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Posts Tagged ‘Oprah’

7 Tips for Your Next Big Apology Tour

Last week brought news of disgraced general/CIA chief and potential presidential candidate David Petraeus‘s first post-scandal appearance. Petraeus used a speech before a University of Southern California dinner honoring the military to effectively begin his apology tour. We and everyone else in PR are obsessed with damage control, and we feel like Petraeus got it right. Now we’d like to take a moment to relay seven lessons from recent scandal-wracked personalities who didn’t quite get it right.

1. Make it public — but not too public: Whoever told Arnold Schwarzenegger that appearing on every interview show ever to talk about his affairs and his out-of-wedlock child while simultaneously hawking his new book was very wrong.

2. Be humble. Seriously: Jonah Lehrer didn’t get the message that being a public intellectual does not allow you to avoid taking the blame for your own failings by over-intellectualizing the whole thing and pontificating about the why and the how. “I need rules because I don’t trust myself to not be arrogant”? Come on, man.

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First Lance Armstrong ‘False Advertising’ Suit Filed (by a PR Exec!)

We just couldn’t resist: today marks the filing of the first post-Oprah lawsuit against admitted liar and generally detestable person Lance Armstrong.

The issue at hand isn’t the fact that Lance cheated, ruined honest people with fake libel charges, or promoted a bunch of big brands after winning while on dope. No, it’s all about his books, see?

The two plaintiffs in the class-action complaint say that they bought Lance’s inspirational memoirs because they believed his story about a triumphant, dope-and-cancer-free return to the Tour de France. Upon discovering that the story was not exactly true, they felt “duped, cheated and betrayed” and decided to take his sorry ass to court for fraud. The suit accuses Lance and his publishers, Penguin and Random House, of committing acts of “false advertising” by selling the books as works of non-fiction.

Excuse us while we enjoy a guilt-free laugh.

The most interesting part of this story (to us) is the fact that one of the men filing the suit is “Rob Stutzman, a public relations executive who served as a deputy chief of staff for former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger“. He would certainly know a good bit about famous liars, wouldn’t he?

So will this suit go nowhere like the one against Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson, who fabricated portions of his books? Or will it lead to a settlement like the case filed against admitted fabulist James Frey? And what do we think about the fact that a veteran PR professional started it?

Katie Couric Scores Manti Te’o Interview (They Share a Publicist, BTW)

Katie Couric Manti Te'o InterviewSo Manti Te’o, who most Americans believe to be a big old liar, visited Katie Couric‘s office for his first official post-scandal interview, set to air tomorrow. While we’re interested in the fact that he admitted to “briefly” lying about the fake dead girlfriend hoax for six weeks after learning that he’d been duped (yeah right), we’d like to examine the “Inside PR” aspects of the story.

We love Katie and all, but no one would call her a sports journalist–and we don’t feel like the scandal is quite big enough to justify a trip to Oprah-land (though the Te’o family apparently considered Oprah and Dr. Phil before settling for Couric). So how did she score this top interview? Well, the fact that the two parties share a publicist certainly didn’t hurt. That’s right–Matthew Hiltzik of Hiltzik Strategies (MediaBeat interview after the jump) now performs crisis comms/damage control duties for both Couric and Te’o, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Te’o chose Couric over both Oprah and ESPN.

Is this standard operating procedure? Or does it raise even more questions about the players involved in this sordid tale?

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PR Fail: Oprah Interview Hurt Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong We know, we know: you’re sick of hearing about Lance Armstrong. Trust us, we are too. Still, we thought we’d take a minute to report the results of the latest polls, because they reveal a couple of interesting things that happen to give us a bit of pleasure via schadenfreude:

First, people were actually growing more sympathetic toward Lance before Oprah indulged him:

  • Last October, 49% of Americans thought he should have to forfeit all his Tour de France medals.
  • That number had dropped to 37% a couple of weeks ago.
In other words, he was doing alright because, despite the fact that many people had begun to realize that he is a lying douche, some still wanted him to win in the end. But now? Not so much.*

Lance Armstrong and Oprah Walk Into a Bar…

We don’t know about you guys, but we’ve had about enough of this Lance Armstrong. Full confession: we didn’t even watch the Oprah interview live, because we were too busy catching up on American Horror Story (which is kinda campy but wow, Jessica Lange really chews the hell out of the scenery). We did, however, follow the drama on Twitter, which was every bit as informative and much more entertaining.

