Media, Darling: Roz Weston + Katherine Holland

Seeing as how today is the international day for lovers, we decide to make a slight deviation to our Media, Darling column and feature one of our favourite media couples: Roz Weston and Katherine Holland. 


Former
Howard Stern intern, Roz Weston started his on-air career as the host of
Toronto’s first live, late night talk show Last Call. From there, Roz eventually made the move to entertainment reporter on Global TV’s ET Canada, alongside hosts Cheryl Hickey and Rick Campanelli. He starts every day off bright and early on the Kiss 92.5 morning show Roz & Mocha. Roz’s better
 half is Katherine Holland, photographer and contributing editor to Toronto’s Vitamin Daily. This bubbly, rock n’ roll couple are parents to the adorable Roxy Alabama. Today they share their insights on navigating the world of love, journalism and the Hollywood Pass.  


Twitter: @kittyholland, @rozweston


Did you meet because of working in the media industry?

ROZ: Well, seeing as how we met at a party that was also attended by Paris Hilton,
then yes. However, I also believe that all this time we have secretly judged
each other for being at a party that was also attended by Paris Hilton.
KATHERINE: We did, actually! Rick Campanelli’s going away
party from MuchMusic. But we had seen each other at media screenings long
before that, and stared each other down through our reflective aviators. I
remember thinking we looked like the sloppy outcasts, and therefore should be
best friends. When we met – we were.


How do you manage your schedules to ensure you have enough family time and
romantic time?
 
ROZ: I don’t think you can. It’s impossible to manage getting up at 4 a.m. for
five days straight, then be told to get on a flight for three days at the end of the
week. But when I’m home, I’m ‘home’. I don’t go out and I rarely socialize
during the week. Family time is whatever you make it. Katherine still picks me
up from work every night with our kid – so some of our funnest times are
singing songs together while stuck on the DVP. You make it fun.

KATHERINE: I don’t know how much we ‘manage’, we just
prioritize. When we’re not working, we’re usually together. It’s as simple as
that. I love being near Roz, and when we go a couple days without seeing each
other I feel like my heart stops working. 


Where would you like to be five years from now?
 
ROZ: Still with the woman who loves me… Only a fatter, greyer, more tired version
of me.

KATHERINE: I want to be five years better in my work, five years older, and
sharing Valentine’s Day with my 8 year old (OH MY GOD) and my Roz. 


Do you think being partners in the media industry presents any unique
challenges?

ROZ: For sure, when neither of you work 9-5, weeks can fly by without any
structure. Not to mention that both our jobs come with a ton of homework.
KATHERINE: What he said.


Conversely, what benefits are there to working in the same industry?

ROZ: The understanding that there is zero routine, and we’re both cool with
that. Totally cool. I’m proud of Katherine’s work, and her work ethic. I
wouldn’t love her the way I do if she didn’t work as hard as she does.
KATHERINE: You know the same people, and usually love the
same people. You are grateful for everyday you work, because you know there are
only so many people who get to work doing something they love in this industry.
I’ve wanted to work in media as long as I can remember, and seeing Roz at the top
of his game, hammering away at it everyday makes me so, so happy. I know how
hard what he does is, and he is the only person I know who could do it.


Do you ever get jealous of the attention one another receives being in the
public eye?

ROZ: No. Not at all. However, taking someone’s picture is a very intimate
procedure, and the editing process afterwords sometimes means, in any given
week, Katherine will stare at another man’s face more than mine. Also, I love
that other dudes are into my girlfriend! She’s hot.

KATHERINE: Oh god, no. It’s part of the job. I’m happy when
other people recognize how wonderful Roz is. He really is.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
ROZ: Treat work like work! Don’t wrap your lifestyle up in it. It’s not who you
are, it’s just what you happen to do for a living.
KATHERINE: Make it about everyone else.


Any advice for other prospective media couples?

