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Fired PR Executive Issues Apology Regarding Her Tweet: ‘I Am Ashamed’

new_twitter_logoWe can’t even imagine what was going through Justine Sacco’s head on Friday when she tweeted, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”

We have no words. Seriously.

The senior director of corporate communications working for Barry Diller’s company, IAC, was promptly dismissed. Per her LinkedIn profile, she was promoted to that position in July. Prior to that, she served as director of corporate communications since September 2011. Read more

How Hamish Hamilton Prepares for Live Events: ‘I’ve Learned How To Control My Energy’

HamishHamiltonHamish Hamilton has directed many incredible live events throughout his career. The 2013 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, the Super Bowl XLVII, the 2012 London Olympics — the list goes on…

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Hamilton explains that it’s not all fun and games. He describes the days and months (sometimes years!) it takes to bring these elaborate productions to life, and how he manages to pull it off:

The rehearsal days are intense, long, demanding, physically exhausting, mentally exhausting. You have to make very big decisions quite quickly. I try to get a lot of sleep. It’s crucial to be mentally fit on show day. That said, I normally put in between 14- and 16-hour work days. Having done so many diverse projects, I’ve learned how to control my energy so that I’ve got enough left for the live shows — the last thing you want is to show up to direct a live show being completely and utterly exhausted. That’s really where you need to make lighting-shot decisions.

To hear more about Hamilton’s career, read: So What Do You Do, Hamish Hamilton, Director Of Some Of The World’s Biggest Televised Events?

ABC’s Jonathan Karl Talks About Covering a Tough Beat Like The White House

How does a top network reporter break through the official White House talking points? ABC’s Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl has been busy trying — and in the process has gotten into it twice over the last month with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, including just yesterday.

In this installment of Media Beat, Karl had some good advice for budding journalists looking to cover a tough beat like the White House. His advice? Go back to the basics: Be aggressive while pursuing the story, develop your sources, be fair and do your best to be objective.

Karl also revealed some interesting behind-the-scenes tidbits from campaign 2012. You might be surprised to know how little Karl saw candidate Mitt Romney—even when flying on the same plane.

Alex Trebek & Deborah Norville Share Insight for Career Climbers at Hall of Fame Awards

ladderIn our other piece today, we interviewed CEOs and executives for their advice for making it big in the industry spanning decades.

Well, in this piece we’ll focus on on-air talent in the press room with our exclusive interviews with Alex Trebek, one of last night’s honorees at the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame Awards, and Inside Edition host Deborah Norville.

If you want a long career in broadcasting, better yet game show hosting, Trebek is certainly the man to share advice. He’s hosted Jeopardy! since 1984 and even before that he hosted The Wizard of Odds, High Rollers and Pitfalls. He revealed:

“First of all, get a college education, then pay your dues, work your way up, start at the bottom. Start in radio or in small magazines if you want to pursue a career in that side of the business but if you want to be in front of the camera, pay your dues, work hard and then pray to God that an opening comes up in the area in which you are able to demonstrate some skills. You can be the best game show host in the world but if nobody’s producing game shows, you’re unemployed.” Read more

What’s Next for Scott Moore After Working for Deepak and Oprah

ScottMoore

Scott E. Moore wears many hats. He’s a filmmaker, musician, journalist and entrepreneur. He worked for MTV and VH1, produced five solo albums, started his own production agency and served as the creative director of TheVisualMD, a site that provides visual medical information.

Moore’s latest gig involved yet another creative endeavor — composing two hours of music for Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey‘s 21-Day Meditation Challenge. In the latest Mediabistro feature, Moore tells what it was like to score music for two of the most famous people in the world, and what’s next in his varied career:

So what’s next on your agenda?
My own agency and a colleague of mine, Eric Feldman, we’re creating a passion project. Imagine an hour-long documentary on a fascinating individual [that's] only five minutes long. That individual is someone you know who you feel the world should know. The subject of one documentary is our friend Ray Levier, an amazing musician who found his passion for drums after surviving a serious fire [during] his childhood.

These videos aren’t released yet, but at the end of the year we are going to launch our site with five profiles and a profile about the project. Some of the characters are quirky and some have a lot of talent and some are just these beautiful human beings. [Eric and I] thought if we were going to make something for ourselves to showcase what we’re capable of, tell stories we’re passionate about and try to do some good in this world, this would be it.

To learn more about Moore’s diverse career, read: Hey, How’d You “Score” That Job with Deepak and Oprah, Filmmaker Scott E. Moore?

– Aneya Fernando

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

WaPo Columnist Michelle Singletary On Becoming a Brand

MichelleSingletary

Michelle Singletary has become one of the country’s leading personal finance gurus. She’s a multi-platform success story, and her Washington Post column “The Color of Money” is syndicated in over 100 newspapers around the country.

In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do? Singletary talks about the declining newspaper industry, how she handles criticism and accidentally becoming a brand:

We know a multimedia platform is necessary for journalists and media personalities, but how has it helped you build your own brand?
Well, people keep telling me I’m a brand but I never thought of myself as one. I have a unique perspective on how to handle money so I want that platform because I want to get the information out. I’m a huge advocate of financial literacy. I want to bring something different to the table to help people understand how to deal with their money. It’s sort of like, people talk about Oprah and they say, “Oh, she’s this great media mogul.” But when you think about it, while she definitely is a skilled media person, she got where she is because she had a passion to talk to everyday women. The fame and the fortune followed that mission.

