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About MBToolBox

Written by the staff, mbToolbox addresses all things media, as interpreted by those inside the ‘bistro. With insights on everything from careers and continuing education to editorial opportunities and new media, we use our wide-ranging expertise to keep you informed of the latest and greatest in the media marketplace.

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Moving On

Just wanted to leave a note that today is my last day with MBToolBox. In my time here, I have learned a lot about what it means to be a writer, editor and professional blogger. I want to thank everyone who read the blog and who wrote in with suggestions, critique, encouragement and input (Confidential to the person who wrote me today: yes, I know the punctuation is incorrect in this post. In fact, it’s wrong in more than just the place you told me about. Apparently my brand of punctuation humor didn’t catch on during my time here). I’ll still be around online so don’t be a stranger. Good luck to everyone in 2007!
Also, I’ve learned a few practical things as a freelancer since I learned I won’t be continuing on, and I’d like to share those as my final posts here. I’m so thoughtful, always thinking of you.

So What Do You Do, Jodi Applegate?

swdyd_applegate.jpgMost people know Jodi Applegate as co-host Good Day New York, or perhaps the “that’s not cool” newscaster who was the target of a YouTube-driven practical joke earlier this year. But she’s had a starry career – rising from Phoenix, Arizona morning personality to NBC’s Later Today and Weekend Today. Applegate also holds the distinction of being at the anchor desk for MSNBC’s debut broadcast in 1996. She recently spoke with about her career.

You were the first anchor of MSNBC for its debut. How was that?
I was working in Phoenix, Arizona for a local morning show. It was like Good Day New York. They ripped off the format. We started getting popular. Then NBC was in town for the 1996 Super Bowl and they saw me and asked if I would be interested in coming to New York. So I was hired.
I went on the air on July 15, 1996. It was like “Applegate, you’re up.” I was nervous, it was the network debut. I had (former GE chairman) Jack Welch standing right in the room there watching. I was probably too young and naïve to be really nervous.

Read more here.

MB Promotional Type Post

LT.jpgIf you’re one of the readers who came to MBToolBox but don’t really know mediabistro that well, you might learn a few things about some stuff you could be missing out on from this year-end letter from Laurel Touby. And in general, there’s sort of a special shout-out to me in there

Ho Ho Ho’s Down

MBToolBox will return Tuesday, December 26.

2006: Media Sixth Man

Learn about what it took to win the mediabistro’s 2006 Sixth Man award–this year’s honoree? Daily Show and Colbert Report executive producer Ben Karlin.

So What Do You Do, Soledad O’Brien?

soledad_cropped.jpgThe CNN anchor and mother of four talks about juggling, race, Hurricane Katrina and being a tech geek with Diane Clehane:
How do you manage to do your job and raise four kids?

Some days I think, “Wouldn’t it be nice to just stay home and bring everybody to school?” Then I spend a couple of days bringing everybody to school and I think, “Oh God, I can’t wait to get back to the office. I exhausted.” For most of us, you just figure it out. Some days you do more and some days you do less. I want to cover the big story but I also want to go to the sing-along at kindergarten. How do you balance? That, to me, is hard and I don’t think people articulate that well yet.
Read more here. PS how cute is her jacket?

Pitching an Agent and a Call for Nominees

fullcircle.jpgToday Rachel Kramer Bussel profiles the Full Circle Literary agency:

Lilly Ghahremani, Esq., came to publishing from a legal background, having worked as an attorney at a firm that represented many authors, though she also did a stint as a freelance editor during law school. Her favorite part of agenting is working with authors and “becoming as excited about a project as the person who started it.” Stefanie Von Borstel has a decade of diverse experience in trade book publishing, including working with the editorial and marketing departments of Penguin and Harcourt. She’s done everything from book publicity and advertising to trade shows and catalogs and likes to work closely with authors to help them best promote their books. Both agents have found writers via writing conferences, blogs, the slush pile, and even Craigslist.

Read more about whether this agency is right for you here.
Also, mb seeks your nominees for the’s 2006 Year-End Media Awards. Read more about this brouhaha here.

How to Pitch and From the Editors

lyncha.jpgTwo nice things for you on the main mb page. Rachel Kramer Bussel speaks to Peter Lynch, Senior editor at Sourcebooks:

Can you give me an overview of what kinds of books Sourcebooks publishes (under its various lines) and who your target audience is?
Sourcebooks publishes in almost every category. Our Sourcebooks imprint is mainly comprised of nonfiction, in such categories as business, gift, beauty, reference, politics, history, parenting, college guides and study aids, poetry, real estate, self-help, relationships, humor, sports, and pop culture. Our Sourcebooks Landmark imprint publishes a select list of literary and commercial fiction; Sourcebooks Casablanca publishes books on relationships and sex; Sourcebooks MediaFusion produces book+media (such as CD) projects that bring experiences to the reader; Sphinx Publishing publishes legal self-help guides; and the new Sourcebooks Jabberwocky is our entrance into the children’s market, led by New York Times bestseller Poetry Speaks to Children.
I acquire almost entirely nonfiction across many categories, with a particular focus on college guides and study aids, business, reference, sports, humor, pop culture, and history. You never know what type of book can end up on my list.

Read more here. Also, check out How to Pitch: National Geographic Traveler.

From the Editors and How to Pitch

richardson.jpgRachel Kramer Bussel speaks with Julia Richardson, Editorial director at Simon & Schuster Children’s Aladdin Paperbacks:

Within those categories, what types of books are you looking to acquire, and what topics don’t you want to see?

I’m looking to acquire middle grade series. These are series for kids ages 8-13. Since we’re talking paperback, we don’t do much of any single title fiction. So, we’re always looking for series — at least four or six titles to start. Specifically, I would love a great horse series. Something unlike anything currently out there.

More here. Also, find a How-to-Pitch on the Washington Post Magazine.