ROZ: Don’t gossip about the industry at home, realize that you’re both going to
have highs and lows at different times and ease up on the advice. Even though
you may know the industry in and out, sometimes you just need to shut up and
let your partner rant about their shit day.
KATHERINE: I don’t think we’re so different. I would give a
media couple the same advice I would give any other couple: prioritize. If your
partner isn’t adding to your life – they’re taking away from it. So work hard
to make sure they know you love them, and do your best to better their life.
Everyone wins.


What rule(s) do you live your life by?
ROZ: Just fill your house full of love and see what happens.
KATHERINE: I try to live my life according to something I
once read in a Dave Eggers novel, “more bleeding, more giving”.


Question for Katherine – Do you prefer watching Roz on TV or listening to him on the radio?
HA! Well, they’re different beasts, and he’s excellent at
both of them. But I’m a sucker for the worn-in feeling of radio. I picture
bearded men wearing track pants and hungry women in rock and roll shirts
booming the news of the world into little microphones. I went to radio school,
I worked in radio, and I love radio. Hearing Roz’s laugh when I wake up in the
morning is just about the most charming thing I could imagine.

Question for Roz – Would you rather have Katherine or someone else take your photo?

If I had my way, I’d never have my picture taken. But if I have a choice
on photographer… There is no choice. It’s her and only her.


We hate?
 

People who love to hate everything.


We love? 

Most things.


Favourite date? 

Once we drove up to Casino Rama for a Joan Jett concert, and I
swear to god she stared right into our eyes, seducing us with that raspy voice,
as we sat in the front row. We both died. Then we ate steak.


Hollywood pass (i.e. the one celeb the other is given a “pass” for, should the
opportunity arise)?

Joan Jett all around.


Big spoon or little spoon?
Our heights are 6”4 and 5”1. Not a lotta options.

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Media, Darling: Elio Iannacci

Elio Iannacci is an award-winning journalist and FASHION magazine’s Features Editor. He is also a regular contributor to Maclean’s
magazine and has had work published in
The Globe and Mail, National Post
and
The Toronto Star. As one of Canada’s most qualified and experienced fashion
and pop culture experts, he has had the opportunity to speak to some of the
world’s most fascinating people. 



Included in his list of interviews are iconic
names that range from Karl Lagerfeld to Lady Gaga, Beyoncé Knowles to Madonna
and Oscar-winner Kate Winslet, alongside acclaimed food author Nigella Lawson.
Elio has also been featured on a number of television shows, including
CNN
Showbiz Tonight,
MTV Canada, Much Music, ETalk and Entertainment Tonight.





Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other
careers were on the horizon?

Magazines, chap books, comic books and zines were my lifelines when I was
growing up. I was always fascinated by who put them together, who was covered
in them and how they were produced. I would have been a DJ, a librarian or a
costume archivist if I didn’t get into the writing/editing game.


Any advice for people getting started in your industry?

Act like a brand and people will treat you like a product. Spend more time reading than tweeting.


What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? 

I read about three to five magazines a day (I have subscriptions to Vogue, Out, Entertainment
Weekly, The New Yorker, The Economist, The Advocate, Broken Pencil
and Interview)
and I typically keep a pound or two of poetry books, chap books, short story
collections and lit anthologies around me at all times. Online, I visit the
dailies and too many blogs to mention.


Best interviews you’ve ever had?

Sophia Loren, Karl Lagerfeld, David Sedaris, Lady Gaga, Annie Lennox, Eartha
Kitt, Patti Smith and Wayne Koestenbaum.


Worst?

Sean Combs. He answered his mobile during the whole interview and was too
distracted to answer any questions properly.


Best advice you’ve ever been given?

“You should always know when you’re shifting gears in life. You should leave
your era; it should never leave you.” c/o Leontyne Price.


What rule(s) do you live your life by?

Take vacations. Workaholics make the absolute worst writers and editors. The
best ideas are the ones you find while you are taking a couple days off and
living life outside of the office.


What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?

Read the magazine, website or newspaper you are trying to work with before you
send any emails or make any calls.


Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.

