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Tom Alderman
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Tom Alderman is a 30-year veteran Media, Presentation, Speech trainer and speech writer and founder of MediaPrep, a national media training and presentation skills coaching firm. With a strong background in media and crisis communications, news conferences, speech preparation, presentation skills and on-camera talent training, Alderman has worked both as a broadcaster and print journalist, as well as TV executive with CBS-TV and with Norman Lear's Embassy TV. He has also been the Communications Director for the Governor of Illinois.

Entries by Tom Alderman

The Russians Are Back, DeMille Style, Unfortunately

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2015 | 5:59 PM

The Russians are coming -- again! From the 1950s through the '80s, on screen, in print, the very badest of baddies were always the Russians. At any moment the Commie rats will lower an A-bomb on the Super Bowl (Black Sunday), invade the U.S. (Red Dawn) or invade Miami Beach...

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The Fifth Heart: A New Sherlock Holmes Story

(1) Comments | Posted April 21, 2015 | 4:57 PM

Here's a terrific set up: It's the 1890s. The famous and quite depressed novelist Henry James (Daisy Miller, The American, The Bostonians and brother to psychologist-philosopher William James) crosses the Atlantic to kill himself and runs into consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes, who firmly believes that he is NOT a real...

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Chaos, Brian Williams, Vests and Other Fripperies

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2015 | 2:53 PM

Suggested title for Gen. David Petraeus
biography: "The Sword and the Penis."
*
In an attempt to fill NBC's Brian Williams void, CBS news anchor Scott Pelley is quoted in the LA Times saying, "I don't think it's appropriate for journalists to appear on entertainment programming.......

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Norman Lear: Climbing the Magic Hill

(1) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 2:33 PM

"I was never good at taking 'no' for an answer." Which is probably why there are over two dozen television series and a handful of movies with the name Norman Lear attached as writer, creator, developer, producer or executive. There are the ground-breaking shows of All in the Family, Maud,...

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Intelligent Design and Other Random Fripperies

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 2:22 PM

EIT - Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. This is the CIA's swell euphemism for torture. It's also a portable concept that can be applied to other noxious situations. You're not screaming at your kids, you're employing EVT - Enhanced Vocal Techniques. You're not lying. You're creating Enhanced Storytelling Techniques. And it's not...

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Book Notes: Gary Hart and Abe Lincoln

(2) Comments | Posted December 1, 2014 | 12:24 PM

LINCOLN. There are nearly 22,000 Abraham Lincoln books clickable at Amazon including the most peculiar Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, which turns the Great Emancipator into the Great Decapitator. To this tsunami of Lincoln lit, please add Todd Brewster's detailed reporting, Lincoln's Gamble: The Tumultuous Six Months that Gave America the...

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Don't Give Up the Home Phone!

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2014 | 3:43 PM

There are those of us who were raised before the transformative digital age that we now hop, skip and keystroke through. Back in the day we thought the worldwide web was a global conspiracy, tablets were something you took with water and the only smart thing phones could do was...

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Streaming: TV's Tectonic Shift

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 4:31 PM

If you subscribe to any one of burgeoning TV entertainment options such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, and if you own any one of the media boxes like Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire or AppleTV -- then you are a STREAMER, a Lewis-and-Clarke class explorer. You are the...

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Random Notes & Fripperies -- The Prequel to the Sequel

(1) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 2:23 PM

Remember Zsa Zsa Gabor? For the uninitiated, she and her family were the Kardashians -- 1950s edition. "Husbands are like fires," she once said. "They go out if left un-attended." This advice comes from a wife to nine husbands including actor George Sanders and hotelier Conrad Hilton.

Who's responsible for...

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Louis Zamperini -- Meet Witold Pilecki

(5) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 1:39 PM

If the name Louis Zamperini rings a bell, you may have read or listened to Laura Hillenbrand's riveting book, Unbroken, the true horror story of Zamperini's survival in brutal Japanese prisoner-of-war camps during WWII. If you've never heard of Zamperini, you probably will when the movie directed by Angelina Jolie...

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When the Eye Is Better Than the Ear

(3) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 2:53 PM

To paraphrase legendary jazzman Sy Oliver: "It ain't what you say, it's the way that you say it." Nobody knows this better than audiobook listeners and publishers. They understand that how you say it is often more important than what you say.

"Words mean more than what is set down...

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Go With the Flo -- or Maybe Not

(1) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 1:05 PM

And by Flo, we're talking about the Flo of the Progressive Insurance ads, the lady with the white-tunic wardrobe, uber-eye liner, mega-cherry lips and what looks like borrowed hair. If you're one of 3.3 percent of American households who do not have a TV, you are either in a monastery,...

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Human Smoke and Nazis: The Good, the Bad and the Annoying

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 2:54 PM

It's July 16, 1941. A Nazi SS administrator sends a memo to Adolph Eichmann about Jews in Poland: "There is an imminent danger that not all the Jews can be supplied with food in the coming winter. We must seriously consider if it would not be more humane to finish...

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Michael Bay's Meltdown and How fo Overcome Fear

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 1:19 PM

By now you've probably seen Academy Award-winning director Michael Bay's most uncomfortable meltdown at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. And if you watch ABC News you may also have seen their piece on people who are crippled by stage fright. Not a pretty sight.
 
...

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NOT the Millennials

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2013 | 4:47 PM

We're namers. We like to put people and things in buckets, assign labels to the buckets and fit them into our handy memory garage. We're especially big on naming generations. We call the 1920s The Roaring Generation because we drank a lot, the Greatest Generation because we fought a "good...

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Son of 'Random Notes and Fripperies'

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 1:08 PM

Something you won't see in the Alcoholics Anonymous handbook: while staying at the White House during WWII, legendary British Prime Minister Churchill awoke his first morning and ordered "a tumbler of sherry in my room before breakfast, a couple of glasses of scotch and soda before lunch and French Champagne...

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JFK's Last 100 Days

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 2:23 PM

By now you're probably aware of the media Blitzkrieg advancing on us, recalling, retelling, reshowing the horrific assassination of President John F. Kennedy, 50 years ago this November 22. The media is all over this like bees on honey. NBC, CBS, FOX, PBS are all doing specials. The cable newsies...

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The Significance of Baseball for People Who Don't Care about Baseball

(3) Comments | Posted October 15, 2013 | 3:35 PM

It's October and the boys of summer are heading for the World Series Fall Classic. So it's fitting to ask, what is it about this ball-and-stick game that is so deeply embedded in our culture -- with influence well beyond the actual sport of baseball?

For one,...

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Who Benefits From the Government Shutdown?

(0) Comments | Posted October 3, 2013 | 2:12 PM

By now you've no doubt read countless stories about the 800,000 furloughed federal employees and all the horrific possibilities from a government shutdown. This is NOT one of those stories. This is about those who will actually BENEFIT from a dysfunctional government meltdown.

Consider daytime TV sponsors who will...

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Random Notes and Fripperies

(1) Comments | Posted September 24, 2013 | 2:16 PM

Alarming concept: a TV series starring Flo, the Progressive Insurance lady.

Matt Damon is having Jimmy Stewart's career. The Kardashians are having the Gabors'.

President Lyndon Johnson used to hold staff meetings while on the toilet -- with the door open.

The average American watches 153 hours of TV...

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