Early this year mediabistroTV launched a brand new video series called “My First Big Break.” The premise was simple: sit down with big names in the media business, and have them explain what their first big break was. We spoke to a number of huge names, including Ken Burns, Spike Lee and Dan Rather. Below is a selection of some of the best “Breaks” we saw this year. And stay tuned for “My First Big Break: Christiane Amanpour” coming Wednesday. Enjoy.
The very first episode of the series featured “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams:
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.”
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer busted his best moves on the dance floor at the BET Honors after-party in Washington, DC, on Saturday. The Wolfman was spotted dancing with wife Lynn Greenfield and schmoozing at the National Portrait Gallery fete with Spike Lee and Common. BET anchor T.J. Holmes chilled in the Hennessy Lounge, and, a spy says, Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, “breezed through stopping for no one” and “left five minutes later.”
The Canadian Football League and the NFL Network reached an agreement to broadcast two CFL games per week in the United States this season.
The NFL Network has the option to broadcast additional regular season games along with the CFL Playoffs and the Grey Cup championship game.
“This is very positive news for our CFL fans living in the United States,” said Michael Copeland, chief operating officer of the CFL. “And it’s a very positive development for our football operations as it will continue to expose our product to prospects across the U.S.”
The games will be produced by TSN. Last year, the NFL Network carried 14 CFL games. Read more
Reggie Bush is no stranger to reality television, having appeared on several shows starring former girlfriend Kim Kardashian. This time. however, the focus will be on Bush, who is making an appearance on a new CBS show called “Same Name,” which features celebrities switching places with people with the same name. Bush, a running back for the New Orleans Saints, is swapping lives with a construction worker in Danville, Illinois for a week this summer, so that the construction worker gets to experience the life of an NFL player during a lockout. Hopefully this won’t raise the odds that the construction worker gets arrested.
Remember last summer when Ed Schultz yelled in the middle of the MSNBC newsroom, “I’m going to torch this [bleep]ing place” for not being included in election night promos?
Well, that was so six months ago.
Not only is Big Ed getting his own promos they’re going go be directed by Spike Lee. Schultz is heading to his hometown of Norfolk, VA today where he’ll tape some “Lean Forward” promos.
HamptonRoads.com reports Lee will, “showcase Schultz in a series of ads focusing on jobs, outsourcing and unions. The ads will be unscripted and shot like documentaries, an area for which Lee has also garnered acclaim.”
Former NBC correspondent Tiki Barber is coming out of retirement and returning to the NFL for the 2011 season.
Barber retired in 2007 after 10 seasons with the New York Giants. He walked away from football in order to pursue a career in television, where he was a correspondent for Today and Sunday Night Football.
According to his agent Mark Lepselter, they have informed the Giants of Barber’s intentions and that “there are interested parties.”
“After seeing my brother still have fun at our age, it reignited the fire,” Tiki Barber told FOXSports.com. “I’m really looking forward to the challenge of seeing if I can get back to the level of where I was. I started working out again recently. It kind of shocked myself. I still had a lot of the strength I had before. I’m really looking forward to making a return.” Read more
On Thursday, word leaked that ESPN would pay the NFL almost $2 billion per year for the television rights to Monday Night Football. Win, win, win, right?
Eh, maybe not. There’s that whole labor negotiation thing, and one of the major arguments coming out of the owners camp is that they aren’t making enough money. It gets harder to make that case when the Worldwide Leader hands over a 40-percent increase in fees.
“It’s a good news/bad news situation for the owners,” said one insider told the New York Post. “The owners are crying poor and it’s going to strengthen the Players Association’s stance that the owners aren’t as bad off as they say they are. “The owners are, in essence, demanding that the players take an 18-percent pay cut across the board. For them to turn around and get this [money], they definitely don’t come off looking good in this.”
The deal is good news for the players, who get 60 percent of the fees. But there are a lot of players and not a lot of owners. A lot of 40 percent is much more than a little of 60 percent. Bob Kraft can cry poor all he wants, but it will fall upon deaf ears.
Enjoy these playoffs, ladies and gentlemen. It’s going to be awhile before you see NFL uniforms again.
What exactly does it mean to “lean forward?” As MSNBC rolls out its new branding campaign, regular cable news viewers may be asking that very question.
When concveiving the tagline however, MSNBC executives decided to ask themselves a different question: what is MSNBC?
“We talked about all the attributes that make MSNBC what it is,” MSNBC preident Phil Griffin tells TVNewser. “It is active, it is positive, it is about making tomorrow better than today, a discussion about politics and the actions and passions of our time.”
Hence the first two commercials, which heavily promote the idea of progress, without mentioning any of MSNBC’s shows or hosts. MSNBC CMO Sharon Otterman says those two ads are mean to own “the idea of Lean Forward, the overarching brand of the network.”
Even Ed Schultz, who allegedly threw a temper tantrum after not being included in last year’s election night promos, is getting featured, with his ad following him as he walks through New York City to the MSNBC studios. Despite the eventual focus on talent, the campaign is meant to be about branding the network, not the personalities that populate it.