Media Darling: Marichka Melnyk

Marichka Melnyk has worked at the CBC since she was 18 years
old, which was a long time ago now. Following ten years in national television
news, she switched to local radio where, among many other opportunities, she
presented the daily Go-2-It arts/community segment on the Toronto afternoon
drive time show Here and Now. She became producer of
Here and Now in 2007 and
is now safely behind the scenes away from the microphones.



Twitter: @Marichka

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

Pretty
much always seemed to be in the cards. I liked to write, and since I wanted to
make a living, journalism seemed the easy way to make both those things happen.
Even more, I like to talk… so although I didn’t go into broadcasting with a
plan to be on air, getting into radio and doing the Go-2-It segment was a
lot of fun and felt natural. I consider myself more of a producer than a
journalist. I like crafting a show and creating illusions and using
 theatrical elements, but am glad to have the journalistic training and
critical thinking for news judgement. 
If I was
going to do it all over again, I think I might have tried engineering. But I’d
have to be better at math.


Where would you like to be five years from
now?

Still here
– no one else does what CBC does – but producing a different show perhaps;
something new, with a lot of creative elements and useful, interesting
information. Or perhaps producing and hosting the world’s most fascinating,
popular podcast. A one-woman radio service!


Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
At the
start, try everything, and see what suits. I spent ten years in television news
before I figured out I should switch to radio, but doing a lot of different
jobs in TV served me well in moving forward and clarified what I liked and
didn’t like to do. Also, learn to appear calm and in control, even when you’re
not. When I was working my way up, I noticed that the people who stayed calm and composed when all hell was breaking loose always seemed to
project the most competence, and carried the most credibility. And now, when I
look at new hires and interns, I find I am impressed by the ones who don’t get
freaked out or panic or flap around when things inevitably get crazy. They may
be scared on the inside, but as long as they don’t show it, they instil confidence in their colleagues. 
My favourite advice that I got when I was starting out: Always carry a
clipboard or notebook around so that even if you’re just going to get a coffee,
you look busy and like you’re on a way to a meeting. It works.


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

I like The Star for a current overview of what’s going on in the city, the Globe and Mail for  thoughtful explorations of issues both large and small, and the
National Post for a bit of irreverence and spicy writing. For kicks, I like
Entertainment Weekly, an actual journalistic take on pop culture, and the
Atlantic Monthly is my favourite brain food. 
CBC is
always on, but sometimes in the car I pop between 1010 to check out the
competition, and 99.9 for fun driving music and to keep current. TV is all over
the dial…I’m more loyal to series like Mad Men and House of Cards and Game of
Thrones
than to networks. 


Best interview you’ve ever had? Worst?
After so
many years and so many conversations, I can’t think of a particular best or
worst interview. I can say that my favourite interviews in general are the ones
with smart people who are slightly loose cannons, who can surprise you and make
you laugh with offbeat perspectives or commentary in between their useful
viewpoints (former MPP Peter Kormos comes to mind as a good example). Or the
ones that tell a story that keep you hanging and listening and waiting to hear
what happened next. The worst interviews are those that are vague, or get
lost in jargon, or stay firmly on message track and never loosen up to let the
real person come out. Those conversations are so boring and unhelpful, they
literally make me cringe.


Best
advice you’ve ever been given?

It sounds so cheesy, but honestly, the most important thing is to be nice to
people. It’s an easy thing to forget…but when my father, who was possibly the
nicest man in broadcasting, passed away, I realized from the numbers of people
who came out to speak well of him how rare it can be, and how much that
matters. You interact with a lot of people every day; make those encounters
as pleasant as you can, and leave the other person feeling good as much as you
can. You never know how the smallest nicety, or the most fleeting rudeness can
be well remembered, but the longer you live, the more you realize how those
passing impressions can come back to haunt, or help, you down the line. It
actually matters, and it pays off professionally and personally in ways you can’t
even imagine.



