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. 

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

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.

City Living: Toronto Bucket List

This time of year, Toronto gets a bit of a bad rap. We’re constantly whining about the weather
and all of those cool summertime to-do’s must wait until the spring. No patios to hit up on a sunny afternoon. Despite this, we consider ourselves pretty
lucky to get to live in this awesome city. Toronto is home to some great sports
teams (well, 
that may be up for debate ), excellent theatre, concerts, cool
neighbourhoods and restaurants. There are endless options for things to do any
day of the week.
 We’ve put together a
list of the things we’ve always wanted to do in this great city of ours – sort of like a guide to being a tourist in your own city. 

CN Tower EdgeWalk

A few of us want to conquer this crazy trip up the (former) world’s largest free standing structure.  Despite the high price, “Toronto’s Most Extreme Attraction” has been super popular and is now in its second season. The videos look crazy and this only for the bravest of the brave.
If you want to gear up and spend 30 minutes at the top of our city, try it out!
Season two lasts until this Sunday – it’s your final weekend!
Brave and stylish 😉
Image source.


One of the perks of being a publicist is getting to go to a lot of unique events around
town.  However, sometimes 
this doesn’t leave time for the obvious Toronto activities. It’s a
bit embarrassing but a couple of us have yet to explore
Kensington Market,
Toronto’s most vibrant and unique neighbourhood. Just west of Chinatown, with College Street to
the north and Dundas Street to the south, Kensington is home to great
vintage shops with spending-hours-hunting-worthy music, clothing and jewellery. On top of that, there’s a whole slew of spots to eat and drink. We love the new pub Thirsty and Miserable (wicked beer selection), the Bellevue and 
Big Fat Burrito (sometimes, you just need a big, fat burrito).

No shortage of character.
Image source

Love the eclectic and colourful buildings in the market.
Image source
Try some cool, new (or old) restaurants

For some of us, our weekends revolve around a new
restaurant or food trend that we’ve been dying to try. Next up for us? Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs.
Newly open on College Street, this unique place offers some “haute-couture”
hot dogs. A little something to remind you of your childhood, with a grown-up twist – especially with toppings like shrimp, lettuce horseradish mayo and hot sauce on their Po’Boy Gets Fancy or BBQ pork and cabbage slaw on the Southern Fancy. 

Even fancier than these dogs.
Image source
Window shop on Bloor Street

We may love fashion, but that doesn’t mean we can afford
it! As
previously posted, we love Joe Fresh for affordable and stylish pieces,
wouldn’t it be nice to purchase something from Chanel? Of course it would! With the holiday season around the corner, retail shops are dressing up their windows with extra-special displays, making it the perfect time to grab a hot chocolate and stroll down Bloor. Window shopping on Toronto’s version of Rodeo Drive is one of those things that we always recommend that visitors do, but rarely make the time ourselves. The holiday season is the perfect time to get on it.
Every girl’s dream.
Image source

Friday post

We’d originally planned to post our review of The Dark Knight Rises for today, but after recent events in Colorado, have decided to postpone our post out of respect to those affected by the tragedy.

Our thoughts are with those who have been touched by this terrible series of events.

Media, Darling: Melissa Leong

Melissa Leong is a feature writer in the arts and life department of the National Post. She has covered a variety of subjects including crime, politics, terrorism and business for the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, and the Post. She also teaches and performs Latin dance with Toronto’s Baila Boogaloo Dance Company

Twitter: @lisleong, @nparts


Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on
the horizon?
When I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up to be Stephen King.  

Where would you like to be five years from now?
I’m still waiting for this to happen, though if I suddenly became a 64-year-old Caucasian man, it might actually warrant a horror novel. 

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?  
Work your ass off. Take criticism. I had a wonderful mentor at the Toronto Star, Bill Taylor, who used to mark up my articles with red ink. He’d tell me when my leads were crap. He was right. 

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?  
I love magazines (The Walrus, Maclean’s, Toronto Life, The New Yorker). Whenever my Highlights magazine would come in the mail, it was like Christmas. Then when the Consumers Distributing catalog would arrive, it was really like Christmas.  

Best interview you’ve ever had?  
I admire humility, so I was pleased to spend an afternoon with Paul Rusesabagina, who rescued more than 1,200 people and inspired the film Hotel Rwanda.
I spoke to Chantal Kreviazuk about her family’s struggle with mental illness and she was thoughtful, sincere and inspiring. After the article was published, she invited me to a private concert and for drinks when she was in town. It’s the nicest thank you I’ve ever received for doing work that I think is important.

