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Christiane Amanpour: My First Big Break

She believes in hard work and starting at the bottom. In this episode of My First Big Break, Christiane Amanpour talks about how escaping the Iranian Revolution with her family was the first step of a journey that took her from a local NBC station in Rhode Island all the way to the front lines of the first Gulf War as a reporter for CNN.

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Career Tips From ‘Jersey Shore’ Executive Producer — ‘Keep Swinging & Swing Big’

We like to gather career wisdom and inspiration from all over so what better place than reality television, right? It’s competitive, it’s thriving and so very now.

Last night during the NY Television Festival, SallyAnn Salsano participated in a panel discussion with the cast of Jersey Shore. Mind you, she’s the executive producer of the highest rated show on MTV so when the sassy exec talked, we listened.

Sure, most audience members probably wanted to hear from Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and the gang, but Salsano dished insight and back story about the show and consequently about making a mark in her career.

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Morning TV Producer Blogs About Why He Loves Job: “I Get to Witness History”

Job search got you down? Or maybe it’s not the search so much as internal politics? The daily grind? Commute? All of the above?

Mike Brannen, morning newscast producer for KSTP, the ABC affiliate in Minneapolis-St.Paul, blogged about why he loves his job on the Society of Professional Journalists’ blog network.

It’s times like these that make all of the hustling and hard work worth it. Here’s an excerpt:

“I love my job as a newscast producer because…

Each day is different.
It is unpredictable.
An average day can turn into chaos in seconds.
I feel an adrenaline rush when there is breaking news.
I get to witness history.

I work with smart, clever people.
I know a little bit about everything.
I know things before most people.
I help people feel confident about what’s going on in their world.
It’s funny when people say “did you see it on the news?”, because I always say “yes.”

Adding that every morning is “a competition with other stations,” he gets satisfaction beating them on a story.

Perhaps the best part about it is all of the future news that is yet to print or in this case, air. He adds, “I know there are many more stories to come, because I’ve done this for only 3 years.”

Marine Leverages Military Skills to Launch Production Company After Several Shut Doors

Think your skills aren’t transferrable? Think again. Even if hiring managers fail to see the value of your comprehensive skill set to transition into media, the key is recognizing your own in order to connect the dots.

Former Marine captain, Brian Iglesias, leveraged his military skills by forming his production company, Veterans Expeditionary Media, but not before having several doors slammed shut in his face.

According to The New York Post, he pounded the pavement for a job in film or television but alas, hiring managers didn’t recognize the value of 14 years of military duty.

Iglesias told the newspaper, “I had figured, ‘I’ve got a good resume.’” He added, “I’ve led combat operations. I’ve done humanitarian relief. I’ve trained with different countries….I couldn’t even get an internship.”

In fact, Iglesias pointed out he was overqualified for entry-level work but “under-experienced for mid-level work.” The film degree he earned from Temple University didn’t help either. After  job searching for almost a year, he decided to create his own opportunity.

According to the piece, he stated, “The door wasn’t opening, so I figured I’d knock it off its hinges and do it myself.” He enrolled in Syracuse University’s Entrepreneur Bootcamp for Veterans to learn about business ownership and then joined forces with Anton Sattler, fellow Marine and aspiring filmmaker.

They worked on a documentary about a seminal Korean War battle and interviewed veterans throughout the country for eight months. After spending an additional few months of editing and post-production work, they premiered Chosin at the 2010 GI Film Festival to critical acclaim. Since then it’s been screened nationally and has been optioned for a Hollywood feature film!

As the company continues to grow and work on various commercial spots for veterans organizations, a military-themed animated movie, and narrative films, Iglesias still relies on his former skill set of multi-tasking, an important trait that bodes well for both filmmaking and owning a business.

He explained to the newspaper: ”Being an infantry Marine in combat, you learn to thrive in chaos. You’ve got personnel, you’ve got civilians, you’ve got equipment — and you are the one person everyone looks to, to make a decision. It’s the same thing in small business.”

Fewer Women On and In TV

The number of women working as both actresses in prime-time shows and writers and producers behind the scenes on those same shows fell in 2010-2011, a new study shows.

Just one in six writers on prime-time sitcoms, dramas, and reality TV shows were women, down from 29% in the 2009-10 season, according to the report from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University.

One in four producers, directors, writers, editors and directors were women, and 41% of all on-screen characters were female, down from 43 percent the year before.

Only one network, CW, featured 52 percent female characters, representing women “in accurate proportion to their representation in the U.S. population.” The other broadcast networks’ shows had between 36 % and 43% female characters.

The study is based on surveying one randomly selected episode from each prime-time show, which the authors say should “minimize” sampling bias.

A separate study from the same center found that only 42 of 2010′s top 250 films had any women writers working on them; 98 percent of those films had no female cinematographers, and more than three-fourths had no women editors.

Internet Ads Top Newspapers | Huffington Responds to Lawsuit | More Yesterday’s News

An Internet Advertising Board report has revealed that for the first time, Internet ad sales surpassed newspaper sales last year, according to Business Insider. Revenue totaled $26 billion, edging out $22.8 billion in the newspaper biz. That and more in yesterday’s news:

New Yorker’s Franzen Freebie | CPB Escapes Cuts | More Yesterday’s News

Jonathan Franzen writing about his buddy David Foster Wallace? Sounds like crack to a certain breed of contemporary-lit fanboy (i.e., me), which might be why The New Yorker picked just such a piece by Franzen to lure readers into “liking” the magazine on Facebook. Well, I like you anyway, New Yorker—you don’t have to seduce me with theatrics. But thanks for the freebie. That and more of yesterday’s news:

WSJ: Couric, Lauer to Reunite?

TV viewers may see a reunion of Katie Couric and Matt Lauer on a new daytime talk show, reports today’s Wall Street Journal. Citing unnamed sources, the Journal says Couric and Lauer have discussed the possibility as they both approach the end of their contracts with their respective employers. Couric’s CBS Evening News contract expires in early June; Lauer’s agreement to co-host NBC’s Today lapses at the end of next year. His co-host, Meredith Vieira, is likely to leave the show later this year, according to sources.

From the Journal article:

The stakes of losing both Mr. Lauer and Ms. Vieira are enormous for NBC. Losing two anchors in less than two years could upset the morning-news juggernaut, which is one of the few jewels at the NBC broadcast network. While NBC trails its competitors in the prime-time hours, “Today” has ranked No. 1 in mornings each week for more than 15 consecutive years.

Couric’s show could end up at CBS, NBCUniversal or even Time Warner Inc. Former Today producer and NBCUniversal exec Jeff Zucker is involved in talks about the possible Couric/Lauer reunion, according to the Journal’s source.

Post Covers Kaplan | NABJ Leaves Unity | More Weekend’s News

Good morning and happy Monday. The Washington Post sparked some conversation with the publication Saturday of an examination of the Post Co.’s Kaplan education division. The successful venture has helped support the Post during tough times but is now facing scrutiny as the practices of for-profit schools get a fresh look from Congress and the Department of Education. That and more news from over the weekend:

The Fairy Jobmother Launches Soon

Just what the unemployed need: another reality show to watch while sobbing into their Cheerios.

This one may be useful though – in The Fairy Jobmother, career specialist Haley Taylor comes into jobless people’s lives and helps them turn their careers around. Or, as the release says, Taylor “assists severely job-challenged families with her no-nonsense and tough love tactics to motivate them to get back on the payroll.”

She’s British, so we’re thinking this will be kind of like “Supernanny” for grownups.

The first episode airs Oct. 28 on Lifetime. Enjoy!

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