Friday, September 11, 2015

Mugs

If these cups could talk, oh what stories they would tell.

First up is from my very first days on television. Talk about bright lights big city. You could have put me in the 'just glad to be here' category. The Morning Program was the new morning show on CBS and it was done out of the Entertainment division as opposed to the News division.

Keep in mind we broadcast out of the Broadcast Center, the epicenter of CBS News. What did that mean to the people in the building we were in?

It meant they weren't very happy.

Just call me Oblivia, 'cause I knew nothing about that. I should have, but this was my first experience with lights, camera, action.

It was my first experience with makeup. It was my first experience at being recognized on the street by people I didn't know.

It was also my first experience with, "Is that Henry Kissinger?"

The name was a bit British, for me, though.

Which brings us to something that was British...

A morning show in London that had a bit of a twist. It was a punk, rebellious kind of morning show, the kind that your parents would never watch. But, folks who were 18 to 30 years old? They would watch.

One other thing, the ratings were huge.

Our show broadcast out of London and my job was to go explore The Big Breakfast, so off I went. Even though England was five hours ahead of us, I was there at 7 a.m., local time, to tape a segment.

It filmed out of a house, each room was a different set, and the whole crew was kind of scruffy. They looked at me like I was corporate (bad word) but they had agreed to have me on. Being the weatherman, I had made paper cutouts of suns and clouds with tape on the back of them in anticipation of sticking them on a map.

When I was being interviewed, live, the host asked me a few questions and then asked me about the weather. I said, "It'll be sunny in the east," and promptly slapped a sun on my forehead.

He laughed and said, "You can stay!"

And that's how the crazy weatherman got to be on The Big Breakfast.

There were strongholds for our show in various places, Burlington, Vermont was one of them. It was the first place I ever went where people had 'Welcome Mark' signs at the airport. I had never been there before. That was because our affiliate, WCAX, had the strongest signal north of Boston.

Outside of Burlington is Waterbury, home to Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. If there is better ice cream out there, I haven't found it and I know ice cream. I used to joke that I personally built a wing on their factory, I ate it that much.

They also have a good heart. Ben and Jerry's has a history of combining their ice cream and social consciousness.

As the saying goes, "I'm down with that."

So I do a remote there and meet this great guy, Sean Greenwood. He was in his early twenties, and at the end of our shoot, I say, "If you're ever in New York I'll give you a tour of CBS."

Turns out he was and I did.

He brought a cooler of Ben and Jerry's with him and proceeded to pass it out. There were big, happy smiles all over our news room.

There's more.

Sean is now the head of Public Relations for all of Ben and Jerry's, the Grand Poobah of Public Relations, as he's known.

He gave me that mug.

And Sean I've bet you've heard this before but...

Sweet gig.


To learn more about Ben and Jerry's go to
http://www.benjerry.com






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1 comment:

  1. Uh... Mark, you write about Sting, and the Olympics, and The Beatles, and superstars. There must be some mistake! ; ) I'm gonna email this to my mom and tell her, I finally MADE IT! The crazy thing that people don't know is how generous you were as a national network news anchor. For me - as a tour guide then for Ben & Jerry's who made it to the big city - to have a STAR be so welcoming, and thoughtful, and selfless... In your office you showed me the picture of you and Jack Nicholson commenting on how you had a (bad word)-eating grin. And I believe there was a wink & nod towards a Goldie Hawn photo, too. And after it all including the personalized tour, being walked around to meet Paula, Harry, see the other studios (Joan Rivers show, right?) and sit in Dan Rather's chair on the CBS News (co-anchored then with Connie Chung) as you took me down in the elevator, you talked about the best thing - given all you'd seen and done in your career - was that you and your wife just had a brand new baby girl: Maya. You had your priorities right then - even being in the middle of all the entertainment and news hoopla - and you always kept it real.

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