Anyway, we know everyone and his brother will be posting reasoned op-eds today to debate Armstrong’s PR strategy and his chances at redemption, so we thought we’d take a different route:

Which questions were resolved in last night’s interview? And what were the answers? Let’s start with the most obvious:

  • What is Lance Armstrong’s favorite reality show? Cheaters, duh.
  • Who’s the bigger bully: Lance Armstrong or Nelson Muntz? Let’s see…Did Nelson ever sue anyone for libel? Didn’t think so.

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Revolving Door: ‘Good Afternoon America’; Guthrie on ‘Today’; and more

video platform video management video solutions video player

Good Afternoon America starts today at 2 p.m. ET. The clip above offers a sneak peek of what to expect. The show replaces a failed daytime talk show called The Revolution, which we’d never even heard of. Hosts are Lara Spencer and Josh Elliot.

Meanwhile, over on the Today show, Savannah Guthrie made her official debut as co-anchor. We’ve got her opening moments in the video below and TVNewser has additional footage of her first day.
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Revolving Door: ‘The Newsroom’ debuts, More on Ann Curry

The media has been very busy weighing in with their reviews of the new Aaron Sorkin HBO program The Newsroom. HBO, in line with its promotions for Girls and other programming this season, has made the debut episode available to all on YouTube. The show has already debuted with 2.1 million viewers.

Word on the street is Ann Curry is set to receive $10 million to vacate her post at Today. ICYMI, The New York Times published a professional profile of Curry and her time with the show. And over on TVSpy, they’ve conducted an informal poll and determined that Natalie Morales is the preferred replacement (among TVSpy readers).

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Struggling OWN To Target African-American Audiences

The Montgomerys, stars of 'Welcome to Sweetie Pies'

The lone hit on Oprah‘s OWN network has been Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s, a reality show starring an African-American family that runs a soul food restaurant in Alabama St. Louis, MO. If you have the OWN channel and do a lot of channel surfing, it would seem that Sweetie Pie’s is on almost continuously.

The show debuted in October and has gained an average audience of 418,000 versus the usual 216,000 for the network. The Hollywood Reporter says that network execs will be taking that into consideration for future programming and advertising pitches. (Discovery Communications launched OWN.)

An S&P analyst, Tuna Amobi, tells the magazine this would be a change from the Oprah brand, which has been built on diversity. “I don’t know that it would be a good thing for OWN to so narrowly define its target,” she says. OWN president Erik Logan says they will be “nurturing” the success of the program rather than doing a 180. Other OWN programs include The Rosie Show, hosted by Rosie O’Donnell, and Our America with Lisa Ling. Discovery has funded the network with about $254 million.

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Revolving Door: ‘Seismic’ Changes Across Broadcast Programming

Ann Curry takes over from Meredith Vieira starting today on 'Today.'

The New York Times notes the high number of changes happening at broadcast shows, with big names like Meredith Vieira and Katie Couric coming and going. One CNN producer calls the shifts “seismic.” Of course, the challenge is — and will be for the foreseeable future — reaching audiences and building loyalty.

“We believe we have an opportunity to deliver content directly to consumers,” Disney CEO Bob Iger is quoted saying.

Speaking of the NYT, Business Insider reports that AOL actually has a larger newsroom that the Times. This takes into account the tremendous Patch local network.

After the jump, this week’s media highlights from mediabistro’s Revolving Door Newsletter.

 

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‘Forbes’ List Wavers Between Popularity and Influence

What a week for Gaga, eh? She’s seemingly been everywhere, even on the farm. And now she sits atop the Forbes Celebrity 100  list, pushing Queen Oprah to number two.

“Gaga is there not just because of the $90 million she earned with a monster tour, but also because of her 32 million Facebook fans and 10 million Twitter followers–aka Little Monsters–who helped move 1 million digital downloads of her recent single ‘Born This Way’ in only five days,” the magazine writes.

The magazine goes on to say that Oprah can take a social media lesson from Justin Bieber in the number three spot.

The rest of the list seems to go this way; a hodgepodge of people who are given credit or penalized for whatever level of social media notoriety they’ve been able to attain.

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