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Tom Alderman
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

Sherlock, Seinfeld, Gillibrand and Various Fripperies

(0) Comments | Posted January 26, 2016 | 4:11 PM

California drivers tend to think their turn signals are vestigial organs, something that exists existentially but doesn't really matter, which makes driving highly voltaic at an eight-lane, four-way Los Angeles intersection.

How long before airlines start charging us for ice in our drinks?

David Baldacci's latest thriller is not...

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Richard, We Hardly Knew You

(1) Comments | Posted December 8, 2015 | 5:46 PM

What do Hillary Clinton and Richard Nixon have in common? Both entered presidential elections twice. He won his second. She's working on hers. Both share political savvy, undaunted tenacity and significant professional successes. Both have ardent fans. And both are ardently disliked by many. 'Trust' - or lack of it...

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CNBC's Debate Dud and Other Worthy News Fripperies

(0) Comments | Posted November 9, 2015 | 5:20 PM

Suggested Variety Headline: "CNBC Debate Dud" -- but for some of the candidates, the NBC business channel's inept handling of the October presidential debate was a plus. Texas Senator Ted Cruz got big audience re-enforcement when he slapped back at the three panelists. Jersey Chris slammed the need to discuss...

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How To Protect The Little Ones From Halloween

(0) Comments | Posted October 23, 2015 | 4:12 PM

October means pumpkin orange can be seen bursting out in Fall glory and the ca-chink of cash registers can be heard as we prepare for one our oddest of holidays, Halloween.

As we get older, isn't Halloween more industrial than celebratory? It's a concept strictly for wee-ones, on-the-make adults and...

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Holy Product Placement and Other Fripperies

(0) Comments | Posted October 13, 2015 | 4:52 PM

Holy product placement. Millions of us watched the monumentally popular Pope Francis drive off in his four-door Fiat 500S. Don't you assume this car will show a correlational rise in global sales? It was also a plug for the Vatican's host country -- Italy from whence Fiats originate. So in...

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Two Davids and a Portia - TV Originals

(0) Comments | Posted August 25, 2015 | 5:48 PM

An exceptional TV show these days is David Steinberg's Inside Comedy series on Showtime or streamed via the Showtime Anytime app. It's simply an interview format and guests range the generations from Carl Reiner to Sarah Silverman, none of whom are new to TV interviews. So it's what Steinberg brings...

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Spaghetti Before It Was a Pasta

(1) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 4:36 PM

Of course spaghetti is a pasta but it now feels kind of ordinary compared with other showier formats like rigatoni, risotto, fettuccini, fusilli, gnocchi, penne, ravioli, rotini, or farfaline which is fun to say but is usually called 'bow-tie.'

There was a time in non-Italian-American homes when spaghetti was...

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Cadillacs, Carl's Jr, 'Citizen Kane' and Other Fripperies

(0) Comments | Posted July 12, 2015 | 1:48 AM

a. Carl's Jr aggressively pitches their half-pound Most American Thickburger equipped with a hot dog on top of potato chips, over a slab of cheese, covering a hefty hamburger in between two big bread buns.
b. 67.6 million Americans over 25...

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The Russians Are Back, DeMille Style, Unfortunately

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2015 | 6:59 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 | 5:57 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 | 3:53 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 | 3:33 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 | 3:22 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 | 1:24 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 | 4:43 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 | 5:31 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 | 3:23 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 | 2:39 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 | 3:53 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 | 2:05 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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