CT Nail Artist ‘Clawing’ Way Top On New Oxygen Reality Show

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nails5Connecticut people have hit it big on reality shows ranging from “Chopped” and “Survivor” to “America’s Got Talent” and “The Quest.”

Now there is yet another new reality show scheduled to premiere in the fall and once again, Connecticut is well represented.

Oxygen Network is launching a new reality show, “Nail’d It” on October 7 and among the 18 contestants vying for the prize and the title as the nation’s best nail artist is Hamden resident and Orange business owner Temeka Jackson.

nails2 (3)“The producers found me when I became a finalist in a national nail art competition,” explained Jackson who graduated from Hamden High School in 2002. “When I got the email about the show I thought it was a joke and wasn’t going to call the number it said to call,” said Jackson who owns Customs Nails by Temeka in Orange, but also works part time in a hospital.

Her skills as a nail artist have received recognition in competitions and on local TV. When she created a set of nails depicting President Barack Obama and his family on a set of nails, The White House sent her a letter on her creative ability.

Contestants, who will be “clawing” their way to the top, according to the show’s press release, will nails3 (2)compete by creating flat paint and over-the-top 3D designs with nail artists being eliminated as the competition continues in the 10-week series. Grand prize is $100,000.

Judges on the show will be CND co-founder and style director Jan Arnold, celebrity manicurist and nail expert Tom Bachik, “Nail Villain” Terrance Terry and nail art competition judge Elaine Watson. Adrienne Bailon is the show host.

“The whole thing is surreal,” said Jackson, who also pursued her career at  Sheer Brilliance in West Haven. “I still pinch myself, because I still can’t take it all in,” noting she cannot share how she fares in the competition.  “But I have always learned that hard works pays off.”

WDRC’s Grahame Winters On To WRCH

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grahameThat didn’t take long.

Former WDRC program director and on-air personality Grahame Winters will be back on the radio again soon.

Part of the employee dump at WDRC when Connossieur Media bought the Buckley Radio stations in Connecticut a few weeks ago, Winters has found a job at the Farmington-based, CBS radio station,  Lite WRCH.

“Just got a wonderful email from Allan Camp welcoming me to the CBS Radio family,” she announced on Facebook Thursday. ” I can officially announce I’ll be doing some part time work for Lite 100.5 WRCH! Yay!!! ”

Winters said the plan is for her to  get involved in everything from station shows including “Pillowtalk” to “The Smooth Jazz Brunch.” 

“With 4 stations in the building there are many possibilities,” said Winters. ” It’s going to be so great! I actually start training off air with Joan Dylan tomorrow! It’s an honor to be a part of the team!”

Carberg Off NBC Connecticut Anchor Desk

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Lisa+Carberg+2014[1]Veteran NBC Connecticut evening anchor Lisa Carberg will have new duties effective Monday at the West Hartford-based station.

Carberg has been reassigned to the station’s  specialties/enterprise team and will be reporting on topics including health and consumer issues, vice president of news Matt Piacente said Thursday.

“Enterprise reporting is where it’s at and we want to use Lisa’s knowledge and credibility in those areas,” said Piacente. “She knows the market and we want to take advantage of it.”

The 47-year-old Carberg began working at NBC Ct in 1995, leaving in 1999 for the Fox News Channel, returning again in 2002 as a reporter and weekend anchor. She became the evening anchor with Keisha Grant, Gerry Brooks and ultimately with Brad Drazen on the 5 and 5:30 newscasts

. “I love NBC Connecticut, it’s where I’ve proudly spent 15 years of my career,” said Carberg. “The station has been wonderful and flexible with my family and my commute from the shoreline and I am grateful for that,” she said.” I work with a great team and I look forward to continuing to put out a good product for our viewers every day.”

Kerri-Lee+Mayland+2014[1]Piacente said anchor/reporter Kerri-Lee Mayland, who anchors the network’s 11 a.m. daily broadcast,  will be sitting in Carberg’s anchor spot for now. She will continue to anchor the 11 a.m. program, Piacente said.

News at 6 and 11 p.m. will stay the same with Gerry Brooks and returning-from-maternity-leave Keisha Grant sharing the anchor duties.



Pagani’s Back!

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deanHe just couldn’t stay away.

Media veteran Dean Pagani, who had done it all from a radio news director to website host to communications consultant and gubernatorial spokesman, is back in Connecticut on a part time basis.