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

“Live
happily ever after” sounds like a fairytale, but “live
happily” is actually pretty doable. That, and “open every door”. I tend not to turn down experiences or learning opportunities, and try everything
new I possibly can. It keeps things fun and interesting, and you never know
when you might trip over your next great passion. I have a bracelet engraved
“Do More” that I literally got from a cereal box purchase, but I
actually really like that sentiment. You can always do more, in everything.


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

Know who
you’re pitching to, and what kind of show it is. It is frustrating, and wastes
both your time and ours, when you put effort into a pitch and then have to hear
that that is not the kind of story our show does (i.e. it’s national, or
commercial, or too visual, or the guest isn’t available until after we’re off-air, etc.). Figure out how to skew your pitch to our tone/mandate, so that your
pitch becomes an opportunity for real storytelling, rather than a sell job just
to get a company name out there.
Another
critical tip: if you’re going to put out a press release, HAVE SOMEONE READY TO
SPEAK TO IT! There is nothing more infuriating than being asked to consider a
story, being persuaded by the copy to call up in hopes of getting an interview,
and then being told the principal talker is out of town or unavailable for a
five minute chat. Better to wait till the main speaker is available, than to
send out a release that can’t be followed up on. 
Also,
remember we’re radio. If you have audio material – clips, music, sound effects
— send them. We love that stuff.



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

I can’t
name them all because there are so many I’d hate to risk missing one, but I
have had a lot of luck with PR pros representing arts, and particularly
theatre, in this city. I love the reps for both a major arts festival, and a
local theatre company who each asked to meet with me and introduced me to their
lineup with an eye to finding interesting stories we could build conversations
around. Together we found concrete ways to showcase various productions in
meaningful, colourful and interesting ways that served both our objectives, and
the listeners. 
I also
deeply thank the many PR pros who know our show and needs and are efficient in
delivering opportunities for interviews, background material, and the guests to
studio in a painless, hassle free manner. Our show is a small, fast-moving
little shop, and we are grateful to the PR pros who make setting up an
interview easy.

I hate?
Oversleeping.
If only it didn’t feel so good to be lazy.


I love?
Travel
travel travel, and not just visiting places but really hanging out and getting
to know them. When I win the lottery, it’ll be a one way ticket around the world
for me. 
Also,
stationery. I have a weakness for beautiful notebooks and fountain pens.


Reading?
Everything from fun novels like Dave Barry’s Insane City to The Canon, a layman’s tour
of scientific theories and principles. My favourite genre is literary
fiction: I really liked The Paris Wife, and well written historical
non fiction; Devil In the White City is one of my all-time favourites.


Best place
on earth?

In a car, on a roadtrip somewhere new and interesting with my husband. 


Dinner
guest?

I never
know how to answer that one. 


Hero?
I don’t
know if I have one. I admire different people, from my parents down to my girl
scout troop, for different things.  


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

Groupon
and the other group-deal apps. I am a sucker for all the new experiences they
offer — so far this year alone they’ve led me to Pilates, horseback riding,
snowshoeing, and Kangoo jump classes. And the list continues!


Pool or
ocean?

Pool. The
ocean is noisy (although wave jumping is admittedly really fun).


Voicemail
or email?

Email.

Theatre
show or cultural event you’re most looking forward to this year?

BOOK OF MORMON. I’ve heard so much about it for so long, I’m dying to see what all
the fuss is about, and I love Trey Parker’s work. He’d be one of those great
smart, funny loose cannons that I bet would make a fascinating interview. Him, I’d have over for dinner!
RACE at Canadian Stage is another show I’m looking forward to, because I’m curious
to see Jason Priestley act (on stage) and love pretty much anything by David
Mamet.