TIFF seems to bring out the extra-crazy in everyone—especially during the end
of it. I will never forget how Debra Goldblatt was able to gracefully keep it
together, while juggling four films on the last day of the fest in 2009, and manage
to squeeze in two last-minute interviews for me without complaining.


I hate?
 
                      
All fifty shades of grey.


I love?

Fact checkers, librarians, artists, poets and anyone who is an advocate for the
arts.


Reading?

Personals, a book of poetry by Ian Williams. Lynn Crosbie’s gripping Life is
about losing everything. An anthology of short stories called New Stories From
The South
(edited by Amy Hempel).


Best place on earth?

Sardinia.


Dinner guests?

Maria Callas, Jackie Onassis, Roisin Murphy, Gareth Pugh, Grace Jones, Annie
Lennox, John Parot, Alfred Corn, Truman Capote and Hedi Slimane.


Heroes?

Langston Hughes, Frank O’Hara and Lou Grant.


Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?

QuickVoice — an app that records interviews and changed my life.


Pool or ocean?

Both. I swim a mean breast stroke.


Voicemail or email?

50/50. 

Media, Darling: Natalie Deane

A producer at Entertainment Tonight Canada since 2005, Natalie Deane has interviewed countless celebrities including William Shatner, Gene Simmons, Drake, Kim Cattrall, Shania Twain, Jon Bon Jovi and Justin Bieber. She has also covered the Grammy’s, the JUNO’s and many other celebrity red carpets.

Deane got her start on Roger’s First Local as an entertainment anchor and news reporter covering local news, entertainment and sports events. From there, she moved on to Toronto 1’s Toronto Tonight as a news producer working on daily news stories. She was also a lifestyle producer on The Source, and has
developed a reputation for meticulous quality and impactful segments and shows. 

A strong believer in giving back, Deane has been involved in many charities and charitable events including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Hospital for Sick Kids, Starlight Foundation and Boobyball, to name a few.

As a supporter of charity and art events across the city, she is often cited on well-dressed lists for her outgoing personality and charming style.
   
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
Before entering the media, I lived in Japan and worked for a private English company called GEOS for five years. I was a teacher/trainer/manager. It was a wonderful experience learning a new culture, traveling all over Asia and teaching.

Where would you like to be five years from now?
I’m really happy where I am, it works for me now. In five years I hope I’m still doing something that puts a smile on my face everyday.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Like most people in the media, I started off as an intern and was then hired on before the end of my internship. When you have the chance to do an internship somewhere, treat it like a job, not another class at school. Get in 20 minutes early, work hard and show them what you’ve got. It’s an audition for your future.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
I LOVE television and watch it all day. I read newspapers, visit blogs and online mags as part of my job and because I really enjoy pop culture. I can’t really say I have a favourite, as I see good things in all of them. We have come so far in communication and it’s amazing!

Best interview you’ve ever had? Worst?
There are so many good interviews! Some of my faves have to be the nostalgic ones. It’s incredible to meet and speak with people you admired in your youth: Corey Hart, Jordan Knight, William Shatner, Smokey Robinson and Nikki Sixx. I’m still waiting for my Duran Duran interview….

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Don’t Worry Be Happy” – Cool Runnings

What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Look at the big picture.
Live, Laugh and Love.

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
When pitching, think about the content and how it would best fit with that specific media outlet. Think of the story idea, don’t just bring us the content. Be honest. I know you have to hype your product, but don’t tell me something that isn’t true. Build relationships.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
I’ve had lots of good ones, especially with rock-it promotions. I can’t think of a bad one!

I hate?
Mean people.

I love?
My family and friends. Chocolate, cheese, butter, wine and a vodka soda with lime.

Reading?
All the time. Currenly reading Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Best place on earth?
Anywhere my heart is.

Dinner guest?
Dinner Party!

Hero?
Too many to list. But generally, anyone who stands up for good.

Favourite app?
I’m still in love with BBM.

Pool or ocean?
OCEAN!

Voicemail or email?
Email.

Meet Our Team: Debra

Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski is our fearless leader, founder and president of rock-it promotions, inc. and Tastemakers. She has appeared as a PR expert on MuchMore Music, eTalk, ET Canada and Global News, and has been interviewed by The Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Toronto Life and many more.

