8th Annual New York’s Funniest Reporter Show Date Announced


Wall Street Journal Article On NYFR: “The News Isn’t Funny, but They Are”


Daniella Zalcman for The Wall Street Journal – Lauren Lyster

Before taking the stage at Comic Strip Live on Thursday evening, Fox 5 New York anchor Greg Kelly did his journalistic due diligence with some last-minute fact-checking.

Daniella Zalcman for The Wall Street Journal – Manny Alvarez

“Is that real brick? It’s fake brick, right?” he was overheard asking of the backdrop in front of which he’d be performing a five-minute stand-up comedy set later that night. “I’m glad it’s fake; I’m going to talk about it,” he said, upon receiving confirmation.

Mr. Kelly, along with five other brave media professionals, was at the comedy club to compete in the seventh annual New York’s Funniest Reporter Show. The event benefited the Humane Society of New York, a cause represented by Animal Fair editor Wendy Diamond’s adopted dog, Baby, a black-and-white Coton de Tuléar who watched the show more politely than many of her fellow audience members.

Competing alongside Mr. Kelly were Clayton Morris and Dr. Manny Alvarez, both of Fox News; In Touch Weekly’s Marianne Garvey; ESPN’s Michele Steele; and Lauren Lyster of RT America. (Fox is owned by News Corporation, which also owns The Wall Street Journal.)

Daniella Zalcman for The Wall Street Journal – Clayton Morris

Also performing, though not in competition, were pro wrestler Mick Foley and 2011 Funniest Reporter championMarlaina Schiavo, who mined her seven years’ experience working as a producer on “Nancy Grace.” Ms. Schiavo explained that Ms. Grace wasn’t in the office much after moving to Atlanta full time: “The devil,” she said, “literally went down to Georgia.”

Mr. Foley wore a pair of black sneakers, as well as the very same cut-off red flannel shirt he was sporting in the photo in the event’s program—which, he noted, had been taken 12 years earlier.

The reporters mostly stuck to topics like sex and dating (“What I met at the bar was George Clooney; who I lived with was Shrek,” recalled Ms. Garvey of a failed romance), as well as the novelty of their appearing in the competition in the first place. “Who’s ready for some unprofessional comedy that’s completely clean and vetted by ESPN PR?” Ms. Steele deadpanned to open her set.


Daniella Zalcman for TheWall Street JournalMarianne Garvey

The emcee, comedian Ray Ellin, preferred to riff on the audience members—somewhat to the chagrin of the pretty young woman seated next to us, who leaned over midway though the show and murmured, “This is the weirdest first date I’ve ever been on.” (Apparently, Mr. Ellin had promised her football and beer.)

“The stakes here are high and low at the same time,” Mr. Kelly mused. “They’re high in that you could say something potentially career-ending. They’re low—I think we’re vying for a coffee mug or a jigsaw puzzle, something along those lines.”

Actually, the prize was a trophy; and once the scores had been tallied, Mr. Morris was the winner. “It just so happens that I’ve prepared a song,” Mr. Morris joked.

Mr. Kelly, the second runner-up, wasn’t around to receive his applause. New York’s third-funniest reporter had left the club to film the 10 o’clock news


Fox News’ Clayton Morris IS New York’s Funniest Reporter!

Fox News’ Clayton Morris is the Winner of the 7th Annual New York’s Funniest Reporter Show! Finishing a close 2nd was In Touch Weekly’s Marianne Garvey and in 3rd was Fox 5 NY’s Greg Kelly. All participants did a fantastic job and we are so thankful for their performances this evening!


7th Annual New York’s Funniest Reporter Show



Clayton Morris / FOX News Channel

Clayton Morris joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 2008 and is the co-host of FOX & Friends Weekend. He also serves as a co-host for “FOX & Friends First.” Presented weekdays at 5 AM/ET, the program is an hour-long expansion of “FOX & Friends” and is anchored by a pair of rotating hosts.