Media, Darling: Shinan Govani

Shinan Govani is the National Post‘s resident snoop and people watcher. In addition to frequent television appearances and being Page Six‘s “go-to-Canadian,” Govani has also appeared in such publications as Salon, Details, New York, Fashion, and enRoute. “Shinan is to celebrity what the Bank of Canada is to the dollar,” Toronto Life once said. His beat has him meandering across umpteenth different types of scenes, in Canada and beyond, whether it’s the Art Basel scene in Miami, Fashion Week in Paris, the film festival circuit c/o Sundance/Cannes/Toronto, the society set, the chef crowd, etc. Earlier this year, he attended Vanity Fair‘s famous Oscar night party in L.A. – the only Canadian journalist to be invited inside the party.


Photo Credit: Sisi Penaloza
Website: National Post
Twitter: @shinangovani, @nationalpost


Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
I can’t remember not being a media-phile and know-it-all, but I didn’t always know how it would translate into a career. Always had varied interests – including politics, culture, style, food – and the great thing about journalism, per se, is that one can minor in all those subjects at once, if one wishes. More specifically, for me, most of my interests in all subjects pivoted around the people in various tribes, so winding up with the kind of column I write is no accident. I’ve always subscribed to Jonathan Swift’s famous dictum: “Character is plot,” i.e. I believe all great stories – be they world events, or tabloid tales, or what not – come down to people. Their vanities, their hang-ups, their childhoods, their reaches for validation, etc.
I will also add that I was always the guy who’d have anxiety attacks when I passed newsstands, fretting about what I hadn’t yet read, as well as the kid with the flashlight under the blanket reading a book way, way after bedtime.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
More books, for sure (my first novel, Boldface Names, came out a few years ago). I’d like to maybe take a stab at writing biographies at some point. Also, I want to continue to give back, socially-speaking, having played in this crazy playground for so many years – continue to contribute in causes such as AMFAR (I co-chaired its annual gala in Toronto for two years, through which we raised close to two million dollars). I want to go live in Venice, Italy for a spell, but in the winter. I see it very clearly: Venice. In the winter. When the hordes of tourists have poofed, and the city is supposed to be the most hypnotic (it’s when the moisture from the sea hits the chill, creating a haze off the canals that filters the suns into variations of pink and gold). 
Also: I’d like to get around to making bread. But just once.
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Read and write. And write and read.
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? 
I am a veritable Cookie Monster when it comes to media-consumption, so, in addition to many of the obvious (the Page Six-es and the Vanity Fairs) I’ll just throw a few things, at the top of my head, and in no particular order: some fun podcasts on KCRW, out of L.A., including Elvis Mitchell’s showbiz-insider, ‘The Treatment’ as well as the quite charming ‘Good Food’; Tatler out of the U.K. (required reading in my field); the weekend Financial Times (love the ‘Lunch With’ column, and David Tang’s high-larious advice column!); anything Camille Paglia or Ingrid Sischy or Bob Collacello; everything Daily Mail; the Daily Beast (much better curated than the Huffington Post); the Great Lives series on BBC4; columnists, far and wide, like Maureen Dowd, David Carr and Cathy Horyn in the New York Times, AA Gill in the London Times, Emily Nussbaum and Anthony Lane in The New Yorker, Mike Musto in The Village Voice; Arts & Letters Daily online; the Slate Culture Gabfest; Fashion Police on E! (I would never dare miss an episode!); Hardball; Rachel Maddow; the ‘At Issue’ panel on CBC’s The National; all the great aggregators on New York mag (The Cut, Grub Street, Vulture, etc); NewYorkSocialDiary.com (where the great gossipist Liz Smith still is going and writing!); Barbara Amiel in Maclean’s (I won’t even try to resist!)…NPR’s ‘Fresh Air’ (I worship Terri Gross!)…AdweekSalonPolitico…Richard Lawson on theatlantic.com…Jason Gay on tennis in the Wall Street Journal…Roger Friedman’s Showbiz 411 column online…and it goes on. (Oh, how I miss Christopher Hitchens).
Special shout-out to Bon Appetit magazine, which, I believe, is the most-improved glossy, with Adam Rapport as editor. In many ways, it’s the best culture mag out there!
Best interview you’ve ever had?
Having tea with Jackie Collins, one-on-one inside the Plaza Athene in New York, was pretty nifty. But maybe ’cause it was just last month that I remember it so fondly. (I’ve been at this for a while!)
Worst?
Linda Evangelista. What a bore! Definitely proof positive that models, in most cases, lose all their power when they speak.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Plus ça change. Also: “You’re never as good as your best review, and never as bad as your worst.”e
As Good As Your Best Review, And Never As Bad As Your Worst’ –
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Oh, why the hell not?
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Bikram yoga.
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
All my best experiences with PR pros have occurred through genuine relationships developed over my years of doing this. Let me be frank: in the context of a social column, it’s all about back-scratching and, well, that thing called chemistry. A press release is probably the least effective way of getting my attention. A publicist who can craft a story angle, or at least lead the horse (me!) to water with it, will definitely get my attention faster. A publicist who has given me a scoop on a matter something/someone that’s not a client, or is occasionally the source of intel, will get my attention when they need something from me! More specifically: my particular column is all boldface-oriented, so a fast-thinking PR will mould a story, or a mention, in a way that has boldface potential. In New York or L.A., when I hear from PRs, they’ll often send me the pitch, in proper paragraph form, having boldfaced the names in themselves, so I immediately get the pic. This doesn’t happen often in Toronto.
I hate?
Debbie Downers. And raisins.
I love?
People who can see and appreciate all the colours. And spicy food that makes me weep.
Reading?
Crazy Rich Asians, an advance-copy of a novel that I think is going to be huge. It’s out in June. It’s kind of like a Chinese Dallas meets a Chinese Real Housewives meets a Chinese Royal Tenenbaums. I also have a pretty interesting biography on the go: Constance: The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs. Oscar Wilde.
Best place on earth?
The Maldives – primarily because I’ve never been. (The mind provides the best excursions!)
Hero?
Victoria Grayson.
Pool or ocean?
Ocean.
Voicemail or email?
Email. (Or tweet!)