My most memorable experience though was at a shelter for abused nannies in Hong Kong. It was my birthday and after the interviews, the women sang and gave me a cake.

Nothing is more painful than speaking to the families of murder victims. Except maybe interviewing that guy from Entourage

Best advice you’ve ever been given? 
The director of communications at the Toronto Police told me: “You don’t ask, you don’t get.” 

What rule(s) do you live your life by? 
Treat people the way you want to be treated.  

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros? 
Build relationships. Tailor your pitches. And if my editor answers your query, please don’t pitch me, or at least let me know. You can’t sneak anything by us. We’re buds. We talk. 

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins. 
I have a lot of respect for publicists who can be open and understanding, especially when they are disappointed by a photo or headline, etc. Let’s have a conversation about your concerns. There’s no reason to be a bully. 

I hate? 
Big egos. And foods you can neither chew nor sip. Pudding. Yogurt. Mousse. Gross.  

I love? 
Gherkins. And pajamas. Not necessarily together.  

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Best place on earth? 
Taipei. There are no problems there, as Hemingway once said, though about Paris, “except where to be happiest.”

Batman. (But not when played by Val Kilmer or George Clooney.) 

Favourite app? 
My NextBus. No more waiting for the TTC.

Pool or ocean? 

Neither. I failed Intro to Water Skills three times. 

Voicemail or email? 
Email. Especially when voicemail-to-email technology makes everything so hilarious. 

Summer Music Festivals

With all the enthusiasm surrounding the recent lineup announcement for the Osheaga Music Festival,  we got to thinking about what other music festivals are happening this summer. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous roadtrip, or just a fun day of music and sun, we’ve rounded up some of the best festivals happening this summer.

Sasquatch – The Gorge, Washington (May 25 to 28)
First up is Sasquatch. If not for the music, then please go simply for the view. Taking place at the Gorge Amphitheater, this early summer festival is presented by the House of Blues and offers quite the line-up. Musicians this year include Jack White, Bon Iver, Girl Talk, The Shins, Beirut, Feist, Metric, Deer Tick, LA Riots, Coeur de Pirate, The Sheepdogs and Santigold.
Cost: $315 for a four-day pass. Tickets here.
The loveliest spot for a music festival.
Image source.
Bonaroo  Manchester, Tennesse (June 7 to10)
For those able to withstand four days of intense heat, a little dust, and a lot of die hard Phish fans, then the line-up and overall down south experience will be well worth it. With classic bands like Radiohead, Dispatch, Ben Folds Five, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, our inner 16 year old is dying to get out. Foster the People, The Roots, The Temper Trap, Major Lazer, Young the Giant and Two Door Cinema Club are sure to satisfy our current music taste.
Cost: $259 for a four-day pass. Tickets here.
Edgefest – Toronto (July 14)
Ok, so if you’re not into the idea of a multiple day road trip or don’t want to spend money on a flight, we have an awesome local festival for you. Taking place at Downsview Park, Edgefest is a mere subway ride away for local Torontonians. There is no shortage of Canadian and foreign talent with The Sheepdogs, Young the Giant, Said the Whale, The Darcys, Whale Tooth, USS and Acres of Lions, to name only a few bands.
Cost: $61 for the day. Tickets here.
Toronto can rock out. 
Image source.
Osheaga – Montreal (August 3 to 5)
If you’re like us, then your Twitter and Facebook have been overloaded with talk of this Montreal music festival. While the line-up in the past has always been great, bringing out bands like Ben Harper, Damian Marley, The Smashing Pumpkins and Amy Winehouse, the line-up this year is particularly impressive. The Black Keys, Snoop Dog, Justice, Florence and the Machine, City and Colour, Bloc Party, The Weekend, Passion Pit, Austra, Arkells, Bombay Bicycle Club, Atlas Sound, MGMT and Yeasayer are a handful of the amazing bands on this year’s incredible roster.
Cost: $217.50 for a three-day pass. Tickets here.
You’ll see a few of us from the fourth floor here.
Image source.
Lollapalooza – Chicago, Illinois (August 3 to 5)
So you may have noticed that Lollapalooza happens to be on the same weekend as Osheaga. With great deals on Porter flights to Chicago, your choice of Osheaga or Lollapalooza may just have to come down to the line-up… and we’re not saying it’s going to be an easy decision. There is usually an impressive lineup at Lollapalooza – last year’s bands included Eminem, Foo Fighters and Coldplay. This year hasn’t been announced yet, but we’re pretty certain it will be solid. However to decide?
Cost: $230 for a three-day pass. Tickets here.
Keep in mind that these are only a few of the big summer festivals. There are tons of smaller, more genre-specific concerts and festivals happening all summer long, so you can get a live music fix literally every weekend (and most weeknights). One of the best parts of these shows is how many bands play over a few days, and the fact that many of the bands hit several festivals each summer. So, if you can’t make it all the way to Tennessee or Chicago, you can check out many of the same bands in Montreal or Toronto. Score.

