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Making News Rather Than Covering It: Tales From Campaign 2012

Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, and Ricky Martin were just three of the numerous celebrity endorsers of President Barack Obama in 2012.  All appeared at re-election events, part of a meticulously organized entertainment publicity effort.

One of the key players in attracting talent and overseeing coordination was former GMA and 20/20 Senior Producer – and former CBS News consultant and NBC News producer – Eric Ortner (photographed at right with Jon Hamm at the Democratic National Convention in September).

Now a Los Angeles talent manager and tv/film producer, Ortner became co-chair of the campaign’s Entertainment Advisory Council. He tells TVNewser the celebrity mix was important in helping the campaign “build a network for voter registration and get-out-the vote-efforts” and to “engage and mobilize the audience”.

Otrner says his background as a tvnewser - who’d covered politics for the networks - was helpful. “The real benefit and brilliance” of the entertainment council effort, he reflects, ”was that celebrity surrogates provided media that the campaign didn’t have to buy.”

(Photo Courtesy of Eric Ortner)

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