Media Darling: Karl Lohnes

Karl Lohnes is a design
journalist of all good things related to the home. He reached millions of
viewers for eight years while appearing on America’s This Small Space on HGTV and was one of the founding editors of
Style At Home magazine, with which he was associated for almost 15 years. 
He is currently the
on-air home decor expert for CTV’s Canada AM and The Marilyn Denis Show, offers
up a monthly style report on CHUM FM’s
All About Style with Marilyn Denis and is the weekly home columnist to Metro
News
in Canada and the United States. He is a popular speaker at consumer/
trade design shows and is an avid shopper. Lohnes also runs a private design and
décor consulting business and loves to cook, bake and entertain.



Twitter: @KarlLohnes

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon? 
The world of media fascinated me from a very early age, especially magazines; those names on the mastheads were like gods to me. I thought editors of a magazine were the ultimate in media power, then I started to work for some only to realize they are everyday people making a living. I studied  marketing and advertising in college and fell in love with design/decor in my mid-twenties. I worked at advertising agencies, for a major bank and the phone company before realizing that wearing a tie was not for me. I started my career in design by working at furnishings store Urban Mode on Queen St. in downtown Toronto. 
Where would you like to be five years from now?
In five years from now I hope to have expanded my media reach through newspapers, television, radio and magazines. Truly, the only worth that a media personality has is how many people they can speak to. 
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
In the design world, the best thing you can do is look and listen…It’s the only way to predict trends and absorb the vibe on the street. In media, the best thing you can do is be humble and not expect everything to happen overnight.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? 
My favourite media outlets are airplane magazines; they incorporate culture, city buzz, travel, food, fashion but rarely decor…They tend to be nice monthly capsules of what’s happening out there. 