Pagani, who moved from Connecticut to Washington D.C. a while ago,  has taken on a new part time job with Hartford-based communications firm McDowell Jewett.

Welcome back!

DWTS Derek Hough Comes To Connecticut With His Book

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derekHe’s the guy most women would say “that’s the partner I want if I were a contestant on “Dancing with The Stars.” Blonde good guy with a ton of talent and even more patience, Derek Hough has won five “mirror ball” trophies on ABC’s popular dance competition reality show. But now the 29-year-old Emmy winning choreographer, dancer, singer and actor has a new accomplishment to add to the list, author. Taking the Lead: Lessons From a Life in Motion,” is his first book, one that is half autobiography and half self-help book, focusing on how trying, facing uncertainty, being fearless and seeing opportunity rather than defeat can change a life. Hough will be meeting fans and signing copies of the book at RJ Julia in Madison on Thursday, Aug. 7 and at Mohegan Sun on Friday, Aug. 8. Known for his creativity, his exuberance and his seemingly non-stop motion, he was heading to Connecticut and sitting still when he Spilled the Beans with Java.

Q: After reading the book, you are either the greatest guy who has ever lived or someone who can give everything, even your shortcomings, a positive spin. Which is it?

A: The second one, I hope. So the thing is I just came off tour and hadn’t really stopped in seven months, and when I came off it, I had post-tour blues. I had this massive energy shift so I was in this weird place and read my book to bring me back. It was almost like I wrote it for the place I was in. My book has lessons that are meant to learned and relearned, and I know I will keep going back to that what I wrote when I get down. I am far from perfect and that is all in the book. But the point is I wrote something that was more than a commercial venture. It is what I learned and they are lessons others can tap into.

Q: I know you are friends with Tony Robbins and wondered if you see yourself following his path by becoming a motivational speaker and all that goes with that profession?

A: I could possibly see it as a career path. I never really consciously thought about being a motivator or self-help adviser. It just kind of happened. I kept journals for years and every time something happened and I learned from it I would write it down. As I began touring with DWTS I would meet people and the questions would come and I would talk with people and it all connected somehow. I reflected on my ups and downs and then was approached about doing a book and I realized I had already written it.

Q: But you do have another career path these days, a show on HGTV? I don’t remember you talking about your constructions kills in the book!

A: I know. I am no good with a hammer and neither is Mark Ballas. The name of the show is “Mark & Derek’s Excellent Flip.” Mark and I had bought a house and decided to flip it and HGTV heard about it and asked if we would do a show and we thought, ‘sure why not?’ It was all pretty funny to us because neither of us have any real skills. But I love the smell of wood, I love watching something being built and as a kid, I couldn’t stay away from construction sites. It’s a four episode series and we just finished filming the first one and people were actually pretty impressed at what we did know. And really, redoing a house is so much like DWTS. You take something that’s not very good but is full of potential and you say ‘let’s do it’ and you make it better.

Q: So this all begs the question, will you be on DWTS next season?

A: I don’t know yet. We are still figuring it out.

Q: If they offered you any partner to get you to commit, who would be the gal to seal the deal?

A: Megan Fox

Q: Are you seeing anyone?

A: No. I am available.

Q: Would she have to know how to dance?

A: I won’t lie. I think there is something attractive about a girl that can dance. I veered away from it in past relationships but I think it is something I would want.

Q: You talk at length about being bullied as a child. Do you ever want to call those guys and say ‘look at me now?’

A: I don’t. When I reflect on those times I have such empathy and sympathy for people who have to be mean like that or hurt somebody to feel worth something. Those kind of people, clearly there is something going on inside of them. I just moved on and never dwelled on it. I just learned from it.

Q: If you could dance with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?

A: Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. I would love to do a trio with them and then pick their brains about how they did what they did.

Q: Do you have any goals before you hit that “30 years old” benchmark?

A: Spend more time outside. As a hobby I love being outside and love doing things that give me a rush like jumping off cliffs. My plan is to definitely do more.


Hartford Summer, Half Gone Or Half to Be Had?

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]Depends on how you look at it I guess, but for our purposes, push aside those thoughts of school beginning this month, Labor Day looming, and the fall grind starting all over again.

Seize the moment and celebrate what promises to be yet another wonderful summer weekend.

