The Downside Of The Applause Meter

February 24th, 2011

Last week, I volunteered to participate in a video testimonial shoot for a well-known suite of software that provides real-time web metrics: unique visits, page views, video streams, etc.

Yes, I love the camera. I enjoy talking about my job. And I appreciate the ability to gauge and measure success. But I had an ulterior motive.

See, the rise of real-time metrics and the increasing power of search and social have driven a revolution -- or at least a turbo-charged evolution -- in the creative process.

Where a media organization might ...

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Living In The Fish-Eyed Lens, Part II

February 16th, 2011

resizedI was in the frozen food section, just a few aisled off course in the neighborhood Food Emporium (list: coffee, half & half), when I remembered.

"You're not a Juice Head," Snooki said. "You're a Lean Cuisine."

More than 48 hours after the Grammy red carpet closed, it's still coming back to me.

"MTV News' Grammy Pre-Show" was helmed by Sway Calloway, with an assist from "Jersey Shore" star Nicole Polizzi and Rock Editor James Montgomery. I was on hand to Executive Produce.

I've worked a dozen VMAs, Oscars and Grammys, but the scale ...

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Goodnight Moonlight Baby

September 14th, 2010

resizedLast night, I bumped into Justin Bieber just seconds prior to his VMA performance of “Baby.” Just twenty-four hours later, my own baby was back in my arms.

This year's awards marked my first prolonged absence from Maggie since she was born. I was in Los Angeles just five nights, but the days were jam-packed and long.

In the fifteen years I've been here, MTV News' purview has grown by leaps and bounds. I now have a hand in all of it, from the hundreds of articles, blogs and video segments produced for the website to the 200, ...

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This Is It (This Is Really Happening)

October 28th, 2009

resizedAll the way from JFK to LAX (the part I was awake, anyway), all I could hear was the voice of Ryan Adams screaming in my ears.

"Don't waste my time; this is it! This is really happening!!! This is really happening!!!"

My brain was on the right lyric, but the alt-country singer/songwriter's seminal 2003 single, "This Is It," was the wrong track. This week, anyway, Michael Jackson owns the phrase. Hence my 5,922-mile, 34-hour trip to the red carpet premiere of "Michael Jackson: This Is It."

You've read my musings on life within ...

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Radio City Station

September 15th, 2009

resizedFor at least a day now (it's been tough to keep track, frankly; the last few have been punctuated by black holes where my memory used to be), my email inbox has been slammed by a steady flow of identical, potentially editorially-salient spam comments: Buy Valium.

For my mother, whose graduation from Columbus High School had been celebrated with a then-unheard of trip to New York, Radio City Music Hall was a white-gloved, hi-balled Mecca, thousands of miles in every way from Waterloo, Iowa. I must've been about twelve-years-old when she ...

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Breaking The News: Michael Jackson

June 28th, 2009

resizedSadly, breaking news doesn't surprises me much anymore. It is immediately what it is.

I was in a seventeenth floor corner office overlooking Times Square on a conference call with a blogger from VH1's Best Week Ever (of all media entities) when I heard the news.

"Michael Jackson had a heart attack."

Now, I was never a huge fan, but I remember the first time I heard "Thriller." I was sitting on my cousin Jimmy's bed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, wearing big, puffy headphones when I first heard Vincent Price's sinister cackle. A few months ...

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Living In The Fish-Eyed Lens

June 2nd, 2009

resizedForget the speech I gave when I ran for student council president, that night I performed in front of five thousand Iowa State Fairgoers, or even my wedding day; I hadn't experienced pressure until I've been locked into a 6 x 12 foot trailer with ten colleagues, 66 monitors, and two and a half hours of live television.

Our fifty-three foot Sweetwater Double-Expando, Multi-Format, High Definition/Standard Definition Truck was the nerve center of the entire MTV News Movie Awards Pre-Show operation. Everything was wired into it: dozens of ...

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My American Idols

May 21st, 2009

resizedI shuttled between mixing "Feels Like Home" in my bedroom studio and "American Idol" on my living room flat screen tonight.

I caught Black Eyed Peas "performance" (freaky nails, Fergie), Cyndi Lauper and Allison Iraheta's "Time After Time (like the pants, Cyndi, but not nearly as deep as Tiff and my version), Rod Stewart's "Maggie May" (great sport coat), and Kara DioGuardi's bikini moment (no complaints).

As a media executive (especially one with a hand in a few not-insignificant live events himself), I had to appreciate the ...

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Live From 2009 Oscar Red Carpet!

February 23rd, 2009

resizedThere was something oddly normal about standing there in the shadow of The Kodak Theater tonight as Hollywood's most-celebrated walked Oscar red carpet.

Maybe it was the light; the typically sun-dappled, Technicolor California sky was choked with clouds. Maybe it was that I've done a few of these before (see also Grammys, VMAs, etc). Or maybe it was optical fatigue; I mean, we've all seen a few million red carpets on E!, right?

Either way, I was wound pretty tightly as Josh Horowitz and I pulled into the press parking lot on Sunset & ...

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Live From The 2009 Grammy Awards!

February 8th, 2009

resizedWell, kind of.

It's been three years since I last walked the Grammy red carpet.

Of course, truth is that I walked the carpet (which was Heineken green, as I recall) well in advance of the actual celebrities. The rest of the night, I was working across the street in a corrugated aluminum trailer.

We have a small crew at The Staples Center tonight. Most of us, however, are working from our Times Square newsroom. Which is just fine with me. Because it may be a late night, but at least it ends at home with Abbi.

Anyway, here are ...

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