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My First Big Break

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

Ken Burns: My First Big Break

When you hear a letter written by Thomas Jefferson being read by actor Sam Waterston or see a photograph showing the intensity in the eyes of a Civil War soldier, you know you’re watching a Ken Burns documentary.

In this episode of My First Big Break, the iconic filmmaker tells the MediabistroTV crew how he channeled his feelings of humiliation into his first masterpiece on the Brooklyn Bridge and reveals how his mother’s death sparked his need to bring the dead back to life, shaping the style we know today as the “Ken Burns Effect.”

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

Ken Burns is Coming to MediabistroTV

Watching a Ken Burns film is like watching the past come alive through the expert use of narration and still photographs. So how did he develop his signature style? The iconic filmmaker sits down with MediabistroTV in, “Ken Burns: My First Big Break.”

>UPDATE: Watch “Ken Burns: My First Big Break” in three weeks on MediabistroTV, Thursday, December 6.

And if superstorms on the East Coast and unseasonably warm weather on the West Coast wasn’t enough to satisfy your craving for major weather events, PBS presents an Extreme Weather Night of TV this Sunday (11/18), beginning at 7pm ET.

NOVA gets the party started with the premiere of “Inside the Megastorm” an original one-hour documentary taking viewers moment by moment through Hurricane Sandy. Then Ken Burns gives us reason to give thanks when he presents “The Dust Bowl.” Burns tells the story of the worst man-made environmental disaster in American history in a two-part, four hour documentary detailing how the convergence of a terrible drought and the scramble for the American Dream nearly changed the southern plains forever.

You can view our other MediabistroTV productions on our YouTube Channel.

Spike Lee: My First Big Break

In the latest episode of mediabistroTV’s “My First Big Break,” we talk to legendary filmmaker Spike Lee.

While Lee is well-known for his movies, did you know that if it wasn’t for NBA superstar Michael Jordan and a pair of Nike Air Jordan sneakers, Lee–and Nike–might not be the icons they have become today? It all came down to a risky commercial shoot.

“So Michael Jordan could easily have said, ‘I can’t take a chance on this young gun, this young boy, just give me the reels of the top guys on Madison Avenue.’ But Michael Jordan didn’t do that,” the Red Hook Summer director recalls. “For some reason, he decided to give me a shot. And the commercial I did with Michael Jordan ended up being some of the greatest campaigns ever in the history of advertising and Nike took off.”

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

Lou Dobbs: My First Big Break

Lou Dobbs wasn’t having much fun working in commercial banking. He thought TV news would be more exciting. So he packed his bags for Yuma, Arizona and got a job covering local politics and crime for KBLU radio and TV — for $75 a week. “There was a certain downside to commercial television that I hadn’t anticipated!”

But now, almost 40 years later, Dobbs credits his days in Yuma for giving him his First Big Break.

Wendy Williams: My First Big Break

In the latest episode of mediabistroTV’s “My First Big Break,” daytime talk show star Wendy Williams talks about landing her first job in radio and abstaining from sex while she struggled early on in her career.

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

Shepard Smith: My First Big Break

In the latest episode of mediabistroTV’s “My First Big Break,” Fox News anchor Shepard Smith recalls how he got noticed working as a local reporter in Orlando. The story involves puppies, explosions, and Mel Gibson.

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

David Carr: My First Big Break

In the latest episode of mediabistroTV’s “My First Big Break,” New York Times columnist, and journalist’s journalist, David Carr remembers the first big story of his career.

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

Lou Dobbs’ Early Education on Local Government: ‘The Shit Pot of Politics’

We headed over to Fox Business Network Thursday afternoon for a mediabistroTV shoot for “My First Big Break,” featuring Lou Dobbs. Dobbs told us about his humble beginnings in TV news in Yuma, Arizona. Just about the time he started getting frustrated with the way local government was running he consulted one of his mentors, Monsignor Richard O’Keefe, who told him, “Lou, someday you’re going to be covering bigger political issues.”

Dobbs says the priest put it this way: “‘Lou, let me speak to you straightforwardly. I know you’re frustrated with city hall and city politics but understand that city hall may be the shit pot of politics but it is the model for all politics.’”

“And he was right,” Dobbs adds.

Much more from Dobbs coming up on “My First Big Break.” We’ll be editing it soon, as well as an episode taped last week with Fox News anchor Shepard Smith.

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