And when it comes to “what to do?” the choices abound.

cavIf you are a fan of historically good food, alfresco dining and  a summer experience that will get your through those can-t go out days of January, head over to Rose’s Berry Farm, 295 Matson Hill Road,  in South Glastonbury  on Friday, Aug. 8, where, for the first time, the very well-known French and Italian Cavey’s Restaurant will be serving a Farm to Chef dinner there beginning at 6 p.m. The evening includes a patio reception, love music and dinner featuring  local produce, meats, fish and dairy. Cost is $95, plus tax and gratuity. Information is here.

But hey, the weekend starts long  before Saturday in these parts.

On Thursday, Aug. 7, it’s “First Thursday” party time at the Wadsworth Atheneum . This month’scarib theme is “Caribbean Festival” and with that comes live reggae and steel drum music, a carnival mask art-making activity, a costume parade and more. Party goes from 5 to 8 p.m. with a screening of “Mandela: A Long Walk To Freedom” at 8 p.m. For more information go here.

It’s a blast to the past when it comes to folk music and its heroes as Theaterworks opens “Woody Sez” the story of Woody Guthrie’s incredible musical and social journey. The show goes through Sept. 14 and features four actors/musicians to tell and sing the tale. For information go here.

jazz4Speaking of music, if you are a jazz fanatic this is your weekend. The 19th annual Litchfield Jazz Music Festival kicks off on Friday Aug. 8 with a gala from 5:45 to 7:15 p.m., followed by the first night  of a weekend of great music at the Goshen Fairgrounds. For more information go here.

And what is better than good food and good music on a summer weekend. You can have both if you head to Tanglewood in Lenox, Mass where the annual “Tanglewood Wine and Food Classic”  takes place from Thursday Aug. 7 to Sunday Aug. 10.

The weekend includes food and wine events, tastings, a dine-around, grand cru, entertainment, food and wine demonstrations and tastings and more. For information go here.

And finally, it’s parade time in Hartford again, this time the 52nd annual West  Indian Independenceparade (3) Parade Saturday at 11 a.m. beginning Main and Battles Streets. The parade, which includes floats, drill teams and dance troupes,  stops at Bushnell Park for a day of music through 8 p.m. For more information on the free event go here.


Fox Adds Full Timer, Awards Announced

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Maggie Slysz has joined Fox CT as a fulltime member of its morning news team.

maggieSlysz, currently a social media reporter on the Fox CT morning show, has spent the last two years working with FOX CT news on special projects including hosting Northeast Living, and the Holiday Wishes special. She also filled in as a traffic reporter.

“Maggie’s enthusiasm and vibrant personality have been a great addition to the morning news team and we are very pleased that to have her on board full-time.” Fox CT News Director Coleen Marren said.

FOX CT reporter Sarah Cody has been recognized by the Food Allergy Education Network with a 2014 Hero Award.

Cody received the honor for raising awareness about dangerous food allergies through her “Mommy Minute” reports on Fox CT news.

For the past three years, the Food Allergy Education Network has presented the “Hero Award” to individuals in the community who make a difference in keeping children with food allergies safe.

And for those already planning their fall schedules:

aurora1The Aurora Foundation has announced that philanthropist and arts and education advocate Beverly Greenberg has been named its 2014 woman Philanthropist of the Year.

A South Windsor teen, Jeanette Marie Porcello, has been named its 2014 Young Philanthropist.

The two will be honored at the foundation’s annual breakfast at the Hartford Marriot Downtown on Oct. 15. Keynote speaker will be Victoria Budson, founding executive director of the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Pratt & Whitney vice president Jill Albertelli and ThinkRisk Underwriting Agency vice president bbash10 (2)Joseph “Jay” Arcata have been named co-chairmen of this year’s Camp Courant Buddy Bash on Sept. 19 at the camp in Farmington.

The “Superheroes” themed party will honor The Hartford Financial Services and Fox Ct’s Jim Altman.


Fox’s Charles Payne Takes A TV Look At Small Business

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Payne-HeadshotFox Business Network’s Charles Payne has a new show called “Making Money with Charles Payne” and in it, the feature “American Success Stories” celebrating small business owners across America. Among the Connecticut businesses featured on the show that airs at 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, are a costume shop in Plainville, a shop in Meriden whose owner breaks in baseball gloves and another in Brookfield where a teenager creates custom drink coasters. Payne, who was raised in Harlem by a single mother, began working hard at an early age to achieve his own American Dream. He shared some opinions and some advice about launching your own business as he “Spilled the Beans” with Java.