Best interview you’ve ever had?
About me: The Washington Post. They coined me ‘The Dr. Phil of Decorating’. I lived off that nickname for personal appearance booking for about ten years. Best interview I’ve conducted? My interview with Diane Von Furstenburg when she launched her home decor line. I realized that the more famous someone is, the less they actually have to say publicly. 
Worst?
The very first time I appeared on Canada AM. I was promoting Thanksgiving turkeys and the interview segment went horribly wrong. Its one of my biggest career lessons; stick to what you are best at and don’t try to be something you are not (like a turkey expert!).

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Stay focused on your passions and incorporate them into your work. All of a sudden, work becomes a good reason to wake up to each day. 
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
If you want respect, you need to treat everyone the same…Whether you are nice or an ass; just be consistent. 

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Your media contacts will always outlive your client contracts.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
Getting follow up after I’ve publicised your client’s product. Its a very rare thing to get a thank  you these days. 

I hate?
Having to deal with three different PR contacts for the same media opportunity; the senior account director who secures the opportunity, then an associate account manager that sends the information, then the intern who tries to communicate with me

I love?
Having a weekend brunch or coffee with one of my PR contacts. It shows they go far beyond 9-to-5 role in their career.

Reading?
Hopefully my own book really soon…Until then, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. It’s 782 pages long so wish me luck.

Best place on earth?
The Jasper Park Lodge Resort. A magical place where time stopped in the mid-1950s.
Dinner guest?
Martha Stewart; although we have dined in the past, I have never cooked for her at my house.
Hero?
Any and all of my editors for making sense of the messages I write.


Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Olson Recipe Maker…Helps me with my cooking, baking, food prep etc. Couldn’t live without it when at the grocery store.
Pool or ocean?
Ocean; peeing in the water becomes less guilty.

Voicemail or email?
Email; it means I can respond any time of the day or night. 

Media, Darling: Julia McEwen

Julia McEwen has been fixated on all things beautifying since she
was a child sewing clothes for her dolls and giving them radical new hair ‘dos.
She’s a fashion sleuth, facial mask hoarder, self-described dog snob, and
purveyor of shiny fabrics.
She briefly worked as an independent fashion designer and a
freelance wardrobe stylist before joining Canadian Living almost five years ago. Now, as fashion
and beauty director, McEwen is responsible for fashion and beauty photo shoots,
service driven beauty stories and testing the latest products and trends.



Did
you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the
horizon?
Many
jobs — both real and fake — were on my wish list growing up, but a job in the
media was never top of mind. Like most little girls, the prospect of being a fairy princess or a mermaid sounded like a good bet. As I grew older (but not
so much wiser) professional gymnast or Olympic downhill ski racer was the goal.
Next came vet, marine biologist, lawyer, interior designer and then finally I
settled on fashion designer. I went to school for fashion design and fashion
business and while attending one of my electives, fashion journalism, I decided
that was my dream occupation.
Where
would you like to be five years from now?
I’d
still like to be working in print media, but on a larger scale with more of a
focus on fashion. I’d like to be writing and producing aspirational photo
shoots and articles. Ideally this future publication would be located in NYC or
London.
Any
advice for people getting started in your industry?
Try,
try and try again. Oh, and do one, two or even three internships. Perseverance
is the name of the game in this industry. You have to love what you’re doing
because it’s a ton of work for not a lot of pay. Also, never be rude to people.
Being an asshole will get you nowhere, fast.
What
are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? 
Best
interview you’ve ever had?
Surprisingly
enough, one of my best interviews was also one of my first interviews. It was
with reality TV mentor, Tim Gunn. He was very media trained so for a newbie
journalist it was appreciated. He was also astoundingly insightful, charming
and inspiring. What more could I ask for?
Worst?
Carrie Underwood. Seconds before the interview I was instructed not to ask any
questions with a Canadian emphasis. I work for Canadian Living magazine……
Best
advice you’ve ever been given?
“Why
say no when it feels so good to say yes.” – Tommy Boy, the movie.
“Don’t
live in the past or the future, live in the now.” – My friend’s mom, aka Buddha
reincarnated.
What
rule(s) do you live your life by?
Likely
this rule is fuelled by my OCD, but for the last eight years, I plan out my outfit
for the following day. Every detail is decided on in advance, including
accessories and jewelry. It helps keep my closet tidy and gives me plenty of
time to map out the perfect outfit for the day ahead.
What’s
the most important tip you can give PR pros?
When
it comes down to it, a PR person’s success depends on their relationships with
media peeps. We’re all human, no need to send out mass emails or leave awkward
voicemails like you’re reading from a bad script. Just be real, talk openly and
be honest.
Things
that make me happy:

