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My First Big Break

Ken Burns On How To Make History ‘Not Homework’

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With the debut of Ken Burns‘s latest documentary, “The Roosevelts,” tonight on PBS, we take a look back at Burns’s First Big Break, when he brought The Brooklyn Bridge to life. Burns has not forgotten what the success of that first documentary has meant for all the award-winning work he’s produced since: “The real thing is what you put into the film, not what kind of glory comes afterwards.”

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My First Big Break: James Brown

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To borrow a football term, CBS Sports NFL studio host James Brown‘s first big break was a bit of a hail mary. At a 1970s audition to announce for the then-NBA Washington Bullets, Brown took it upon himself to land a big interview. “They were impressed that I brought the team star over on his day off and conducted a pretty decent interview,” Brown told us.

Even with the occasional on-air fumble along the way, Brown has never become complacent. “I still work just as hard now, if not harder, as I did back then getting started.” Beginning tomorrow, James Brown adds hosting “NFL Thursday Night Kickoff” to his CBS schedule.

Erin Burnett: My First Big Break

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Erin Burnett‘s first big break came in a very old school way. She wrote a letter to someone in the TV news business whom she admired. But it went beyond just letter-writing. “I was essentially a Willow Bay stalker,” Burnett tells us. But her desire to work in broadcast news began much earlier in life and involved Dan Rather. “I kissed Dan Rather every night. I’d go over and give him a peck on the lips on the TV.” Here’s Erin Burnett’s First Big Break:

Dan Rather was one of the first people we profiled in our “My First Big Break” series back in 2012. For that, and more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Christiane Amanpour to Be Inducted into Cable Hall of Fame

On Tuesday, Christiane Amanpour will be inducted into the Cable Hall of Fame, which honors leaders who have made a lasting contribution to the advancement of the industry. Amanpour is the only on air talent, and only woman, in the 2014 class. Others include executives from Suddenlink Communications, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications. Amanpour adds this honor to 11 News and Documentary Emmys, four Peabody Awards, and nine honorary degrees. Have you ever wondered what was Christiane Amanpour’s First Big Break was? Well, here it is:

Katie Couric: My First Big Break

Katie Couric‘s transition from daytime talk show host to global news anchor for Yahoo News, is just another turning point for the journalist best known for her years as co-anchor of NBC’s “Today” show. Couric says timing and luck have been on her side. As Couric tells us in our latest installment of My First Big Break, she has one man to thank for her big breaK

To watch more MediabistroTV videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV.

Larry King: My First Big Break

In celebration of Larry King‘s 80th birthday today, the mediabistroTV crew took the train down to Washington, D.C. to ask the iconic talk show host to look back on his long career and tell us how he got his first big break.

The current host of “Larry King Now” on ora.tv told us a story involving names like Ted Turner, Jackie Gleason, Frank Sinatra, Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin that sounded more like a who’s who than your typical tale of “how I got started.” Plus, he may have given us the key to his longevity as a talk show host when he told us, “Listening is as important as asking.”

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Rosanna Scotto: My First Big Break

If you don’t live in the New York TV market, you may know her from the cable clip show “The Soup” as the woman who puts up with co-anchor Greg Kelly‘s antics.

Rosanna Scotto, morning anchor for New York’s FOX owned station WNYW, sat down with the mediabistroTV crew to talk about how St. Patrick’s Day and the antics of world-famous director Woody Allen are what lead to her first big break.

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Jerry Springer: My First Big Break

Say the name Jerry Springer and the first thing that comes to mind might be a daytime talk show where people throw chairs at one another to make a point. So it may not be much of a surprise to learn Jerry got his start in politics.

The former lawyer, former campaign adviser for Robert F. Kennedy, former mayor of Cincinnati and former anchor for the city’s NBC affiliate tells mediabistroTV his career wasn’t launched by one big break as much as it was the result of being ready for anything.

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Al Roker: My First Big Break

Al Roker, weather guy for NBC’s “Today” Show, can sum up the secret to his success in a sentence, “Don’t be a jerk!” Roker has his own show “Wake Up with Al” on The Weather Channel, owns his own production company “Al Roker Entertainment,” has co-authored three mystery novels, written a couple of cookbooks, and a has penned a couple of New York Times Bestsellers.

So how did America’s favorite weather guy go from being a flannel shirt and overall wearing student at SUNY Oswego to media kingpin? Al said his first big break came from being in the right place at the right time when someone said the wrong thing at the wrong time.

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Christiane Amanpour: My First Big Break

Her first big break was the Iranian Revolution. Her dream was to be a foreign correspondent. In this episode of My First Big Break, Christiane Amanpour talks about how escaping Iran 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.

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

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