Goldblatt-Sadowski attended Concordia University and graduated with a degree in Creative Writing. She is a published poet, a former performance artist and a produced playwright. She has no formal education in public relations. She founded rock-it promotions at the start of the new millennium in January 2000.
 
She’s known for her friendly and outgoing approach to publicity, stellar networking skills and having the ear of most media members in the city. She’ll rarely turn down an invite to a good party and has been known to throw a few fun shindigs herself.

In addition to being a great head honcho and PR maven, she is a wonderful mom to two-year-old Mila Raven, and happily married to film and television director Matt Austin-Sadowski

Twitter: @debgee


What song gets you out on the dance floor?
Anything from The Stones to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros to Gaga. Doesn’t take much to get me dancing.

What can’t you leave the house without?
My BlackBerry during the week. My daughter on the weekends.

Best gift you’ve ever received?
Advice from my smart parents.   
My husband.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Us Weekly. Dexter. Gossip Girl. Vodka martinis with three olives. Dark chocolate. Dutch Dreams. And my toes are always painted something pretty. Always. 

What do you love most about living in Toronto?
My family and friends are all here. I love that I can always find something to do. It’s a little bit rock’n’roll, a little bit of country. I also really like that it’s a big city, small town. I am six degrees from almost anybody.

Best part about being a publicist?
I love helping businesses reach new levels of success through media exposure. I love crafting story ideas for journalists. I love to write. I love to talk.

A little more from the fourth floor:
Website: Apartmenttherapy.com (love the house tours).
Designer: Marc Jacobs.
Store: Holt Renfrew.
Book: Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller; Notes of a Dirty Old Man, Bukowski; and anything by Pablo Neruda and ee cummings.
Snack: Smartfood Popcorn.
Season: Summer.
Sexy: Confidence.
Inspiration: The memory of my mother’s hugs; the sound of my daughter’s laugh.
Drink: Aforementioned vodka martini with three olives, s.v.p.
Motto in two words: Rock it.

TIFF’10: Media, Darling: Sholeh Alemi

Sholeh Alemi is a Senior Producer at Entertainment Tonight Canada, and the show’s Project Manager for the Toronto International Film Festival. She has managed ET Canada’s film unit for three years. Prior to her current show, she worked for a variety of programs and genres including Fashion Television, Doctor in the House, and the documentary series Women Behind The Badge.

When she isn’t producing stories from red carpets and movie sets, or interviewing Hollywood’s famous faces, she keeps busy with ballet, container gardening and learning Italian. This year she will be nine months pregnant at TIFF – and producing her biggest story yet!

How can someone grab your attention with a pitch?
By keeping it simple, clear and relevant to the show I am working on.

What do you find most useful when dealing with public relations professionals?
Publicists who “get it” and understand the needs of a TV crew so we all end up with a final product we can be happy about. Some of those needs include having enough time to set up to make it look good, having a location that is visually interesting, interviewing a person that is media savvy or media-trained, and having supplemental footage readily available in a timely manner to add more interest.

What is the biggest mistake PR professionals make?
Not doing their research before coming to me with a story idea. We are all very busy people and it is important to know the show you are pitching to. For example – I work for ET Canada so if someone is going to pitch me an idea for the show there has to be a celebrity angle to it. If it doesn’t, it won’t be something that will air on my show. Pitching to me so that you can check it off your list is a waste of time for both of us and I’m less likely to pay attention next time.

Your pet peeve (pertaining to PR)?
Publicists who have never watched the show I am working on. I have worked on shows in the past that are harder to watch because they have been on specific channels, but my current show is on every night. PR people should be watching it fairly regularly if they want to come to me with story ideas. Watching once last year doesn’t cut it since things change.

Any other thoughts you’d like to add?
I work very closely with publicists and I couldn’t do my job without them. The best publicists, in my opinion, seem to have a thorough knowledge of media, are on top of their own client list, understand my needs and get back to me quickly.