When
a press release has the name of the product, price, availability and arrives
early enough for it to be timely to feature in book for long lead media, e
vents
on the subway line that are first thing in the AM and e
vents/previews/interviews
that start on time and don’t last longer than an hour.

Things
that make me go crazy:

Massive
attachments in email, t
he
phone call follow up less than 24 hours after the initial pitch/event has been
sent or emailed, s
aying
something is exclusive when your direct competitors are being offered the exact
same thing and ev
ents/previews
in the middle of the day.

Best
experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
I’ve
had countless warm and fuzzy experiences with so many wonderful PR pros it’s
difficult to pick an all time best. So I’ll just give a few of them shout outs
for being my PR guardian angels: Katherine Hamilton, Lisa Kruger, Lindsey
Haywood, Caroline Duguay, Sarah Smithers, Anita Matte, Kelly Amsterdam, Isabelle
Randez and Jessica Shamess.
I
hate?
Leggings,
UGG boots and Canada Goose jackets. Especially when worn all together with a
Starbucks in hand. #fashionfail #lifefail
I
love?
Day
sequins, rice and Norwich terriers.

Reading?
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.
Best
place on earth?
Somewhere
I’ve yet to discoverer. My money is on Anna Dello Russo’s apartment-sized
closet.
Dinner
guest?
Hero?
I
don’t have one overarching hero in my life but there are lots of influential
women out there who inspire me — and one man. Jenna Lyons, Julianne Moore,
Grace Coddington, Cate Blanchett, Gwen Stefani and Tom Ford.


Favourite
app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Vine
is the newest app added to my social media roster. So far it’s tied with
Instagram for top spot. Followed by Twitter, Pinterest and Viddy.
Pool
or ocean?
Ocean.
Public, resort and/or hotel pools are cesspits. 
Voicemail
or email?
Emails
all the way. Even if it takes me one, two or seven plus days I’ll eventually
reply to your email. Voicemails make me ragey.

Media, Darling: Natalia Manzocco

Natalia Manzocco heads up the Homes section and
copy edits at 24 Hours Canada, and writes about fashion and technology for QMI
Agency and Sun Media newspapers. In her “spare time” (a term she uses
extremely loosely) she plays guitar in The Cheap Speakers.