Prior to joining FNC, Morris worked for FOX 29 in Philadelphia where he was the host of “Good Day Philadelphia.” Before that, he worked in Orlando on the launch of the WB Network’s nationally syndicated morning show “The Daily Buzz.” He was also an anchor at WVVA-TV (NBC) in Bluefield, West Virginia and a political reporter at Montana’s CBS affiliate.

Morris got his start in television as a producer for “Good Day LA” at KTTV in Los Angeles. He attended the University of Pittsburgh where he received degrees in US History and Broadcast Journalism.


Lauren Lyster / RT

Lauren Lyster is host of Capital Account, a daily, live international financial/economics news discussion show broadcast on RTTV.  On Capital Account, Lauren has interviewed some of the biggest names in finance and economics, such as Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Erian, bestselling author Jim Rickards, and commodities guru Jim Rogers. The show has taken her on the road to report from financial hubs ranging from the New York Stock Exchange floor to the World Economic Forum in Davos. Prior to hosting Capital Account, Lauren traveled internationally in her role as a news correspondent, reporting in the field from major events including the G20 summit and protests in Canada, the presidential election in Brazil, the UNGA, and the NATO Summit in Lisbon.

Before joining RT, Lauren was a reporter and news anchor covering the Los Angeles area for Time Warner Cable SoCal News. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in journalism, with a double major in gender studies, from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. There she also investigated miscarriages of the criminal justice system focusing on wrongful murder convictions as part of the renowned Medill Innocence Project.

In addition to her experience in news, Lauren brings her background in finance to her reporting and hosting, having worked previously as a senior equity research analyst covering publicly-traded US companies.


Michele Steele / ESPN

Michele Steele is a cross-platform anchor/reporter for ESPN. Steele has reported live from some of the biggest economic drivers for sports, including the Super Bowl, the Masters, the Final Four and the Kentucky Derby. She joined ESPN in 2011. Prior to her time at the Worldwide Leader, she worked at Bloomberg Television as the network’s only sports business reporter. Steele was also a senior reporter for Forbes video on-demand service and a regular contributor to Forbes on Fox. She enjoys Illini basketball, Chicago-style hot dogs, New York-style pizza and is happy to be one of not just one but two sports business reporters on television who enjoy showtunes.


Greg Kelly / Fox 5

Greg Kelly has been the 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Fox 5 news anchor since July 2012. He joined Fox 5 in July 2008 as a co-host of Good Day New York.

Most recently, Kelly was an anchor and correspondent for the Fox News Channel (FNC) based in New York. Kelly joined FNC in 2002 and went on to serve as a White House correspondent from 2005-2007. He has also covered the war in Iraq extensively, including four long-term assignments in Baghdad. During the 2003 invasion, he was embedded with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, 2nd Brigade. He was the first television reporter to deliver live pictures of U.S. forces infiltrating Baghdad, as well as exclusive reports of the storming of Saddam Hussein’s presidential palace.

Prior to joining Fox News Channel, Kelly was a reporter for New York 1 News, where he covered New York City politics and the September 11th attacks. He started his career in journalism as an anchor and reporter for NewsChannel 34, the ABC affiliate in Binghamton, New York. Prior to this, Kelly spent nine years as a fighter pilot in the United States Marine Corps. He specialized in flying the AV-8B Harrier jet. During his military service he amassed 158 aircraft carrier landings and flew over Iraq in Operation Southern Watch, enforcing the United Nations-imposed “No-Fly Zone.” A licensed commercial pilot, he currently holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserves.


Marianne Garvey / In Touch Weekly

Marianne Garvey was a reporter and writer at the New York Post for eight years. She was a senior writer for E! News and is currently a News Editor at In Touch Weekly magazine. She has written for AOL, The Hollywood Reporter and will be featured on a reality show on Oxygen called Girlfriend Confidential:NY. She lives in New York City with her chubby cat Meepers Stephanie


Dr. Manny Alvarez / FOX News Channel

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as FOX News Channel’s (FNC) Senior Managing Editor for Health News. Prior to this position, Alvarez was a FNC medical contributor.

Known widely to audiences as Dr. Manny, Alvarez was previously a health science reporter for TELEMUNDO and developed a nightly news segment entitled “A Dose of Health.” Since 1996, he has been the Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Additionally, Alvarez is Adjunct Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York University School of Medicine in New York City.

