Shhh! Happy, new year job for CPB boss

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • December 27, 2005

by Karen Feld

Pat Mitchell, who has announced that she’s leaving her position as the head of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, is likely to receive a surprise job offer this week. While at CPB, Mitchell got flak over an episode of “Postcards from Buster,” involving same-sex parents – only one of her many problems there. Although Mitchell doesn’t know it, insiders tell me that she’s likely to be named president of the Museum of Television & Radio, headquartered in New York City. The organization has another museum in Beverly Hills, Calif., and another familiar Washington face runs that one: Barbara Dixon, now vice president of the West Coast museum, had a high-profile job at the Motion Picture Association of America, working with Jack Valenti for many years. Ironically enough, presidents of nonprofits are expected to raise money – and, at CPB, Mitchell was criticized for spending money. Mitchell will likely continue her weekly commute from her home base in Atlanta.

Sighting: Basketball star … and council member

Former Rep. Tom McMillen, the tall figure spotted with his silver hair above the crowd, Thursday evening at the screening of Steven Spielberg‘s new film, “Munich,” at Mazza Gallerie. McMillen played on the U.S. basketball team at the Munich Olympics in 1972 … D.C. Council Member Carol Schwartz at Francine and Mel Levinson‘s Christmas brunch talking baseball: “It’s up to the league now. We’ve done all we can do.”

Perlman’s got some chutzpah

The renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman didn’t make any friends at Georgetown’s Four Seasons hotel when he scooted around checking out a half-dozen rooms before deciding which one met his criteria to stay for his Sunday evening concert earlier this week at the Washington Hebrew Congregation. He also wouldn’t perform until his favorite chair, a Wenger chair, was sent over from the Kennedy Center for the evening. The singing cantors were scheduled to open the show with some popular musical numbers. At the last minute, we hear, that Perlman didn’t want any part of that. After all, he’s the star and wanted nothing less than star treatment and billing. He completed his magnificent performance to a standing ovation, and while greeting friends backstage, he was unaware that the producers put the cantors on to close the show after Perlman’s encore. Meanwhile, Perlman made it clear to those behind the scenes that he wants to conduct – not perform … but he does both well.

Stand-in for Hanukkah gelt

For those of you who got way behind on your holiday shopping, like yours truly, here’s a novel idea. The Washington Theatre Group – that’s the folks who sponsor the Helen Hayes Awards – is selling coupons in $20 denominations, which can be exchanged for tickets at any one of many live theaters in the coming year – Arena Stage, the Folger, MetroStage, Round House, Studio, Theater J and Signature – in the metropolitan area. There’s eight days of Hanukkah – so it’s not too late.

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