image source: Natalia Manzocco

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what
other careers were on the horizon?
In grade four, I wrote and designed my own one-page
“newspaper” full of book reviews and handed it out at school. I
probably should have seen this coming, all things considered. 
Things really crystallized in high school, when I learned
that the drummer from Barenaked Ladies (my preteen heroes — I was about as cool
as you might expect) went to Ryerson for radio and television studies. Further
investigation revealed that Ryerson had a well-known journalism program, and
there it was. Thanks, Tyler.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
Surrounded by lifestyle content ’round the clock, working
on putting together a beautiful, engaging and fun product (print, magazine, web
— wherever).
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Meet lots of people, be nice to them, and expand your
network of contacts. You never know what doors will open. 
Be prepared to go where the opportunities are; I was
lucky enough to find internships and summer jobs that took me to Calgary and
New Brunswick. Let the wind blow you around.
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your
own?
Truth be told, I probably spend
more time reading the exploits of Twitter’s army of wisecracking Torontonians
than any established media source. But I typically go to the Toronto Star for breaking
news, the New York Times for feats of long-form daring, the Globe and Mail for
a little of each of those things, and Refinery29 and The Cut for fashion
content. I also have severe Lucky Magazine problems. If it takes too long to
show up in my mailbox I start twitching.
Best interview you’ve ever had?
Notable sweet, chatty people include Jason Reitman, Josh
Ritter, and Jay Ferguson from Sloan.
Worst?
I interviewed the drummer from a hardcore band who had
just released his own solo record. He sat reclined on the green room couch with
his feet up and responded to all of my questions like so: Yah. No. Yah. Every
drummer joke I’ve ever heard: validated.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
I’ve been given plenty, but I also have the memory of a
goldfish. Much the stuff that has stuck with me can be found in the lyrics to
Nada Surf’s 2005 album The Weight Is A Gift.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Don’t be afraid to take the shot. If you find a door,
give it a wee push and see what happens.
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
This is just going to end up being a list of pet peeves.
I apologize in advance.
– Please don’t call and follow up on a pitch you sent me
that morning. My focus is so limited (homes, tech, style) that I just may not
be able to utilize the pitch you’ve sent. If I can, though, you’ll certainly be
hearing back from me!
– You don’t really need to put my name on the press
release. Personal touches are great, but I completely understand if you want to
reduce the odds of slipping up on the ol’ copy-paste and calling me Terry or
Steve or, God forbid, Natalie.
– If you’re sending releases and samples in the mail,
please don’t use a box big enough to fit a flat press release into when all
you’re mailing along is a tiny, tiny lipstick. Get a padded envelope. Get rid of
that fancy folder. Anything. I CAN HEAR TREES WEEPING.
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear
about #wins.
Much of what I do is pretty on-the-fly, so when I send an
email frantically seeking high-res art or a product’s Canadian
availability/MSRP and the rep gets right back to me, I tell you, the angels
sing. I try not to assume that everyone’s at their desk ready to help me out
all of the time, but it’s absolutely marvelous when someone is prepared with
all the necessary info and materials and can get you out of a tight jam.
I hate?
Copy editor hours. Getting to wake up late is pretty
great, but I will unfortunately never be able to attend anyone’s awesome
late-afternoon event. Gotta build me a paper.
I love?
Polka dots, stripes, glittery stuff, Fender guitars with
matching headstocks, Blanche de Chambly, and my cat (who is himself striped).
Reading?
I still need to finish Grace Coddington’s autobiography,
which I was distracted from a couple weeks ago. The last one before that was
Who I Am by Pete Townshend. Next on deck is The Good Girls Revolt: How theWomen of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace by Lynn Povich.
Best place on earth?
Zingerman’s deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Dinner guest?
My dad, from whom I inherited all of my foodie
tendencies. I would bring my A and A+ games for that meal.
Hero?
Novelist/YouTuber John Green, Lena Dunham, Jenna Lyons,
and Electric Six lead singer Dick Valentine. And my mum. And Keith Moon.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these
days)?
I’m a bit of a beer nerd; lately I’ve been tracking all
the brews I sample through Untappd, which is a fun little social media app that
lets you rate and review beers, check in to wherever you drank them, and earn
badges, Foursquare-style. Thanks to the guys at C’est What for most of the stuff
on my “tried” list. I’ll see you tonight, probably.
Pool or ocean?
Ocean. You can actually sit and hang out by the ocean and
enjoy it without having to actually get in (something I would prefer to avoid).
Pools are significantly less fun to observe.
Voicemail or email?
Email, always.


image source: Natalia Manzocco
“The internet loves cats”

Media, Darling: Maggie Wrobel

Maggie started at the Globe and Mail in 2005 as a copy-editing intern
on the night News desk.