Alvarez is a member of numerous professional societies including the Society of Prenatal Care, American Institute of Ultrasound and Medicine and the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Additionally, he is part of many civic foundations such as Celia Cruz Foundation. In 2004, Alvarez was named Man of the Year by New Jersey SEEDS, an organization that provides students educational scholarships.


Mick Foley is a legendary professional wrestler, turned multi-time best-selling author , turned stand-up comic/spoken word performer.

One of the cornerstones of WWE’s meteoric rise in the late 90’s, Mick Foley earned the nickname ‘The Hardcore Legend’ for his ability to absorb seemingly inhuman punishment in some of the most dramatic matches in sports-entertainment history. Already a respected veteran for his 11 physically punishing years wrestling under the name Cactus Jack, Foley’s career soared to new heights in WWE as ‘Mankind’, a character Foley claimed was inspired by a combination of reading ‘Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein’ and listening tothe music of Tori Amos.

As Cactus Jack, Foley won the 1995 ‘King of the Deathmatch’ tournament in Yokohama, Japan, and continued wrestling, despite the amputation of his right ear, in a match against Vader in Munich, Germany in 1994. As Mankind, Foley was a 3-time WWE Champion, but is best known for his epic and brutal battle with The Undertaker in 1998’s ‘Hell in a Cell’ match, during which he was knocked unconscious after falls both off of and through the 16 foot Cell structure. Despite the injury, Foley finished the match – with one of his front teeth lodged in his nose.

With retirement looming as a result of that physically demanding style, Foley penned his own memoir, ‘Have a Nice Day’ without the aid of a ghost-writer – writing 200,000 words in longhand in 50 days. The book showcased Foley’s paradoxical blend of wit and wisdom, wildness and warmth, and shocked the literary world by hitting number one on The New York Times best-seller list in October, 1999. The book remained on the Times list for twenty six weeks. A follow-up, 2001’s ‘Foley is Good’ hit number one on The New York Times list as well. Foley has published a total of ten books; four memoirs, four children’s books and two novels.

After speaking at some of the United Stated most respected colleges and universities – including MIT, Syracuse University, Notre Dame and The University of Miami, Foley decided to take his verbal skills to the stand-up comedy stage in 2009. 2012 saw Foley earn rave reviews for his comedy sets at ‘Just for Laughs’ in Montreal, and the ‘Edinburgh (UK) Fringe Fest’ – the two largest comedy festivals in the world. He is currently represented by Innovative Artists.

Foley’s acting credentials include ’30 Rock’, ‘Warren the Ape’, Now and Again’, ‘G vs E’ and ‘Boy Meets World’ and he was featured in the critically acclaimed documentary ‘Beyond the Mat’ He has done voice work on ‘Squidbillies’ ‘Celebrity Death Match’ and ‘Avatar: the Last Airbender’ and was featured in a 2012 episode of ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’. His list of guest appearances include ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, ‘The Late Show with Jay Leno’, ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien’, ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’, ‘Good Morning America’, ‘Family Feud’ ‘Redeye’, ‘Larry King Live’ and several appearances on ‘Today’. He was featured in a 2010 story on ‘ABC’s World News Tonight’ for his work as an online volunteer with RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization. Foley was also recognized for his work with RAINN at 2010’s ‘Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear’ – where he was awarded a Medal of Reasonableness’ from Jon Stewart.

Foley lives with his wife and four children on Long Island. His latest book, ‘A Most Mizerable Christmas’ will be published in October, 2012 by DK Books. The Foley’s have sponsored children with Child-Fund International for twenty years.


