It’s Trans-Jenner Time

Risë Birnbaum


Caitlyn Looking Coy

Just when you think you’ve heard and seen it all…there’s more.   World — meet Caitlyn.  Caitlyn is gracing the July cover of Vanity Fair and, yes, Caitlyn used to be Bruce.  Annie Leibovitz captured Caitlyn for a cover that will go down in history about a his-to-her story.

No, this is not a still from Ex Machina, it’s formerly Bruce Jenner, the worlds’ greatest Olympian, who is looking pretty hot in some lingerie.  I’m not sure she’ll be the next Victoria’s Secret model, wait — strike that.  I think Victoria’s Secret might jump all over this opp.

Remember, this is the same testosterone-fueled person who jumped higher and ran faster than any other Olympian in the world (though hormone levels have probably changed).  And now this javelin-tossing athlete is striking a pose like a 1950’s  pin-up girl.


Bruce Jenner wins the Decathlon

As the red blooded all American woman that I am, I still drool over pics of Bruce when he won Gold.  That said, I guess Bruce-turned-Caitlyn still looks pretty fetching.

I could crack jokes all day.  It’s too easy.  This is an amazing story that will hopefully liberate men and women who believe they were born the wrong sex and are determined to do something about it.  If Bruce had not become Caitlyn, he might have died.  He and his family admit that.

So, Caitlyn is waaaay out of the closet, way beyond that box of Wheaties and way beyond the limits that we place on ourselves.

Bruce was amazing at the Montreal Olympics in 1976.  But, mon dieux, Caitlyn is even more amazing on the cover of Vanity Fair in 2015.

“Today” is So Yesterday

So, what’s going on at the Today show?  Can you imagine what breaks must be like for Ann, Matt and Al this week?  Yipes.

I never thought Ann was the right fit for the hole Meredith left.  Meredith was a vibrant and intelligent co-host, while Ann talks too much and too fast and isn’t an insightful interviewer.  So NBC got it wrong from the start.

I’ve become much more of a fan of Morning Joe these past few months (and I’m not alone).  Not to mention that GMA is coming on strong while Today’s ratings soften from too much soft news.  It’s hard to beat Mika, Joe and Willie’s rat-a-tat-tat style of news banter and the show’s overall energy, style and dynamism.  The Today show seems so stagnant in comparison.

The latest news is Savannah Guthrie will replace Ann.  That’s a step in the right direction, but more of a band-aid than a long-term solution.  Matt is terrific, but is best when he has the right sidekick.

Maybe Today should have conducted an online poll asking viewers their pick for Matt’s co-host.  My pick is to bring back Amy Robach.  She left in May to go to ABC as a news correspondent and has the magic mix of news chops, talent and smarts that’s perfect for the morning chair.

As for Ann?  Though not a fan, it’s tough to watch the show these days while knowing Ann is probably crying in her coffee.  The Holy Trinity is straining to keep it together until Ann vanishes into the green screen (or green room).

Savannah’s got big shoes to fill and they’re not Ann’s.  They’re Meredith’s.  And in my mind, they’re at least a size 10.

How to use the news?

It’s not always easy to develop a news angle that resonates with editors and producers, but there are simple ways to increase the odds.

Risë Birnbaum, Founder of zcomm in Bethesda, MD and former ABC Network Correspondent, says be a news hound.  “Have the TV on and check online news sites whenever possible for stories that relate to your clients,” suggests Birnbaum.  “If you can leverage breaking news with a client story, you’ve got a better chance of placing your story.”

One example Birnbaum gave was the recent breaking news of Kanye West’s mother dying after plastic surgery.  “We have plastic surgeons as clients and immediately pitched them to health producers.  Because they were so good, the TV producers asked if we could provide them as regular guests.”

Another way to “work” the news is to customize it for your clients.  “If there’s a study on heart disease and you’ve got a heart drug client, try to pitch the story with local statistics on heart disease because radio and TV outlets love local news,” says Birnbaum.

“If it’s a slow news time, then suggest some client-sponsored surveys, developing offbeat questions and answers which tend appeal to the media.”

And keep sending clients relevant news stories.  You’re doing them a favor by keeping them updated at all times.