NAB boss: Tough to tack as a team

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • April 26, 2005

by Karen Feld

Retiring National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Eddie Fritts told broadcasters at their annual convention last week in Las Vegas that when he took over the job in 1982, his predecessor told him that the hardest part was “keeping all you bastards in the same boat.” Fritts said, “Now 23 years later, most of you own your own boats and my biggest problem is keeping you sailing in the same direction.”


Dear Sam,

What ever should we do?

Sam Donaldson announced to the broadcasters that “Network news is dead. … The monster anchors are through.” His advice to network news departments: “Find something new to do.”


Mixed media: Stahl wants to be funny, tooCBS News Lesley Stahl was asked in Louisville, Ky., on Sunday if she had to make a choice, would she rather become a correspondent on “The Daily Show” or have Jon Stewart join “60 Minutes.” She jumped at the thought, “Ooh, to be a correspondent on ‘The Daily Show’ and to be able to make it all up? Oh, how delicious!”

NY state: Here comes Weld

Former Gov. Bill Weld, R-Mass., who currently lives in New York and works in the private sector, is looking at a statewide race in 2006. Will he go for the nomination to challenge the New York Dems, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton or Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who hopes to replace Gov. George E. Pataki? Pataki is not expected to seek re-election after completing his third term.

Champions of dance: No play-offs needed

The Kennedy Center honored 25 masters of African American choreography last Wednesday evening. “These are creative geniuses who have transformed American culture,” said Kennedy Center president Michael Kaiser, who has personally worked with each – Debbie Allen, Carmen de Lavallade, Bill T. Jones, Arthur Mitchell, Geoffrey Holder, Garth Fagan and Chuck Davis among others – attending the dinner perhaps, surprisingly, co-sponsored by the National Basketball Association. “They have a foundation and wanted to support their brothers in the arts,” explained Kaiser.

Judith Jamison

“Judith Jamison – she’s had a profound effect on my life,” said Kaiser about the past Kennedy Center honoree. “Arthur Mitchell (Dance Theater of Harlem) did for ballet what Jackie Robinson did for baseball,” said Kaiser, who praised each of the choreographers, and they praised one another as well.

Pomare: It’s not about the money

Choreographer Eleo Pomare, 67, told me he bathes himself in controversy and has used dance to rage against the ills of society.

“It took a community attitude to arrive at where we are now,” Pomare said, “I’m not hung up on popularity. If I were, I’d be doing Broadway stuff. Producers ask, ‘Could you make it more saleable?’ You’re creating a product to make someone money.”

And 50 hoorahs for Mendelson

That was quite the 50th birthday celebration that independent TV producer Beth Mendelson threw to mark her special day. Fifty of her special friends – CNN’s Bob Franken and his wife, Linda Ringe; jewelry designer and wine consultant Janet Cam; Connie Coopersmith; Cari and Irv Stein; Frances Harding; Joan Gartland; and Connie Bruce – gathered at Melrose in D.C.’s West End for Sunday lunch to praise the birthday gal as the “consummate producer.”

A Web site’s still life

Just as three new glossy D.C. social publications are preparing to launch, it appears that Cassandra Eckhardt’s has fallen upon hard times. Calls and e-mails were unanswered, and the Web site shows only an elegant champagne glass with a launch date that has past.

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