To hear more advice from Singletary, read: So What Do You Do, Michelle Singletary, WaPo Columnist and Finance Guru?

– Aneya Fernando

How To Be A Successful Writer

Terry McMillan has had the kind of success most aspiring writers only dream of. After two semi-successful first novels, McMillan hit the jackpot with her 1992 classic Waiting to Exhale, which remained on the New York Times Bestseller list for more than nine months and cemented her status as the queen of contemporary African American literature. She went on to write five more acclaimed novels and served as screenwriter/executive producer on three films based on her work (How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Disappearing Acts and Waiting to Exhale). In the latest installment of So What Do You Do?, she tells Mediabistro how she creates unforgettable characters and why up-and-coming writers truly need to love the craft:

You’ve had such a long and successful career, what advice do you have for a new writer who wants to break into the industry and have the kind of longevity that you’ve had?
Well, I think first and foremost, they don’t need to think of it that way. I think that’s a big mistake. Do you think when I wrote my first book, Mama, in 1987, that I was thinking, “Oh, I want to have a long writing career?” No. This is not a job. It’s not that. [Writing is] not a career to me. It’s what I do. And to me there’s a difference, you know? But I would suggest that young writers take the craft very seriously [and] not worry about fame. But read. Everything. And I do mean everything. Take some writing classes. And they’ll know if this is what they really are compelled to do. But it shouldn’t be an ambition. “I want to be a famous writer;” “I want to be a bestselling author.” Those are the wrong reasons for doing this. And if those are your motives, chances are it won’t happen.

To get more advice from McMillan, read So What Do You Do, Terry McMillan, New York Times Best Selling Author?

–Aneya Fernando

The Walking Dead’s Gale Anne Hurd: ‘My Odds of Failing Were Pretty High’

Gale Ann Hurd

Thankfully, “fear of being eaten by a zombie” ranks pretty low on our list of daily concerns right now. But sometimes, workplace negotiations can be just as terrifying as flesh-eating monsters.

In the latest Mediabistro interview, Gale Anne Hurd, executive producer of AMC’s The Walking Dead, talks to us about how she negotiated with legendary filmmaker Roger Corman to get the gig she wanted — even though she was offered a different position.

Most people don’t feel comfortable laying out stipulations to their superiors. Why did you feel entitled to make your own rules? How can others follow suit?

I wasn’t given a choice. It was, “OK Gale, I want you to be the marketing department starting Monday.” (And this was a Friday). I had no training period, so the odds of my failing were pretty high, especially since I was taking the place of two people who had significant experience. I think you have to take some initiative and show that you have the potential to be a leader. I was about to take a position heading a department and negotiating with him proved that I had a degree of the skill set that I needed in that position. If you want to prove that you can take on more responsibility, take that responsibility and be willing to also take the consequences. I knew I wasn’t prepared and I had that conversation up front with Roger. And, if it didn’t work out, my fallback position was going to law school. I think it’s really important to have a fallback position.

For more of Hurd’s thoughts on the fine art of negotiation, film vs. television and a moratorium on slow dying gender roles, read: So What Do You Do Gale Anne Hurd, Executive Producer of The Walking Dead?

Sherry Yuan

Daymon “Daym” Patterson: From Wal-Mart Manager to Travel Channel Host

Daymon PattersonIf you’re looking for ways to make the most out of your lunch break, just look to Daymon “Daym” Patterson‘s Daym Drops YouTube channel for inspiration (or drool-inducing entertainment).

By reviewing fast food during his own down time as a Wal-Mart assistant manager, Patterson amassed millions of views on YouTube, and is now the star of his own Travel Channel show, Best Daym Takeout, premiering July 31. For its latest feature, Mediabistro talked with the burgeoning star about how he used the video platform to take his career to a whole new level:

I started out filming my neighborhood, doing little news reports and uploading them. One day on my lunch break, I went to Burger King and had their French toast sticks, and I did a review of them in the car and put that on YouTube. It received like 134 views, whereas all the other videos were maybe like 30, 50 views. The following week, I went to Dunkin Donuts and I got their new frozen hot chocolate. That video caught over 300 views, and I thought, “OK, now I have something here.”

Read the full interview in Hey, How’d You Get a Travel Channel Show Reviewing Fast Food, Daymon “Daym” Patterson? 

Sherry Yuan

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Vox Media’s Jim Bankoff on How to Become CEO

Jim Bankoff

In the span of five years, Jim Bankoff, CEO of Vox Media, transformed what was a network of fan blogs into one of the fastest growing online publishers. In Mediabistro’s latest So What Do You Do interview, he gave some key advice to others looking to ascend to the C-suite:

“The truth is that the best way is to be really into what you are doing and really care. That’s not something you can fake, nor is it something you want to fake,” he said. “You have to have a genuine, passionate interest in your work and what your company is doing if you want to have any hope of running it and running it successfully. I’m sure there are plenty of people who have made it to the top without that, but my advice is find what you are passionate about and do that, because that’s going to increase your chances of getting to the top if that’s what you want.”

For more on Bankoff and why he believes brands matter, read So What Do You Do, Jim Bankoff, CEO of Vox Media?

Sherry Yuan

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

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