The Eternal Emcee of New York’s Funniest Reporter Show is Comedian Ray Ellin (http://rayellin.com)
In addition to LateNet with Ray Ellin, Ray has also been the host and writer of the syndicated television shows The Movie Loft Premium TV, and currently BrainFuelTV. Ray is a featured performer in NYC’s hottest comedy clubs and a regular weekend emcee at the world famous Comic Strip Live. Known for his ability to ad-lib and improvise with any crowd, Ray has become one of the most sought-after hosts for corporate and charity events.
Profiling the top three Latin comics in the country, Ray executive produced and directed the film The Latin Legends of Comedy. Distributed by Twentieth Century Fox, the movie received the Best Documentary Award at the Boston International Film Festival.
Ray’s talents have taken him to many venues, having performed at hundreds of colleges and comedy clubs around the country. He has racked up an impressive list of television credits including appearances on HBO, FOX, VH1, DISCOVERY, ABC, NBC, and England’s Mancs vs. Yanks. Ray was also profiled on Dateline NBC, in which it was discovered that his blood pressure actually drops right before he goes on stage!
Ray hosted the MetroChannel show New York Now where he interviewed celebrities including Michael Douglas, the Grateful Dead, and former NYC mayor Ed Koch. Ray’s duties included everything from in-studio and live remote broadcasts to scripting segments and production. He also served as TBS’ emcee at the Las Vegas Comedy Festival.
Ray is the founder of the popular comedy site DailyComedy.com, the “youtube for jokes.” He also managed to find time to co-create and produce the animated series La Familia, featuring John Leguizamo, and the Jack Daniel’s Latino Comedy Series, a 13-week comedy event in New York City. The enormously successful program was tapped by other major U.S. cities including Chicago and Miami.
As an actor, Ray has taken on a variety of theater roles. He also co-starred in the romantic comedy Killing Cinderella, and produced and co-starred in the short films Yellow and The Face. He has appeared in several television commercials including spots for Volkswagen, Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Entertainment Weekly, A&E and a multi-part campaign for the Sci-Fi Channel.


New York’s Funniest Reporter In Today’s New York Post!

Today, Reporter Michael Starr wrote a great article today about Ann Curry’s possible involvement in New York’s Funniest Reporter Show.

Click here to view it!

In our experience, Ann is a very nice & pleasant person to be around and she’s also very funny. Ann has a commanding stage presence and for the lucky few who’ve actually seen her do stand up comedy before, it’s a real treat. We hope she’ll be a part of the show one day.

(L-R) Jeffrey Gurian, Ann Curry, Ryan McCormick, Gilbert Gottfried, & Ritchie Tienken


In Their Own Words

What’s it like to be a contestant in New York’s Funniest Reporter Show? Below are five first hand accounts.

“Winning New York’s Funniest Reporter was life changing! Not only did it become a great conversation starter but it 100% launched my stand-up career. Now in addition to being a television producer, I produce my own comedy show once a month.”
Marianne Schaberg / 2009 New York’s Funniest Reporter Show Winner

“Working in news, I find comedy therapeutic. All day at work fires and tragedy fuel a “good news day.” So I started dabbling in open mic comedy. Besides the late nights and often “dark, sketchy locations” especially for a tv morning news anchor— I found unexpected benefits.
Writing comedy helped generate story ideas. It also helped me write more concise (Not as much as the yet to come “Twitter” in 2008). For me, The experience of “New York’s Funniest Reporters” was incredible. I worked with a mentor who helped me find a voice and style for my half- one liners. Actually my mentor, the hysterical Tim Krompier, said my jokes were funny! They just weren’t when I presented them. But, he added- you are funny when you are just talking- so we came up with a way to just be more myself on stage. Eeek something I never thought anyone would want to see.”
Heather Kovar / 2008 New York’s Funniest Reporter Show Contestant

“What a blast being a contestant in NY’s Funnies Reporter Show. It was GREAT being able to say the things I always wanted to say on TV, but never could. Even better was watching your colleagues let their hair down, and let it all hang out. I don’t think I ever laughed so hard!!”
Rob Hoell / 2008 New York’s Funniest Reporter Show Contestant

“What reporter gets to say they worked the world-renowned Comic Strip Live? This one, that’s who. And I was awesome. Also awesome: seeing the funny side of colleagues I respect, a rare treat. Therefore, you most definitely can say that New York’s Funniest Reporter Show is nothing short of awesome.”
Lori Harfinest / 2009 New York’s Funniest Reporter Show Contestant