She was also part of the team that launched Globe Life (the
paper’s daily lifestyle section) in 2007. She worked as the production editor in the Style section for
five years before moving to her current position as assistant Arts
editor in the newly merged Life & Arts section in March of last year. In her current role she assigns and edits Arts stories both
short and long, with a particular eye to popular culture and music.

Image source: Maggie Wrobel

Twitter: @maggiewrobel

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what
other careers were on the horizon?
In grade six, I wanted to work for the United Nations. By
the end of university, I was getting set to move to Africa and work for a
non-profit. But I’d always loved reading and writing, and spent several years
as a writer and editor at my university paper (UWO’s The Gazette).
 So, when I landed a summer copy-editing
internship at The Globe and Mail, I jumped on it. Eight years later, here I
still am.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
In the audience for Saturday Night Live‘s 43rd
anniversary special.
Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
Don’t pretend you know what someone is talking about when
you don’t. I don’t believe in ‘fake it till you make it.’ I think asking
questions is important – it shows you’re curious and willing to learn. I’d pick
genuine enthusiasm over bravado any day. That said: read. Read everything. And
then read some more.
What are your favourite media outlets, not including your
own? 
The New York Times and New York Magazine are both leaders
in our field and offer much inspiration, especially in the ways in which
they’ve embraced digital content.


Newseum.org is a must-visit every morning, offering PDFs
of front pages from all over the world, and always leads to much surfing.


And I admit it surprised me, but Twitter has a great
rhythm for daily news, both high and low-brow.
Best interview you’ve ever had? Worst?
I had a lovely interview last year with Laura and Kate
Mulleavy, the visionary sister act behind Rodarte. They were gracious,
interesting and genuinely down-to-earth.
As for bad interviews, they do happen, and for many
different reasons. But there’s always a way to make a story great. You just
have to find it.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
When I was a young, eager up-and-comer, a colleague (now
friend) once told me she noticed I nodded a lot in meetings. I thought about
it, and she was right.
 I was trying to
seem encouraging and enthusiastic, but quickly realized that having a bit of a
poker face can actually be much more effective sometimes.
 Staying aware of your body sounds like a
silly thing, but the way you are perceived – even physically – can have a huge
effect on your career.
What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Always, always be kind. It can be hard to put yourself
into other people’s shoes, but it is essential to at least try.
What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Know who you’re pitching to and what they do. Read
mastheads, stay on top of Twitter and, if you still don’t know, ASK. You’d be
shocked how many people still think I’m the travel editor, a post I held for
less than two months more than four years ago. (For the record, the Globe’s
real travel editor is Domini Clark, who gives the world’s best advice on
everything from banking to, ahem, body language in meetings.)
Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear
about #wins.
Anyone who gets me what I need on deadline becomes that
day’s hero.
I hate?
Short-sightedness and pasta salad.
I love?
My job!
Also: the J. Crew catalogue, BarreWorks (the only
happy-making gym in the world), Moleskins, brunch and watching the tiny
inflatable Raptor bounce at Raptors games.
Reading?
Always.
Best place on earth?
A diner on Saturday with a stack of pancakes and a new
magazine.
Dinner guest?
J.D. Salinger! I’d probably nod a lot.
Hero?
I am lucky to have many. My mom is the strongest woman I
know and my dad the nicest man. My friend Lori Mastronardi is an amazing
wordsmith and has the incredible ability to always see the good in people and
situations. I also get a lot of strength and inspiration from hip-hop, be it
coming-up stories like Kendrick Lamar’s or the unapologetically upper-class
rhymes on Watch the Throne.
Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these
days)?
 I make a mean playlist. My day would not be the same
without Rdio for BlackBerry.
Pool or ocean?
Both, preferably within walking distance of each other.
Voicemail or email?
 Email. Or lunch.
Theatre show or cultural event you’re most looking
forward to this year?
The Arts & Crafts’ Field Trip has all the makings of a
killer time. Can’t wait. (Ed. note: we agree!)

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.