MEDIA CONNECT Interview Series: Terry Gross

The following interview with Terry Gross appeared in the premier edition of the MEDIA CONNECT newsletter, and was reprinted with permission by Tami Keaveny for C-VILLE Weekly.

To view our summer newsletter or to subscribe for future editions, click here.


TerryGross‘From WHYY in Philadelphia, I’m Terry Gross with ‘Fresh Air.’”

Every NPR junkie knows this intro, and the anticipatory thrill as the warm, steady voice of Terry Gross floats through the radio speakers to set up the backstory of “Fresh Air’s” current interview guest.

For almost 40 years, Gross has been conducting compelling, substantive interviews with personalities in the arts and media. Her genuine interest, intelligent curiosity, and thorough research puts her guests at ease, and has turned her into a cultural icon and an unsuspecting tastemaker who is often revered by her subjects.

C-VILLE Weekly spoke to Gross in a phone conversation about her supposed gay agenda, the choice to remain childless, and her dream version of a musical supergroup.

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MEDIA CONNECT Interview Series: Rachel Fershleiser from Tumblr

The following interview with Rachel Fershleiser appeared in the premier edition of the MEDIA CONNECT newsletter. To view our summer newsletter or to subscribe for future editions, click here.


RachelFMC:  What book are you reading right now?

RF:  “Love Me Back” by Merritt Tierce. It’s not out til September, but I heard her read at the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 event and I was blown away. I love books about interesting women making potentially bad decisions while they’re figuring themselves out.


MC:  When you’re not at the office, what do you like to do?

RF:  I like to cook (especially soup), grow illegal tomatoes on my fire escape, and take long walks around New York.

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MEDIA CONNECT’s Halloween Roundup: 6 Spooky Reads for October

To help you celebrate the spookiest time of the year, we’re sharing our favorite literary works, from classics to new titles, so you can get in every second of terror this Halloween!



 The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.

“As one who goes running in terror at the random bump in the night, horror is really not my genre, but I can say that I have always gotten the creepy crawlies from Edgar Allan Poe. His Gothic tales and poems are so atmospheric and the language stays with you long after you’ve finished reading the piece.”

From The Raven:

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!

 -Kristin Clifford, Partner/Director of MC Satellite


The Tell-Tale Heart, also by Edgar Allan Poe.

 ”Even though he’s already appeared on this list, I think Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart deserves a mention in its own right. The first time I read it I was baffled by how I could be so terrified in such few pages. One of Poe’s most famous short stories, The Tell-Tale Heart, features an unreliable first-person narrator who recounts, in vivid detail, the murder he committed late at night of an unnamed old man. My first encounter with the story came in middle school. We watched the cartoon version of the story while the prose was read aloud in the background. I’m not sure what was more terrifying – seeing the filmy “vulture-eye” of the old man or reading about it. I can still see it so clearly in my mind, and I can still hear the relentless beating of the heart itself.”

-Anna Patrick, Digital Publicist


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MEDIA CONNECT Interview Series: Leigh Newman From

The following interview with Leigh Newman appeared in the premier edition of the MEDIA CONNECT newsletter. To view our summer newsletter or to subscribe for future editions, click here.


Leigh NewmanMEDIA CONNECT:  What book are you reading right now?

Leigh Newman: Amy Bloom’s novel and “Inside the Box.”


MC:  When you’re not at the office, what do you like to do?

LN: Write books, ski, play with kids, cook, travel, SLEEP.


MC:   What’s your biggest pet peeve when working with publicists?

LN: Just would love one contact per house.


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MEDIA CONNECT Interviews Maggie Linton

The following interview with Maggie Linton appeared in the premier edition of the MEDIA CONNECT newsletter. To view our summer newsletter or to subscribe for future editions, click here.


Maggie LintonMEDIA CONNECT:  What book are you reading right now?

Maggie Linton:  I read about 5 – 8 books per week. In most cases, I don’t read every word, but know enough about a book to ask intelligent questions and chat with authors. Reading now: Boys in the Boat, Brothers Forever, Confessions of the World’s Best Father & Auto Biography


MC:  When you’re not at The Maggie Linton Show, what do you like to do?

ML:  Travel, cook, listen to audio books, look at sports, read and photography.


MC:  What’s your biggest pet peeve when working with publicists?

ML:  Number one: Not calling me direct. A single phone call can take care of 5 to 10 emails to get a time and date confirmed. I get 100-150 emails per day. Plus our company has a serious filtering system. I miss stuff. Number two: Sending info in #10 size font or smaller. It’s not like we’re using paper. PLEASE use larger font! Also lying about guests having landlines, when they only have cells.

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Best Practice Tips For Authors: Twitter, Skype Interview Tips

The following best practice tips appeared in the premier edition of the MEDIA CONNECT newsletter. To view our summer newsletter or to subscribe for future editions, click here.