“Doing comedy for the first time was horrifically scary but I also felt like I conquered something that made me more nervous than anything I ever attempted in my life. Swimming with sharks? Doable. Jumping out of an airplane? Not so bad. Standing in front of people trying to be funny? Eeeeeeeks!  My mentor supplied me with great punchlines. But delivering them was a different story. After the first minute or so, I froze on stage and forgot everything. I grabbed a cheat sheet I had stuffed into my shirt and admitted how terrified I was, which seemed to evoke sympathy. The rest of the act was a blur but I definitely knew the audience was with me. Mainly because I showed how frightened I was. An experience I will never forget, but don’t want to relive!!!”
Wendy Gillette / 2008 New York’s Funniest Reporter Show Contestant


Media Laugh Competition Showdown: 6th Annual New York’s Funniest Reporter Show

Media Laugh Competition Showdown: 6th Annual New York’s Funniest Reporter Show

NEW YORK, NY – August 2nd, 2011 – The 6th Annual New York’s Funniest Reporter Show (www.nyfunniestreporter.com) will take place on Saturday, August 20th at 5:30 pm at Comic Strip Live (1568 Second Ave). It will feature seven media professionals each doing five minutes of stand up comedy in order to raise money for the Humane Society of New York (http://www.humanesocietyny.org/). At the end of the night, a winner will be declared.

Competing in the show this year will be: Jane Velez-Mitchell (CNN Headline News), Greg Mocker (WPIX), Courtney Friel (Fox News), Adam Shapiro (Fox Business), Wendy Diamond (Animal Fair Magazine), Marlaina Schiavo (CNN), and Julia Melim (Hollywood.TV). 2010’s NYFR Show Champion Lauren Sivan (News 12) will be performing but, not competing.

“For many of the Reporters who appear in the show, this is their one-time dance with stand up comedy. It’s a very rare occasion.” Said Mark Goldman, Co-Producer of New York’s Funniest Reporter Show.

All participants are offered the opportunity to work with a professional comedian and receive a crash course in stand up comedy. The Comedy Mentor also helps prepare them to prepare their material and iron out and pre-stage nervous jitters.

“Most of the Reporters over the years have said that NYFR was one of the toughest challenges they’ve ever taken on and it’s not surprising. Think about the fear people have about public speaking and times that by ten.” Said Ryan McCormick, Co-Producer of New York’s Funniest Reporter Show.

Previous NYFR show participants have included: Taryn Winter Brill (Good Morning America), Mike Trainor (NY1), Lori Harfenist (The Resident), Rob Hoell (CW11), Noelle Hancock (Harper Collins), Cooper Lawrence (The Cooper Lawrence Show), Ellis Henican (Fox News & Newsday),  Robert George (New York Post), Nikki Egan (NBC), Wendy Gillette (CBS), Cat Greenleaf (NBC), Paul Messina (NY1), Roger Clark (NY1), Julia Alison (Star Magazine), Mandy Stadtmiller (New York Post), Meredith Daniels (Newsday), Marianne Schaberg (CNN), Sean McCarthy (NY Daily News), Alison Rosen (Page Six Magazine), Debbie Nigro (FirstWivesWorld.com), Heather Kovar (New 12), Peter Kramer (The Journal News), and Tiffany McElroy (WPIX).

The cost of admission is $20. To make a reservation, please call (212) 861-9386. All Media Inquires about New York’s Funniest Reporter Show can be directed to Ron Burgundy at (516) 901-1103.

The 6th Annual New York’s Funniest Reporter competition is produced by Goldman McCormick (www.goldmanmccormick.com).

About New York’s Funniest Reporter Show

Since it’s inception in 2006, New York’s Funniest Reporter Show (www.nyfunniestreporter.com) has featured over twenty six media professionals performing stand up comedy in order to raise money for worthy charities that include Operation Uplink and the Humane Society of New York. Participants have come from: NBC, WPIX, Good Morning America, CBS, NY1, Fox News, Star Magazine, ABC, News 12, MSNBC, CNN, The Resident, New York Post, and New York Daily News. Each Reporter does five minutes of stage time and at the end of the show, a winner is declared.

