture taken with Mark Zuckerberg at this year’s Davos. You can listen to the past podcasts at BlogTalkRadio.com/mediabistro and call in at 646-929-0321.

American Lion: Jon Meacham’s Book Party and a Whole Lot of Presidential Trivia

meachbk.jpgLast night’s book party celebrating the publication of Newsweek head Jon Meacham‘s new book about Andrew Jackson, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, certainly attracted some big names (and presidential trivia buffs it turns out). Spotted by FBNY in the crowd of revelers at Newsweek‘s offices overlooking Columbus Circle (which was more or less shut down last night by Prop 8 protesters) were Brian Williams, Tom Wolfe, Liz Smith, Maria Bartiromo, Tammy Haddad, Jon Meacham (obviously), Jonathan Alter, Rachel Sklar, Richard Cohen, and a whole slew of other important looking people we couldn’t quite place. Not surprisingly much of the talk revolved around the recent election, which led us to wonder a) why a book about Jackson now? And b) who was everyone else’s favorite president. First of all, it turns out that Jackson is not Meacham’s favorite president, FDR is. Meacham told us he chose to focus on Jackson because of the early 19th century presidents Jackson is most similar to our modern day ones in both his strengths and his flaws. One of Meacham’s researchers, Louisa Thomas (also a Vogue and Newsweek contributor), told us she thought the interest stemmed from the fact that both Meacham and Jackson hailed from Tennessee. (Truth be told when we were kids Jackson was our favorite president because he was the best-looking one on the money, which Tammy Haddad thought was hysterical. This affinity lasted right up until we read about the Indian removal).

tammymaria.jpgBrian Williams told us his favorite president was also FDR but that Lyndon Johnson held a special place in his heart (apparently BriWi has listened to more than 600 hours of Johnson phone conversations). Other tidbits you may not be aware of: according to BriWi Johnson was actually the one who had the phone wires installed in the White House (thereby contributing in his own way to Nixon’s demise), apparently there is a photo somewhere of Nixon and Johnson crawling around the residence as Johnson explains how it all works. Also? Woodrow Wilson is the most overrated and Americans love to forgive their presidents (i.e. Truman) so perhaps Bush still has a shot at the history books. There’s more! Tom Wolfe responded to our question by apologizing for having such an obvious pick.

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MPA Digital Conference: LOLCats Ease Pain of Pushing Mag Content Online

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LOLCats take the MPA by storm

Much like Magazine Publishers of America’s Magabrand confab in Florida last October, the morning program at today’s MPA Digital Conference was heavy on the “you should be doing this already, you entrenched print industry.” Only this time, it was social networking and user-generated content freaking out the magazine folk: You’ve got to be making widgets to disseminate your content on all the social networking sites — Facebook, MySpace and infinite others. You should be shooting Web video everywhere your outlet goes, making producers of your reporters, editors, and other content pros whose under-the-radar days are numbered. You ought to let actual programming professionals, rather than your big mag brand’s inferior IT team build your apps quicker, for a cut of what little money widgets’ll make you, all so you can fan content out further than ever — and, by the way, for free. What does it take to ease the pain of all this about-face from older models of producing and publishing magazine matter? Why, LOLCats, of course!

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Torch-Passing, TVNewser Style

stelter_times_061207.jpgFor a couple hours, the back room at Michael’s was transformed into a television news executive bender, a happy hour in honor of our outgoing TVNewser, Brian Stelter [right], and incoming TVNewser, er, ‘Newsers: Chris Ariens, Diane Clehane, Alissa Kinsky and Philadelphia Inquirer TV columnist and Katie Couric nemesis Gail Shister.

Some of those who showed to fete Stelter and co.: Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, NBC News president Steve Capus, Joe Scarborough, MSNBC anchors Contessa Brewer (ED NOTE: Brewer has yet to visit Dan Abrams‘ party house in the Hamptons) and Amy Robach, Rita Cosby, Gil “Stanley Bing” Schwartz, CBS’ Jeff Greenfield, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and business correspondent Ali Velshi, MSNBC producer Tammy Haddad, NY1′s Pat Kiernan, former CBS honcho Andrew Heyward, BusinessWeek columnist (and husband to our multimillionaire boss) Jon Fine, Jeff Jarvis, CNN anchor John Roberts, Page Six‘s Corynne Steindler, well-rested Observer columnist Michael Calderone, CNBC senior VP Jonathan Wald, Inside Edition‘s Sarah Rubenstein, Radar‘s Jeff Bercovici, HuffPo’s Rachel Sklar (whose date for the evening was 19-year-old CBS News intern Eric Kuhn), Broadcasting & Cable‘s Max Robins and Caroline Palmer (who, Robins says, is leaving B&C to become Vogue‘s Web editor), CNBC VP Josh Howard, Good Day New York host Ron Corning, Freud Communications’ Lisa Dallos, Marketwatch’s Jon Friedman and the omnipresent Julia Allison, who said she had been up since 5:00AM talking about Lindsay Lohan. Her take: “She should just kill herself already, before she kills someone else.”

Notable no-shows: Abrams, Katie, Charlie, Greta Van Susteren, Jon Stewart and Stelter supporter and former CNNer Aaron Brown.

EARLIER:

  • Original TVNewser Bids Us Adieu
  • Chris Matthews Curses Again

    Another “sh*t” show on tap?

    Earlier this week, Chris Matthews, in an apparent tirade against a segment (“We’re putting on shit”) focused on NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg‘s move away from the Democratic party, got caught cursing on air. Oops. Matthews claims he “uses newsroom language too much.” He’s done this before — at least three times over the past year.

    Over at Big Head DC, they’re claiming that Matthews wants executive producer Tammy Haddad fired. Haddad, remember, just won a Gracie Award.

    So what does MSNBC have planned for today’s Hardball? Why, it’s another discussion of Bloomberg’s conversion, this time with fellow independent Ralph Nader:

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