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What Happened In Vegas...

Just got back from the joint NAB-RTNDA show in Vegas and have a few random thoughts to commit to cyber-ink before they, like most things that happen in Vegas, slip from memory.

* That bar at the front of the Bellagio was just chock-full of A-list broadcast folks: Karpowicz, Perry Sook, NBC affil’s chairman Fiorile, Fox affil’s chair Tupper, Univision news chief Lippman, a gaggle of GMs, most of the big names on the consulting side. I felt like Danny Devito’s reporter character in L.A. Confidential (mind you, a much, much taller version), only I was targeting middle-aged white guys instead of leggy starlets.

* Speaking of leggy starlets, the guests at the Bellagio are just gorgeous (granted, not so much the broadcast bigwigs at the Petrossian bar). I spent 14 years living in the hottie hub East Village of Manhattan, and Bellagio patrons have nothing to be ashamed of. Heading back to the Hilton was like leaving Hollywood for Podunk–trading Beyonce for Barry Manilow.

* Speaking of cross-continental travel, I opted to fly American instead of Jet Blue to save the company a few shekels. Boy, is it difficult to switch from dozens of satellite TV channels two feet in front of you to a lone programming feed on ill-placed screens situated throughout the plane. Fortunately, I got an episode of The Office each way (it was all NBC fare…that Jim Carrey “Yes Man” film works as well as any sleeping pill/vodka combo), including one that seemed to have escaped the Malones’ DVR a few years back, where Jim and Pam visit Dwight’s “agri-tourism” beet farm and stay at the Beets Motel. There’s probably more of Dwight’s wonderful cousin Mose in this episode than any other, and watching Mose is a terrific way to bide time on a plane.

* Heading out of Grand Central this morning, I saw a man with a handwritten protest placard that said “American Airlines — Illegal Practices.” I can only assume this refers to the airline’s legroom and the false promise of Exit Row riches.

* In a city packed with glittering new properties, there’s no better taste of old-Vegas authenticity than Pamplemousse on East Sahara Ave., a few blocks from the Hilton but half a world from nouveau Vegas. Maitre d’/server Keefer is too wonderfully bizarre for words–you just have to experience him for yourself. How have they not made a reality show about Keefer and Pamplemousse? And why is it so fun to say “Pamplemousse” over and over?

* I always try to catch a little local TV while traveling, and was sure glad to take in a morning news bit on KVVU about PETA protesting a group that was aiming to make the Guinness Book of World Records for consecutive hours spent chicken dancing. Once the story was done, the camera shot to the KVVU newsroom, where a quartet of station staffers did, yes, the chicken dance. When another co-worker approached wearing a handmade PETA sign and wagging a finger, the foursome pretended to beat the woman, then stomped on her PETA sign.

Only in Vegas…

Michael Malone
Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.