Media Magazine's Outfront Conference, Marriott Marquis, New York
April 27, 2010
All I could think when I heard that Former Vice/Almost President and current Current TV co-founder Al Gore would be keynoting Media Magazine's Outfront was, "it better be in person or people are going to hate us." I've covered events before where a famous keynoter or contributor or even just guest is listed, but when the event rolls around, the emcee says "and here's Madonna.... via recorded message!" and everyone throws eye darts. You probably already know that yes, he did keynote in person, but what you don't know is, Chris Matthews, host of "Hardball", did not live up to his expectations.
Oh, calm down big bosses and Chris Matthews' publicist/handler/PR person/liaison. What I'm saying is, the chatter at the cocktail party after the show was how funny, charismatic, and ... wait for it... charming Matthews was, which did not live up to the expectations of an angry, bellowing boar. Truth be told, the only thing I know of Chris Matthews is the SNL parody of him and The Soup clips of him and, well, real clips of him that appear like parodies themselves. But when that guy took the stage with poor David Goetzl, he was loud, sharp, self-deprecating, honest ("Limbaugh is a support group for white traveling salesmen."), fair ("Rush is a very smart community organizer"), and likeable. And I say this as someone who just tunes out of others' political opinions.
Of course, all of this scuttlebutt came out after Al Gore left. Because, see, as long as Al Gore was in earshot, guests weren't even interested in the open bar. This made me happy. I mean, seriously, how often do any of us get to share even a burp cloud with a U.S. vice president -- former or otherwise? I was pleased that attendees were lathered up about him.
Other talk at the cocktail party, once people got over Gore-shock and grabbed those DPAA (renamed from OVAB)-sponsored beverages, was that of the 10:15 AM panel covering "Industry's Hottest Potato: Local TV Ratings Switch," which was a study in body language, with Nielsen's Dave Thomas turning his chair away from the other panelists, meeting the eyes of only the audience and the moderator. Understandable considering one panelist threatened to sue Nielsen. Once off the stage, however, Thomas greeted others with a warm smile and handshake. He kept it cool on quite a heated panel.
Sipping cocktails and talking TV, ads, barters, and buys were Pravin Chandiramani of Simulmedia; Laurie Peterson of LP Strategic Communications; Rosabel Tao of Tao Communications; Sean Kelly from Current TV; Mike Bloxham, Director of Insight and Research for Ball State's Center for Media Design; Josh Chasin, Chief Research Officer at comScore; Eric Franchi, SVP at Undertone Networks; iPad winner Alan Schanzer, Chief Strategy Officer at Undertone Networks; Chuck Martin, Director, Center for Media Research; Corey Kronengold, Vice President, Communications at Twistage; Ajay Durani of DPAA; Anne White of PRN: Suzanne Travis of Harris; Adam Smith of Music Choice; Amy DeGregorio of Music Choice; Darren Finnie of Current TV: Debbie Maiocco of Current TV; Alyssa Hochheiser of Current TV; Ted Bradley of ONTrack Network; Dan Levi of Zoom Media and Marketing; Suzanne La Forgia of DPAA; and a bunch more.
And the bow-tie guy? That's Josh Appelbaum of Music Choice. This world needs more bow ties!
I took a million photos of the event yesterday and worked into the night doing more photog work. Forgive me for not having them all up on Flickr yet, but they're getting there!
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