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

I 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

Last 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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Where Are You Calling From? (Or, Virtual Rock & Roll)

August 23rd, 2010

I probably should have known better than to be working on a new album during MTV Video Music Awards season, but here I am, knee deep in "Forever Young" with less than two weeks to go until the channel's big night.

The timing was, of course, to be expected. As my colleague, Rachel, put it, "No one does fall like you." I have a long history of Q3 releases ("Almost Home," "Love & Other Indoor Games") typically jammed-packed amidst marathons and tours. This year, though, the reasoning was simple: "Forever Young" is inspired by Maggie. By ...

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“Hope For Haiti Now” Behind The Scenes

January 23rd, 2010

Some twenty-four hours after its original airing, and some 150 miles from the earthquake's actual epicenter, I finally watched the "Hope For Haiti Now" telethon.

Like most of these sorts of live productions, it's rare that I actually see the event itself.

Friday night, I was at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, one of four locations for this ambitious, last-minute, charitable broadcast. MTV News was conducting interviews in New York, Los Angeles and London, then serving them unbugged, unflagged and unbranded to the world's press. ...

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The Future Needs A Big Kiss

January 4th, 2010

I woke up at 4:36 this morning, then spent an hour and a half tossing, turning and rolling a thousand work-related worries over in my head.

We ended the year on a strong note, delivering success metrics well above our ambitious goals. But media and technology are changing quickly (so much so, it occurred to me, "Mister Rogers & Me" risks looking quaint by the time it finally premieres). In the final days of the year, I ran the department through an outline of our 2010 strategy. Last year, it was "More, Shorter, Faster, Smarter." This ...

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Up In The Air

December 29th, 2009

I accrued 49,000 AAdvantage miles this year. Not Ryan Bingham numbers, to be sure. But enough to get myself to Puerto Rico and back (if I could only find available departure dates).

His is a familiar world: the poetic geometry of the Midwest from 30,000 feet, the satisfaction of finding one's name on the Hertz Gold board, the comforting uniformity of Starwood hotel rooms Admirals Clubs everywhere.

Sure, I loathe take-offs (though I get by with a little help from my friend, Xanax), but I love flying. I love the anonymity, the ...

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Mazel Tov!

December 7th, 2009

Way back in 2000, my then-boss foisted an interview on me with a recent college graduate named Jonathan.

"Trust me," he said. "This guy's cover letter was so over the top, you're gonna' love him."

I won't front; I was dubious. But sure enough, the kid had moxie. So we hired him. In his first month, he asked Britney Spears to spit out her gum, and suggested Godsmack's Sully Erna to take off his baseball cap. He's had me over to Passover Seder twice, shot and directed my music videos, and been a terrific friend.

In 2004, I ...

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Goodnight, L.A.

December 4th, 2009

The American Airlines Admiral's Club is actually kinda' rockin' right now. I'm gonna' put occupancy at 74%. And I'm also gonna' bet half of those are on my midnight red eye.

A guy in a brown sweater and wire-framed glasses just ladelled some Ranch Dressing onto a plastic cup of carrots and celery. A woman in a black Ed Hardy wife beater stepped to the bar. And the fella' next to me just emptied his mini-magnum of champagne. Me, I'm tearing through a Sam Adams; all the better for sleeping, you see.

And so concludes another thirty-six ...

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November 11th, 2009

Last Monday afternoon, some 24 hours after my record-setting (well, my record, anyway) New York City Marathon finish, I settled into the massage table for my annual deep-tissue rub down.

My masseuse, Elana, was strong, driving her elbows deep into my hamstrings and calves. Somewhere between my shoulder blades, just before gingerly flipping me over, she hit a soft spot that set my nose running like a faucet. By Tuesday morning, my throat was sore. By Wednesday morning, I had a full-on head cold.

I slid sluggishly into the weekend ...

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