Friday, September 18, 2015

CBS Entertainment Reporter

I remember my first music interview.

On one couch was Tommy James (Mony Mony, I Think We're Alone Now, Crystal Blue Persuasion).  On the other couch was me, along with anchors Kathleen Sullivan and Harry Smith.

It looked like Tommy James was Winston Churchill doing a press conference.

My Executive Producer put us all together.


CBS wasn't used to a weatherman doing something more than just pointing at maps. Truth was, before me, weathermen just did the weather.

Coming from my radio background, doing music interviews, doing interviews made sense. In morning radio we were talking to people every day. Contest winners, deli owners, celebrities, fans of teams our teams were playing in the playoffs, all kinds of things.

So doing them seemed fine to me. But first, I had to convince them.

It began by CBS making me Pop Music Editor.

That turned into the Music Editor.

Well, the music pieces went on for awhile and then something happened that changed things. Our Entertainment reporter wanted a raise and CBS didn't want to give it to him, so he left.

At that time the News Division president was a man named Eric Ober. Before I tell you about our conversation, let me tell you something about him.

Eric was a great guy and had a brand new baby. He told me this.

At a party at his house, he would excuse himself to go change the baby's diaper. In the other room he would have a diaper full of peanut butter. When he came back to the party, he would ask loudly, "I wonder if the baby is healthy?" And then, he would put his finger in the diaper and then put his finger in his mouth, pronouncing the baby fit as a fiddle.

He thought it would be funny.

I imagined people fainting.

That was Eric.

Anyway, I went to Eric's office, scared to death. I mentioned to him I thought I could do Entertainment and before I knew it I was in the hall outside his office.

With the job.

I had to learn about movies and movie history on my new beat but I like research. And the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, the Hollywood adventures began.

From small things mamma one day big things come...

And that's how I started doing Entertainment.

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