By Anna Patrick, Digital Publicist

In aiming for higher levels of engagement and followers, try using these “best practices” when it comes to managing your Twitter accounts more effectively:

  • Make sure your Twitter account handle is under your name, not book title! Your twitter account should be a hub for all readers to visit one location for all of the latest news on your book(s).
  • Utilize the tools available to you. Sites like Tweetdeck and BookVibe are great for optimizing your time and content. BookVibe helps you track who is tweeting about your book. Tweetdeck is essentially your personal, customizable control center for your entire account, or multiple accounts at once. Here are a few tips for Tweetdeck: Create a custom alert for a specific keyword – this acts much like a Google alert, and can help connect you to users Tweeting about a topic that holds relevance to your book. Use the translate function to connect with readers who Tweet in other languages, even if you don’t know how to compose a Tweet in another language Tweetdeck translates automatically. If you add a new column specifically for new followers (go to “add column,” “core,” “new followers,”) you can create a column specifically showing new followers so you can check out their info quickly, reach out and welcome them more effectively, or block any users that appear to be spam.
  • Make your Twitter icon a headshot of you instead of your book cover. People like to connect with people, and social media studies have shown that people are more likely to follow Twitter users who have a photo of themselves as their icon.
  • Come up with one hashtag that represents your book title. Using this hashtag consistently will allow you to track readers who are talking about your book, most of whom will take your lead and use whatever hashtag you provide. Stick to the title of your book, but keep character count in mind (Keep to 14 characters or less, ideally).
  • Lastly, speaking of hashtags, don’t use more than two per tweet! More than this and you run the risk of losing followers, as high amounts of hashtags can mark your tweet as spam


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Author Q&A: Star Negotiator, Sports Agent and Corporate Consultant Reveals How Conversation Gets Deals Done

By Brian Feinblum, Chief Marketing Officer


Molly Fletcher has learned a lot over the past two decades while negotiating an estimated $500 million worth of deals on behalf of hundreds of the world’s premiere athletes, coaches and television commentators. She reveals the strategies, tips, and insights that have made her wildly successful first as a sports agent and now as a corporate consultant and keynote speaker, in her newest book, A Winner’s Guide To Negotiating: How Conversation Gets Deals Done.

MEDIA CONNECT sat down with Molly to ask her all about the book, her career, and more:


MEDIA CONNECT: You estimate that you’ve worked on 500 million dollars worth of deals on behalf of 300 clients over the past two decades. What’s been the key to your success?

Molly Fletcher: Relationships and reputation. In the sports agent industry there are more agents than there are athletes to represent. It’s a really competitive business, so you have to be able to effectively build, manage and grow relationships. You have to be able to build relationships with prospective clients while ensuring that you are continuing to develop relationships with your current clients and deliver consistently. You also have to be able to develop relationships with team personnel and manufacturers so you can deliver deals.  How you behave within all of those relationships determines your reputation. You often have to negotiate with the same parties multiple times, and they will avoid you and vice versa if they don’t trust you. Reputation is built on honesty and integrity and allows long term success.

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14 of the Best Insults in Literature

Insults_Pen On Fire

By Johanna Dickson, Digital Publicist


A writer’s greatest weapon is their pen, and as easily as they can turn a romantic phrase they can bare their teeth with words. As the saying goes, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” These writers clearly didn’t listen to that one. Here are some of the best insults, quips, and teardowns literature has given us. Next time someone attempts to cut you in line, why not make like Oscar Wilde?

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Author Q&A: Five-time Bestselling Author Discusses Civil Trial Lawyer, Fred Levin

By Brian Feinblum, Chief Marketing Officer

Young_Small Jacket Photo

In his new book And Give Up Showbiz? How Fred Levin Beat Big Tobacco, Avoided Two Murder Prosecutions, Became a Chief of Ghana, Earned Boxing Manager of the Year, and Transformed American Law, five-time New York Times bestselling author Josh Young provides a detailed and insightful portrait of one of the nation’s most successful and contentious civil trial lawyers, Fred Levin.

Young examines the unorthodox career path and life of a lawyer who was dogged by two murder investigations, three attempts to disbar him, a successful excursion into professional boxing management, a dysfunctional family life, and a legal career that included civil rights activism, huge lawsuit victories, and settlements that saved lives and reformed the tobacco, drug, and auto industries.


MEDIA CONNECT had the pleasure of speaking with Josh Young about the book and Levin:


MEDIA CONNECT: What’s Fred’s greatest or most prideful professional moment in a law career that spans more than a half-century?

Josh Young: Undoubtedly it was when Fred rewrote the Florida law that allowed the state to sue Big Tobacco on behalf of Medicaid patients, and got his buddy, who was the president of the Florida Senate, to ram it through unnoticed in the middle of the night. This allowed the state of Florida to sue Big Tobacco to recover Medicaid costs spent on behalf of smokers. Because the law that Levin wrote was ultimately upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, Big Tobacco settled with Florida for $13 billion – and soon settled with every other state, paying out some $206 billion. Prior to that case, Big Tobacco had never paid a nickel to its victims. As a result of the settlement and the changes required in the marketing of cigarettes, more than 100,000 American lives are saved every year.

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5 Reasons Why Libraries Still Matter


Trinity College library, Dublin, via Libraries In Crisis.

By Dee Donavanik, Publicity Director


Last week, the Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland, FL opened the doors to a brand new library.  The fact that a new library is opening and not closing is perhaps news in and of itself, but what makes this one particularly unique is that it is completely devoid of physical books.  With an assortment of over 135,000 books, the new university embraced going totally digital as part of their mission: “ to prepare 21st century learners in advanced fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to become innovative problem-solvers and high-tech professionals through interdisciplinary teaching, leading-edge research, and collaborative local, regional and global partnerships.”

The library has its supporters and critics, and similar arguments have been made in the endless debate of  e-books vs print books. Forbes contributor Tim Worstall even recently argued against both libraries AND print books and suggested  that we close the libraries and buy everyone an Amazon Kindle unlimited subscription. Though Worstall’s suggestion may seem like a cost-effective solution on paper, it’s important to note that libraries are about much more than books.  And as S.E. Smith explains in The Week, “A world without public libraries is a grim one indeed, and the assault on public libraries should be viewed as alarming.”


Though there are plenty of arguments for why libraries still matter, here are a few:

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