Media, Darling: Jeremy Freed

Jeremy Freed is the Editor of Sharp Magazine and has been there since the start. The descendant of a long line of nomads, he grew up in Toronto, Dallas, Los Angeles and rural Quebec, before settling a few blocks from his first childhood home. Before joining Sharp in 2008, Jeremy contributed to Toronto Life, BlogTO, Los Angeles Magazine and National Public Radio. He’s pretty sure he has one of the best jobs there is.
Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
Theatre was my first career path. I acted all through school and received my BA in theatre from Bishops University.

Where would you like to be five years from now?
With friends. Laughing.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry?
As was told to me by a writer I admire: “Just say yes.” And be persistent.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own?
Esquire, GQ, The New Yorker, The Daily Show, The Grid, Fresh Air.

Best interview you’ve ever had? Worst?

Best: David Sedaris – one of the warmest people I’ve ever met. 

Worst: William Shatner. We got off to a bad start and things went downhill from there. Apparently he takes his spoken-word stuff very seriously.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
See above.

What rule(s) do you live your life by?
Don’t be a jerk.

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

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
It’s always nice to deal with people who are confident enough in the appeal of their products – and their suitability for my magazine – to not have to be pushy.

I hate?
Baggy suits. Insincerity. Sprawl.

I love?


Frequently, but not enough.

Best place on earth?
Anywhere remote with trees, water and stars. And Paris, of course.

Dinner guest?
Werner Herzog.

David Sedaris.

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

Pool or ocean?
Saltwater pool.

Voicemail or email?

Media, Darling: Flannery Dean

Flannery Dean graduated from the University of Toronto with an M.A. in English Literature in 2001. Shortly after graduation, she decided to try her luck in the world of magazine journalism, though every once in a while she returns to the 12th floor of Robarts Library to fall asleep with a copy of The Canterbury Tales under her chin.

A freelance writer and editor, she’s written for TV and has contributed to, ELLE Canada, Chatelaine, Glow, Toronto Life, the National Post, Dogs in Canada, The Bark, and the Ottawa Citizen. She blogs daily for

What was your favourite class in high school?
Any class I got kicked out of definitely makes the top five. So English, Biology, Geography, Gym, and French would qualify.
Short answer: No human being hated school as much as I did. I need to be free!

How did you get your start as a journalist?

Nepotism. My mother is a writer and when I graduated from U of T, she helped me get an internship at Where Toronto magazine. It was unpaid though, so nepotism has its limits.

If you weren’t a Media, Darling, what would you be doing right now?
Parasailing with George Clooney in Lake Como.

Pitching or follow up: Phone or email?
Email is preferred. But I love to talk to a living breathing human being sometimes, too.

We know irrelevant pitches, calling you the wrong name and eight follow-ups are no-no’s; what else should publicists avoid doing?

Saying no to my requests for an interview with their clients – that is just evil.

Sunrise or sunset?
I’m greedy, I want both – and all in one day.

Scent of a Woman by Al Pacino. Very exclusive. Only available to a select group of TBS viewers.

I will eat any cookie put in front of me and I’ll probably eat yours when you turn your head.

Peonies, hyacinth, irises, and everything currently blooming in my mother’s garden.

Painfully. It’s a problem.

Shower or bath?
I’ve patented the decadent shower-bath. You start with a shower, then while the water’s running, you plug the tub and wallow in your own luxurious bilge water until someone tells you to get the hell out of the bathroom because you’ve been in there for at least an hour already.

Arthur (original). The Palm Beach Story. Topsy Turvy. I spent my youth watching TVO’s Saturday Night at the Movies.

Many! Currently Francois Arnaud, The Borgias. It’s possibly mutual as I’m pretty sure he winked at me during the season finale. 

First job? 
Dishwasher. Real confidence builder.

My mortality.