By George McQuade, West Coast Bureau
“We need your story pitches two weeks in advance,” said Marcella Isaza, the Los Angeles based entertainment producer for the Associated Press Television News (APTV). Isaza was among a large panel of minority media editors at a recent (April 17, 2008) Entertainment Publicists Professional Society (EPPS) media workshop at ICG Publicists conference room in Hollywood.
Marcella Isaza, APTV
“At APTV you have to pitch stories that are important to the entire world,” explained Isaza. “Because of that we need to focus on artists or actors, who already have somewhat of a reputation. It can be any entertainment event or awards show, but it has to have significant artist.”
APTV serves about 5,000 radio and 550 International broadcasters who receive AP’s global video news service. “So when we publish your story, half the planet will hear or see it,” said she said. APTV has four different divisions and pitches should go to firstname.lastname@example.org; Music@ap.org; TV@ap.org and general entertainment to email@example.com. Isaza warns that,” we need b-roll, so you need to send your music video ahead of the story event, or if your artists is performing we need to cover that so keep all those essential elements in mind before you pitch. Or if a music video is in the works that will help.”
Isaza covers all aspects of entertainment ranging from major red carpet events and award shows to film, TV, music, fashion and features. Marcela’s coverage for the AP is world wide including both TV and online clients. She handles most of the Latin broadcast coverage for television in the Western United States. “Isaza reminds PR Pros to keep in mind essentials of lighting, noise and deadlines for TV shooting (minimum of two weeks).”
“We are a major metropolitan newspaper in the second market of the country, and it happens to be published in Spanish,” said Antonio Mejias-Rentas is the entertainment editor at La Opinion, the nation’s largest Spanish-language newspaper and flagship publication of the Impremedia chain. “Since we are the second largest paper in this market, we are understaffed,” he said.
Antonio Mejias Rentas
Rentas said all entertainment pitches should be directed to him, a month notice, and overnight, because he reads his several hundred emails between 7:00 – 10:00 a.m. and between 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. and at home. Email: Antonio.firstname.lastname@example.org. “We cover music, TV and film and we look at different genres and like most entertainment publications we are celebrity driven,” he noted. “The Spanish language is a major driving factor, especially Television in the stories we do. To a lesser degree, we cover Latinos, who are doing things in the English language.” Under his leadership, La Opinion recently transformed the daily entertainment-only section into the new Hola LA, which now includes lifestyle features, food, fashion and health.
A. Scott Galloway &
“Urban Network is a magazine that primarily started out for the industry (entertainment) itself,” explained A. Scott Galloway, music editor, Urban Network. “It is only recently that the magazine has grown into a consumer oriented publication. So right now we are broadening our scope of things that we cover. We tried to target a balance of things that are both popular and stories that need to be brought to the attention of our readers on a wider basis. So we use major stories to bring people into the magazine so they can learn about lesser known topic that we want them to know about.” Galloway prefers an email pitch first: email@example.com.
Following professional stints as a drummer, in-store Music Buyer for Wherehouse Entertainment, music librarian for LA radio station KUTE-FM “The Quiet Storm” and music director of Teleprograms’ internationally syndicated weekly radio program “Fusion 40,” Galloway segued into music journalism via the industry publication Urban Network as music editor. For the last 20 years he has interviewed hundreds of artists and industry professionals, as well as reviewed thousands of concerts, albums and singles.
Billy Johnson, Jr. Yahoo! Music
“We give priority to artists our users are searching for. We get an update every Wednesday on the music side, and on the regular (search engine) Yahoo! side, we get daily statistics of who are the most searched music artists,” said Billy Johnson Jr., who authors Yahoo! Music Blog, Hip Hop Media Training, which averages 1.1 million page views per month. “We feature about 10 artists per month in our various taped programs, and we need at least one month notice. We also feel that we have an obligation to cover new artists,” he said.
Johnson leads video programming for Yahoo! Music, including overseeing the daily music video premieres program. Throughout his 18 years of journalism experience, he has served as a freelance reporter for Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Reporter, Vibe Magazine, The Source Magazine and Rap Sheet to name a few. Billy has also served as a Music expert on CNN, VH1, TV Guide Channel, Fox News and ABC.
Lee Bailey, EURweb.com
“Since our audience is urban/black, we’re looking for events, issues that matter to our audience, in particular our audience is 25 to 45 and 60 percent women,” said Lee Bailey, Rabercom Enterprises, a communications company he founded and built on the successful standards of purposes, vision, and drive. Bailey, always had an attraction to radio, which landed him in the radio business for two decades and in 1983, Lee premiered his flagship syndicated radio program, “RadioScope: the Entertainment Magazine of the Air” in 35 us markets.
Panelists answer questions
“A basic approach is pitches and stories that relate to women and our specific target audience,” said Bailey, who produces RadioScope. Today, RadioScope is aired in over 40 US markets and in over 70 countries. In addition to radio programming, Lee introduced its online publication, The Electronic Urban Report (EUR).
Cleveland O’Neal, Connection III
“At Connection III Entertainment Corp, our Flagship program Made In Hollywood, which airs on ABC, CBS, Fox, UPN and CW networks, and KCAL-TV Ch,.9, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. every Saturday, there is a 3.8 million viewer average nationwide. Cleveland O’Neal is founder and President/CEO of Connection III Entertainment Corp., an award-winning, Emmy-nominated media producer-syndicator that creates, produces, distributes, markets and brands its library of multicultural, multimedia programming, online and offline, while providing access to advertisers, corporate sponsors, and licensees desiring to reach multicultural markets. “I too prefer email pitches and a two weeks notice. Since we have multicultural ownership, we are always sensitive to multicultural projects. So we cover the general market, but also African American and multicultural markets, too.”
“We speak 85 percent English on a Latino radio station, and our audience is mostly Latinos learning to speak Spanish, they speak and understand English, but they don’t necessarily speak Spanish, so it is a niche market,” said Jorge “JT” Usatorres, morning show producer, Latino 96.3 FM KXOL. Usatorres said, his day begins at 3:00 AM – and ends at 10:00. “What happens in Hollywood, is they do not offer us a story, because they think we only do Spanish. We can take a small story and spin it into a big one. Our audience doesn’t just live in Compton and speak Spanish,” he said. Usatorres prefers a phone call first from PR Pros, and then he’ll tell you if he wants an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jorge “JT” Usatorres, KXOL
A Cuban born Miami Native, Jorge has worked at top radio broadcast centers such as Hot 105 (WHQT) and Power 965 (WPOW) in Miami, Florida. He joined Spanish Broadcasting Systems in May 05’, as The New Latino 963 FM emerged onto the market place, bringing with him a multitude of different character voices and is now the executive producer of The Morning Invasion morning show at LATINO 963 FM. He is more director/producer than just producer. He squeezes the juice out one drop at a time and on live radio that’s not easy.