Q: What’s the idea behind the series segment on your “Making Money With Charles Payne?

A: So many people have faded away from owning a home and/or investing. One of the things that has bothered me is that people are staying away from the old American dream. That’s what the show segment is about. There are people who are doing their dreams.

Q: What has surprised you most as you hear the stories about their small business success?

A: The enthusiasm of the entrepreneurs is what surprises me. The economy is rebounding a bit and nowhere near what it used to be. The segment illustrates how people are taking extraordinary measures to be successful.

Q: I know you are featuring some CT businesses in the segment. Any favorites?

A: I like it when young people get into the business fray. There is a young man in Brookfield named Ryan Rist who started his business doing coasters with $500 from a Kickstarter campaign. And there is 62-year-old David Katz whose business involves breaking in baseball gloves. There is a whole swathe of places around this country that are under-represented when it comes to financial news. Years ago everyone thought you had to go to the big cities for business stories. That’s not necessarily true anymore.

Q: You had some pretty realistic beginnings in the business world. What did you learn and what do you want to teach others?

A: I guess one of the more important things is to have unrealistic dreams, and to keep you head down and keep pushing. You’ve got to take the body blows and can’t get discouraged. I see a lot of young people that when it doesn’t go their way they are calling out sick and sulking. Things don’t always happen in the time frame we think they should.

Q: Do you have any advice to those who are considering going to work for themselves? Is there a secret to success?

A: The secret is a commitment and be prepared to make a commitment that could hurt a lot of areas of your life. It may supersede your kids, your marriage and your health. My biggest regret is not spending more time with my oldest daughter when I was getting started and I wish I could have magically cloned myself. The upside to working hard to succeed is that my family had heat and hot water every time they turned on the shower.

Q: Are there professional trends now that future entrepreneurs should be eyeing if they are looking to start something on their own?

A: As far as trends, technology and everything associated with technology is hot. Things are changing when it comes to how we live. But on a completely opposite note, if you have passion and you don’t know anything about technology, don’t open a technology company. But if you brew great craft beers in your bathtub, they you have a heck of a lot better chance going with that as a business.


WCCC Classic Rock ‘Walks’ For The Last Time

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There were jokes and stories and tears, and at the end of the day Friday WCCC 106.9 Classic Rock was no more.

wccc_optAT 5:05 p.m. the K-Love network, owned by new WCCC owners Educational Media Foundation, launched its Christian music format, marking the end of another radio tradition in Connecticut.

But first, WCCC made sure Connecticut got one last taste of “The Rock”  in a five-hour final tribute to all of its personalities  and staff, and the rock music the station  delivered over decades.

WCCC’s current stable of talent along with those of the past, including “shock jock” Howard Stern, who got his big break at WCCC, entertained and reminisced, leaving a final rock-solid memory behind.

For the story go here.

Area Radio Stations Say “Hello” “Goodbye”

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Seems an unlikely coincidence but Hartford is in the midst of a trio of radio parties to celebrate or lament changes in the industry in the Hartford area .

On Thursday, Connoisseur Media, which recently purchased WDRC and Buckley Broadcasting’snewdrc other  stations in Connecticut, held at party at the Gershon Fox Ballroom to introduce themselves to Hartford.

wccc_optMeanwhile, while current WCCC (tidbit…originally owned by entrepreneur and  jewelry giant Bill Savitt, CCC supposedly stands for color, clarity, cut..as in diamonds)  106.9 CEO Woody Tanger  of Marlin Broadcasting will only say he “can’t say anything because of a confidentiality agreement,” California-based Christian radio company Educational Media Foundation is poised to take over the hard rock-turned-classic rock station today, with plans for an immediate format change to contemporary Christian music.

But “The Rock” is not going out without a big bang. Program director and popular on-air personality Mike Karolyi will be hosting the final show from noon to 5 p.m. and besides a look back at the station’s history and the best of the best when it comes to the rock music  it was known for, he will have a special guest, celeb Howard Stern.

For those of you who don’t know, Stern’s WCCC gig in the 1970s  was his first job in a major market.

It has been several weeks since the sale of WDRC but fans of “The Big D” will officially get togetherwdrc on Saturday at 7 at the Tunxis Grille on the Berlin Turnpike to celebrate the station that was know for its “oldies” music . Many former personalities from the  state’s oldest radio station are expected at the party.