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Posts Tagged ‘Tara Lipinski’

Thanks to Billy Bush, Olympic Announcers Gliding from Russian Rink to Red Carpet

JohnnyWeirTaraLipinskyThe massive media attention paid during the Sochi Winter Olympics to Bob Costas‘ eye problems and replacement-duty by Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira obscured another worthy performance: Billy Bush. The Access Hollywood host was sensationally smooth and entertaining throughout and now, for his Oscar weekend duties, is bringing a piece of the Olympics with him.

Per a report by LA Times film reporter Amy Kaufman, it is thanks to Bush that the post-Oscar episodes of the entertainment news magazine will have a very unlikely additional fashion critic duoJohnny Weir and Tara Lipinski:

Bush was the one who suggested the skating experts move their act from the ice rink to the red carpet. While conducting an interview with Weir in Russia, he suddenly had a stroke of inspiration, said Rob Silverstein, the entertainment show’s executive producer.

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Dick Button Talks Sochi Security, Today’s ‘Pip Squeak’ Jumps and Nonsensical Scoring

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Diane Clehane and Dick Button

With all of the Northeast in the deep freeze and the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics just hours away, it seemed more than fitting that this week’s “Lunch” date was with Dick Button. (Since the umpteenth snowstorm of the season kept us away from Michael’s yesterday, we decided to meet today for a special Thursday edition of this column.) The two-time Olympic gold medalist and legendary broadcaster has written a new book, Push Dick’s Button, which he adamantly says, “is not a biography or a memoir or about the history of skating” but rather “a conversation” because, he explained, “I’ve got plenty to say about a lot of things.” I’ll say. Dick told me the self-published tome’s title comes from the name of the popular segments he did on various networks while covering skating competitions in 2006 and 2007, inviting viewers to send in questions that he answered on air. “NBC once told me that all that material used on-air was their property. I was told you can’t copyright a title so if they sue me, it’s more publicity for the book!”

We were joined by public relations maven extraordinaire Judy Twersky and Pat Eisemann, director of publicity at Henry Holt and Company, who are both good pals of Dick’s. It was Pat who signed Dick to write what was supposed to be a memoir back in the late nineties when she acquired the manuscript while at Scribner. Since then, she told me, she’s helped him shape his story and advise him on self publication. Why the long delay? Dick told me a serious brain injury (from which he’s fully recovered) which resulted from a bad fall while skating (just for fun) made him shelve the project because, as he said with characteristic candor, “I just couldn’t hack it at the time. Writing a book is hard work.”

Not that Dick has ever rested on his laurels. After an extraordinary and much lauded tenure as one of America’s best figure skaters, Dick began his decades-long career in broadcasting in 1960 as a commentator for CBS covering the Winter Olympics. He moved to ABC in 1962 and in short order became figure skating’s most colorful analyst best known for his sometimes-irascible and often-irrepressible appraisal of skaters’ performances. His last Olympics as an on-air commentator was in 2010 at the Winter Games in Vancouver. “I’ve said I’m glad I’m not going to Russia, but I lied,” Dick told me between bites of roast chicken. “I’d love to be there.”

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