A few years ago, my step-daughter asked me to see if I could help a friend of hers find a job in New York at Comedy Central.  I Introduced this young lady to the then Sales Manager of the network and she landed a internship at MTV Networks.

Last night we went to Hyena’s Comedy Club here in Dallas to see her new stand-up routine.  We were really thrilled with her performance.

Jamie Lee is now a rising star on MTV’s “Girl Code”, plus is writing for other MTV properties.  She has been noted as “one of the top five  comedian who should be movie stars” by Nerve.com.  And she is a native of Dallas.

We will be following her career more closely now and wishing her the best.

You Go Girl!!

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LET’S START WITH THE OSCARS. The audience for the Oscars has fallen again this year and no wonder.  What a slow, unfunny show it has become.  With the exception of a couple of women, one gay and one black rapper, the acceptance speeches were total white bread and banal. The MC was unfunny and insulting without being humorous and the show looked like it was thrown together like pieces from someone’s  yard sale. Enough. STEADMAN – If you haven’t seen or heard of it, and have any appreciation of the art of Ralph Steadman, I highly recommend “For No Good Reason“, a documentary on this sardonic genius, his process of creation and his relationship to Hunter Thompson.  Hosted very low key by Johnny Depp with appearances by Terry Gilliam and the late William Burroughs, among others, it is a visually stunning couple of hours. See it!   It’s on Netflix. THE NET – It looks like we have won one against the big boys – at least the first round.  Net neutrality has been saved by the FCC.  And while the monsters of Cable have promised to fight it, all of us who have become as dependent upon the internet as we are on oxygen, can breath easier for a while.  Hang in there and keep after them. See you next week..

FIRST COLBERT…then STEWART…then Williams

ed. note:  The above typing is not a mistake, the lower case is intended.

I know this is old news, but I just wanted to add my thoughts to the departure of the two most trusted names in news reporting and one who just couldn’t get over himself.

For all the talk about fake news that Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart were accused of reporting, in the end, theirs was probably, the most reliable.

Brian Williams, on the other hand, seems to have so taken with himself that he wished for some heroics for, then believed that the wish had come true.

Comedy Central and all of us news junkies will sorely miss those two honest reporters and I, for one, will not miss Mr. Williams.

The selection of Larry Wilmore to fill in the 11:30 block is, while not Colbert, a fine replacement .  He has a sharp wit and tongue and his “Keep it 100” is  an interesting take on interviewing (I can’t wait until he gets some real celebrities for that hot seat.)

As to who will replace B. Williams, who cares

And my vote for Jon’s replacement…Hey, Tina Fey, what are you up to lately?


The New York Times has a lead story today regarding the ever present problem of the outrageous cost of sports programming on cable and how all of us have to pay for it.

I guess you see where my head is on this one. Nobody helps me pay for HBO or Showtime, why should I have to pay for something I never watch?

The dilemma, it is argued, is that if the cable systems charged back the entire cost to only those who watch, very few could afford to watch sports and we all know that already, attending sports events has gotten totally out of the reach of Joe Six-Pack and his family.

The fact that Time Warner just paid the LA Dodgers 7 billion–that’s right 7 BILLION-for the right to carry their games and that every subscriber in Los Angeles will have $4 to $5 added to their bill each month, just makes it more and more frustrating for those of us who already pay through the nose for premium channels.

Plus, some of the systems are planning to drop, “a few of their less popular”, channels in order to help pay for this. Great! Now we are approaching a cable landscape where only the big guys get to play and all of us have to pay.

Sound familiar??…….Bankers, Wall Street, AIG…….

It’s time that the industry treats the sports channels exactly like they do the premiums-you want ESPN? You pay extra for it. These guys are not even footing most of the bill for the broadcast, the sponsors are.

Hello Stupor Bowl….



I could say that I took time off for the holidays–which is true–but the driving reason for the hiatus of GonzoBLOG is that there wasn’t much out there that I saw as orbit-changing for the planet or that I could add anything of significance.

But I am back and besides observing that it looks like 2013 may be better advertising-wise, I believe that the recordbreaking box office for the movie industry–in the billions for 2012 (number of seats were up also) seems to be helping the TV industry as well.

The cost of a 30 on ABC’s Academy Awards Show is pushing toward 1.8 mil and late-comers may have to pay 2.0, which means audience estimates are up as well, the juxtaposition of “Lincoln” the movie and “The Abolitionists” the PBS mini-series seems to be timed to work together, and the fact that the “reality” craze is finally giving way, thankfully, to scripted fair on the tube all seem, to me, to be signs that movies will begin to influence television programming as they once did – as examples,  “M.A.S.H.”, “ Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” (Mel’s Diner).

