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Archive for November, 2011

Tom Brokaw talks to the Atlanta Press Club about his latest book ‘The Time of Our Lives’

Time-of-Our-Lives-Tom-Brokaw-Random-House-Audio

Forty-six years ago, during the heated Civil Rights era, Tom Brokaw made a pit stop in Atlanta for a year before moving to NBC and launching his legendary national broadcasting career.

On Thursday, the classy, esteemed newsman made a briefer stop in Atlanta to promote his latest book, “The Times of Our Lives,” a big-picture look at what our country should do to revitalize the American Dream, with interviews from a variety of Americans, including retired Atlanta real estate developer Tom Cousins. I wasn’t able to procure an interview with Brokaw (I made my request too late) but attended the Atlanta Press Club luncheon at the Commerce Club at 191 Peachtree, a building Cousins happened to build.

[Disclosure: I'm a board member of the Atlanta Press Club.]

Brokaw, who anchored the NBC evening news from 1982 to 2004, waxed nostalgic about hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “The power of his oratory,” he said. “The kind of moral fiber he brought to the debate… He changed us. He …

Continue reading Tom Brokaw talks to the Atlanta Press Club about his latest book ‘The Time of Our Lives’ »

Hill Harper hosts Atlanta-shot ‘Verses & Flow’ Thursdays on TV One

Hill Harper came to Atlanta to host "Verses and Flow" in September. It's now airing on TV One. CREDIT: AP

Hill Harper came to Atlanta to host "Verses and Flow" in September. It's now airing on TV One. CREDIT: AP

Actor and author Hill Harper (“CSI: NY”) doesn’t have a residence in Atlanta. But he sure seems like he spends a lot of time here.

“I feel Atlanta and New York are two cities just bursting at the seams with new artistic culture, new fans and individuals looking for something interesting and new,” said Harper, who is based in Los Angeles for his primary job as Sheldon Hawkes on “CSI: NY.”

In September, Harper taped eight episodes of a new TV One show “Verses & Flow,” a show sponsored by Lexus that mixes the latest and greatest R&B singers with spoken word artists. It as shot at the King Plow Arts Center before an intimate audience of 80 people.

“The music is all live,” he said. “There is no Auto Tune!”

Harper himself became fans of artists he had heard on the radio but never seen live such as Kem and Ledisi. Atlanta’s own Bone Crusher was among those who did poetry, he …

Continue reading Hill Harper hosts Atlanta-shot ‘Verses & Flow’ Thursdays on TV One »

Who is out third on ‘The X Factor’?

Stacy Francis: easy come, easy go, cry, cry, cry. CREDIT: Rick Mickshaw/FOX

Stacy Francis: easy come, easy go, cry, cry, cry. CREDIT: Rick Mickshaw/FOX

Stacy Francis out

  • No tears shed for me
  • It should have been Astro!
  • It should have been someone else besides Astro.

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Sorry. I had a playoff tennis match tonight that was supposed to start at 6 p.m. so I figure I’d get back in plenty of time to blog about “X Factor.”

But my opponent got stuck in traffic and didn’t arrive until after 6:30 p.m. Then we played a two-and-a-half hour three-set match, which I sadly lost, blowing two match points.

Anyway, it’s now 9:20 p.m. and I see that Stacy Francis is gone. Thank goodness. She really should not have been there in the first place. Not only has she had 3,000 chances to succeed professionally but she wasn’t really all that good or pleasant or anything positive in my mind.

I see that she was up against ‘lil rapper Astro in the bottom two. She warbled “Amazing Grace” in not-so-amazing fashion, attacking it like a …

Continue reading Who is out third on ‘The X Factor’? »

Video: talking 11/11/11 local weddings, Regis Philbin, ‘Elf on the Shelf’

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By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

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Dave Foley (’NewsRadio,’ ‘Kids in the Hall’) tries stand up at Laughing Skull Nov. 17-20

Dave Foley tries his hand at stand up at Laughing Skull this weekend. CREDIT: Publicity photo

Dave Foley will be doing stand up at Laughing Skull this weekend. CREDIT: Publicity photo

Dave Foley, best known as a cast member of “Kids in the Hall” and 1990s sitcom “NewsRadio,” is trying his hand at stand-up comedy after a 30-year break.

And you’ll be able to see him up close and personal at the Laughing Skull Lounge tonight through Sunday. Tickets are still available for $20 to $30, depending on the night.

Foley, 48, has a pragmatic reason for pursuing stand up on top of his acting gigs: he wants to ensure a steady stream of income to help pay for a monthly $17,700 obligation to his first wife and two teen-age sons. Last November, a Canadian court ruled that he had to make child-support payments or face jail. He escaped that fate by paying $20,000 at the time.

He began doing stand-up in January of this year, something he first tried after high school. He then nabbed a regular role on the CBS show “How to Be a Gentleman,” which featured creator/actor David Hornsby and …

Continue reading Dave Foley (’NewsRadio,’ ‘Kids in the Hall’) tries stand up at Laughing Skull Nov. 17-20 »

Joy Behar leaving HLN after just over two years

Joy Behar

Joy Behar is leaving Atlanta-based HLN at the end of this year, according to Deadline.com. (An HLN spokeswoman confirmed this news to me via email at 10:39 a.m.)

Mediabistro is characterizing the end as a “cancellation.” HLN would prefer to be kinder and call it a “non-renewal.”

