Most celebs make headlines for coming out of the closet. CBS exile Rene Syler goes into one.
Syler, one of three anchors for BET’s inauguration coverage, shoots all the video for her motherhood blog in the quietest place in the house – her walk-in closet.
“It’s world headquarters for goodenoughmother.com,” she says. “I laugh when I tell people I take all my videos from my closet.”
Cut loose from CBS’s “The Early Show” in December 2006, Syler launched the site three months later in tandem with “Good Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting.”
BET exec Kevin Brown, a friend of Syler’s, pitched her the inauguration gig in November. It was an easy sell. She’ll join BET host Jeff Johnson and Hill Harper of “CSI: New York,” a Harvard Law classmate of President-elect Obama’s, on the four-hour block.
“I never, ever thought I would see this in my lifetime,” says Syler. “I’ll have a ringside seat to history. BET coverage will be as much fact-driven as inspirational. I can’t deny that the audience will be predominantly black.”
Still, with 20 years in mainstream news, “I probably lean more toward, ‘Just the facts, m’am.’ My training is about being objective, and that’s what I will try to do.”
Nothing objective about ivebeenlaidoff.ning.com, a social-networking site Syler started about a month ago for anyone who’s lost their job. She describes it as “a clearinghouse to vent.
“My hope was to help people as they process the curveballs life throws you. When you lose a job, it’s like the five stages of grief. Ultimately, you come to accept it.”
Syler, 45, a wife and mother of two youngsters, has had more than her share of curveballs.
A month after her CBS exit, she underwent surgery for breast cancer. In November, she was hospitalized with asthmatic bronchitis. (Ironically, given her BET assignment, it prevented her from voting.)
With her first TV-news assignment in more than two years looming, Syler says she only has two concerns.
“I need to lose 10 pounds and get a nice outfit. I’ve been wearing jeans and T-shirts from Target every day.”
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