We see that cable has been, for the most part, immune to the success and hype of the reality shows.  I believe this to be a function of the quality of programming being closer to theatrical fair as opposed to the “Beverly Hillbillies” level of entertainment.  That does not say there aren’t bad movies.  There are plenty of those.  They just don’t hang around as long as the vapid TV fair.

Movies are better than ever and it looks like it may be rubbing off on the tube.

Happy New Year!


I want to apologize for my blogging absence for the past few weeks.  No excuses, just an apology.

Today I want to share some pretty significant information about who watches, listens to and reads – yes reads – the news.  The data is reported in depth in the October 8-14 issue of ADWEEK and I encourage everyone to visit the site or liberate a copy of the magazine.

I will just cover  some things I found to be not quite obvious about news consumption, as in:

  • 38% of the public is getting its news from digital & social networks; with 29% from newspapers
  • the youngest audiences are using The Colbert Report, The Daily ShowNY Times , WSJ, and The Economist (I would not have guessed the last two).
  • The old folks are getting theirs fromThe O’Reilly Factor, Sunday news shows, network evening news, Hardball (surprise) and Hannity.
  • By affiliation it’s LIBERAL – Rachel Maddow; INDEPENDENTS – The Daily show; CONSERVATIVES – Limbaugh

When thinking about all the data as a full meal of information, the menu seems to be indicating that the news cuisine is beginning to become less like “Sit Down Dining” and more  like “Food Truck Eats”.

The younger consumer is not very interested in spending a lot of time at the table and is not taking the meal very seriously.  Could this be signaling that we don’t believe what we hear/see as much as we once did or that we have just been force fed and are “stuffed”.

When “reporters” like Colbert & Stewart continue to build audience and Limbaugh and Glenn Beck continue to slide in popularity, it appears that we are starting to push ourselves away from the table.

One final thought.  With billions of dollars being spent on political advertising this year, I will really be interested in what the CPM will be for actual voters.

I’ll get back to you in November on this one!

Miss Representation – the documentary

The Dallas Women’s Foundation will be screening “MISS REPRESENTATION”, in our area soon.

This documentary by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and aired onOWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

The film explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the under representation of them in positions of power and influence.  The film challenges our culture and conscience about gender and the media.

There will be two screenings in the area:

The first is on Thursday, September 13, in Dallas at the Studio Movie Grill on Central & Royal (11170 Central Expressway.

The second is in Plano at the Studio Movie Grill at 4721 W. Park Blvd. on Tuesday, September 18.

BOTH EVENTS will have a 5:30 reception; a 6:00 pm Screening and a 7:30 discussion with an impressive panel of local Dallas – Fort Worth women in business, education and the media.  (Go to www.dwfmissrep.org for more info).

I am proud to be a member of the hosting committee at the Plano screening.  Please join us at one of these events.  I believe you will find this documentary both entertaining and informative.


We watched the ceremonies last evening and while the Brits blew it out, I was more impressed with the way that everyone – especially Bob Costas – kept promoting all of the other feeds that NBC was filling for the games.  From BRAVO to MSNBC to NBC Sports, they have the waterfront and the track covered!

If you did it right, you could program every sport you wanted to see and play them back for decades, or at least until the next summer Olympics came along or until you ran out of disk space.

I was also very impressed with the quality and smartness of most of the commercials and the way the majority of the advertisers was tied to promoting the games.  It would really be great if they kept that intelligence level throughout the rest of the year.

I am looking forward to the remaining fifteen days.

On a more personal note, this past week, I was nominated and approved as First Vice President of the Dallas Chapter of the AAF (American Advertising Federation) for 2012-2013.  I am anticipating a fun and productive year.


I thought I had commented on this but apparently not.  The Holy Quartet – Burton/Depp/Elfman/Carter are up to it again.  This film has very little to do with the old TV series – it only alludes to soap opera.  As promised Jonathin Frid had a cameo.

It was, however, fun until the end when all the furniture and most of the cast get blown up dismembered or otherwise destroyed and then, it really “fell apart.”

Wait for the blue ray.

Jonathan Frid

From MEDIA LIFE this morning

“…Jonathan Frid, an actor who starred in the 1960s series “Dark Shadows,” died last week of natural causes at age 87. Frid has a cameo in the upcoming movie version of “Dark Shadows,” in which Johnny Depp plays his old character, Barnabas Collins….”

Dramatically ahead of his and daytime programming  as well, It’s ironic that Jonathan died just before the “resurrection” of “Dark Shadows”.  while many of you may never have seen this daytime soap opera about vampires, you will now get a chance to see what was probably the most adult program shown in the midday block of programming and the only one I ever watched.

I hope this  revival holds up in today’s mess of vampire mania.  BTW, a really fun book in the horror genre is “The Last Werewolf” by Glen Duncan.  funny, scary and at times a bit gross – I loved it!