Behar, better known for her spot on ABC’s “The View,” released a bland statement this morning: “I am very proud of the show that we created at HLN and I owe tremendous thanks to the show team who made it possible.”

HLN did not say why they did not renew Behar’s contract, but ratings were nothing to get excited about.

The show, which airs at 10 p.m. and airs from New York City, regularly draws fewer viewers than HLN’s top-rated evening program hosted by Nancy Grace. On Tuesday, it brought in 391,000 viewers, fourth place among news cable channels compared to 367,000 for Dr. Drew at 9 p.m. and 711,000 for Grace at 8 p.m.

The 10 p.m. slot will be filled starting in January, likely (though not …

Continue reading Joy Behar leaving HLN after just over two years »

‘X Factor’ top 10 performance recap: Rock? What’s that?

Chris Rene tries to channel Bob Marley. CREDIT: Rick Mickshaw/FOX

Chris Rene tries to channel Bob Marley. CREDIT: Rick Mickshaw/FOX

Who did you like the most tonight (pick up to 3)

  • Chris Rene
  • Lakoda Rayne
  • Leroy Bell
  • Astro
  • Josh Krajcik
  • Stacy Francis
  • Marcus Canty
  • Melanine Amaro
  • Drew
  • Rachel Crow

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This was theoretically rock week but there were a surprisingly number of R&B-tinged ballads, a reggae tune and what was basically a rap song.

For the second week in a row, Stacy Francis delighted us with the worst performance of the week. Will her ego and mis-begotten high notes finally send her home? We can only hope so.

None of the others were disasters. There were lots of good-enough performances but no killer A/A-plus worthy ones. I give Josh Krajcik credit for taking the rock genre and really singing it like a rock singer but the sound mix from the TV didn’t mesh well.

Here are my top 10 in order:
1. Drew 2. Josh 3. Chris 4. Leroy 5. Astro 6. Melanie 7. Rachel 8. Marcus 9. …

Continue reading ‘X Factor’ top 10 performance recap: Rock? What’s that? »

Season 2 ‘Idol’ winner Ruben Studdard divorces Atlanta woman

AP photo

AP photo

In the fall of 2006, I met season 2 “Idol” winner  Ruben Studdard at a CD signing at the Howell Mill Road Wal-Mart. At that same Wal-Mart, he also met Atlantan Surata Zuri McCants.

In June, 2008,  the couple were married in Birmingham, his hometown.

Unfortunately, three years later, TMZ reports the couple have filed for divorce in Alabama, citing “irreconcilable differences.”

They have no kids.

The publicist sent me this very brief confirmation: “Ruben and Zuri have gone their separate ways.”

Honestly, I haven’t heard much about Ruben lately. He did brief tour with Clay Aiken last year.

The publicist did update me on what he’s up to:

His new album “Letter from Birmingham” will be released early next year.

One of the songs on the album he did with the late Heavy D.

This weekend in Birmingham he is having a “Ruben Studdard Celebration Weekend” that includes a Half marathon (which he is participating in), pasta dinner and Casino Night.

According to Nexis, McCants has …

Continue reading Season 2 ‘Idol’ winner Ruben Studdard divorces Atlanta woman »

Regis Philbin: this isn’t the last you’ve seen of me!

regis-philbin-ap-250

When Regis Philbin earlier this year announced he was leaving his talk show “Live With Regis & Kelly” talk show, many observers thought he was retiring, perhaps disappearing from the public eye the way Johnny Carson did.

But the emphatically upbeat 80-year-old (who could pass for 60) said his career is not ending, even if Friday is his final day on the show. ABC, he said, simply didn’t offer him a good contract.

“Rather than get involved with another year-deal or whatever they wanted, I made up my mind to leave ABC,” Philbin said in an interview Tuesday by phone on his way from Manhattan to a New Jersey book signing for “How I Got This Way,” his latest memoir. “I didn’t walk away. They offered me something. The contract wasn’t that alluring.”

Speculation is now rife that another network or syndicator might pick him up and give him another show.

“I’m sure we’ll see Regis somewhere else,” said Bill Carroll, vice president of programming at Katz Television Group, a media buying …

Continue reading Regis Philbin: this isn’t the last you’ve seen of me! »

Who made the finals of ‘Dancing With the Stars’?

J.R. Martinez messed up his ankle and struggled a bit Monday night but made it to the finals anyway. CREDIT: ABC

J.R. Martinez messed up his ankle and struggled a bit Monday night but made it to the finals anyway. CREDIT: ABC

Hope leaving

  • She was the worst. No surprise.
  • I would have rather seen Rob go home.
  • I would have rather seen J.R. go home.
  • I would have rather seen Ricki go home.

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It has been practically a foregone conclusion since the first week that Ricki Lake and J.R. Martinez would make the finals.  Lake had the drive and film dancing experience. Martinez had the back story, a nice guy persona and genuine dancing skills.

So it came down to Hope Solo and Rob Kardashian for the third fimals slot, a spot taken up by unlikely candidates some season such as  Bristol Palin (season 11) and Kelly Osbourne (season 9).

In the end, Solo was voted off. The soccer star had the lowest overall judges’ score of the night, with a relatively weak paso doble garnering her a 21, the worst score for any dance Monday.

Kardashian, who I targeted …

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