Ruby Gettinger's campaign to lose weight - she was 500 pounds - started partly with the simplest exercise: walking. The star of Style's top-rated original show, Ruby, now is taking that act on the road with a five-city walking tour launching in Philadelphia on May 30.
"There is something about Ruby that really seems to connect with people," Suzanne Kolb, chief marketing officer at Comcast-owned Style and E!, said, citing comments on Gettinger's Facebook page, on Mystyle.com and anecdotal evidence.
"The notion of people wanting to have an opportunity to walk side by side with Ruby keeps coming up," Kolb said.
The walks with Gettinger, who now weighs less than 400 pounds, will be free and open to the public. The Philadelphia stroll will start on Boathouse Row, not Comcast headquarters (The Wire had to ask), but Kolb said the network is working on affiliate tie-ins. After Philadelphia, the journey takes Gettinger to Washington, D.C., (June 13); New York (June 27); Los Angeles (July 11) and St. Louis (July 18).
"This is not a 10K walk," Kolb said. It's more of a walk-and-greet that will take her a couple of hours to complete in each city, with many scheduled stops to chat. Style will seek local radio coverage to promote her appearances and encourage local affiliate staffers to participate.
Gettinger is excited about it, Kolb said. Some network events are the type that show stars have to be talked into, she said. "There's other times where they call us every day to make sure it's happening. This is one of those times."
"It seems like this is something the network, our talent and the audience all seem to agree is a good idea," Kolb said.
Season 2 of Ruby debuts on July 5. Video from the walks will make its way into interstitial programming and online features, Kolb said.
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Kent has been a journalist, writer and editor at Multichannel News since 1994 and with Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He is a good point of contact for anything editorial at the publications and for Nexttv.com. Before joining Multichannel News he had been a newspaper reporter with publications including The Washington Times, The Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal and North County News.