About the Humane Society of New York:

For over 100 years, the Humane Society of New York (http://www.humanesocietyny.org ) has been a presence in New York City, caring for animals in need when illness, injury or homelessness strikes. In 1904 they were founded to protect the city’s horses against abuse. Members fought for laws to punish negligent owners and place watering troughs in streets and parks. As funds allowed the Society expanded to include a free medical clinic and a small adoption center for cats and dogs. Today their hospital and their Vladimir Horowitz and Wanda Toscanini Horowitz Adoption Center help more than 30,000 dogs and cats annually, and their numbers continue to grow

About Goldman McCormick

Goldman McCormick PR (www.goldmanmccormick.com ) a New York City based public relations agency that specializes in traditional media and social media placement for law, finance, media, and corporate based clients. Started by Mark Goldman and Ryan McCormick, both former Television & Radio Producers (and newspaper editors) turned Media Relations Specialists, Goldman McCormick are also founders of Legal PR Team (www.legalprteam.com).

About The Comic Strip Live:
Voted AOL’s Best Comedy Club of 2007. Est. in 1976, the World Famous Comic Strip Live is the longest running showcase comedy club in American history. It has launched the careers of Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Lisa Lampanelli, Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, and several other superstars of laughter. Shows run 7-days a week and feature New York City’s hottest comedians. For more information, please visit – www.comicstriplive.com – 1568 Second Ave (81st & 2nd Ave), New York, NY.


The Five Most Surprising Performances At New York’s Funniest Reporter Show

The Five Most Surprising Performances At New York’s Funniest Reporter Show

Since 2006, over 30 Media Professionals have taken to the stage and courageously given stand up comedy a shot. These are five individuals whose performances caught the masses completely off guard.

5. Lori Harfinest / The Resident (2009) – Donning a neon pink wig and green fashion attire, Lori Harfinest did her entire comedy set in an improvised character (the only time in NYFR History). She had pre Lady Gaga charisma and the audience’s full attention.  She brought tons of energy and stood out from all the other participants that year.

4. Paul Messina  / NY1 (2006) – A last minute entry in the very first NYFR, Messina walked on stage with ice water and papers with notes. After reading a few jokes, Messina abruptly quit his routine and decided to tell funny stories about his years as Reporter & Producer. The audience welcomed the stories and laughter grew progressively louder until the end of his performance.

3. Ellis Henican / Fox News (2008) – For millions of American who had regularly watched Ellis Henican out-debate Bill O’Reilly (a rarity on “The O’Reilly Factor”), this was the first time they actually saw him do stand up comedy. Henican’s debut was highly anticipated and has tremendous buzz amongst Liberals & Conservatives. Henican did not disappoint and his performance proved that he was just as sharp & witty on stage as he was on TV. Henican caught the stand up comedy bug and has performed over 100 times since then.

2. Lauren Sivan / Fox News (2010) – Lauren entered into NYFR a mere 5 weeks before the show with no previous stand up comedy experience. With her mentors TJ McCormack & Jeffrey Gurian, she was determined to give it her all and hopefully connect with a few jokes. Sivan’s debut (her first time ever at stand up) was one of the most dominant performances in the history of New York’s Funnies Reporter Show. According to one judge, “Sivan had a presence, confidence and timing that you’d expect from a seasoned professional comedian, not a first-timer.” Sivan would go on to win the 5th Annual New York’s Funniest Reporter Show.

1. Wendy Gillette / CBS (2008) – Having worked intensively with her comedy mentor Bernadette Pauley, Wendy Gillette walked on stage an immediately connected with the audience on her first joke. However, the stage jitters quickly settled in and Gillette struggled to keep her routine on track. Gillette immediately told the audience that she was nervous and scared but, that it wasn’t going to top her from finishing her set. Something magical happened as the audience began intensely supporting & cheering her on and Gillette’s nervousness rapidly melted away. She finished strong and the audience gave her a Roman-arena applause. It was the performance that summed up what New York’s Funniest Reporter Show is about: Media Professionals conquering fear for a greater cause while laughing all the way.


6th Annual Funniest Reporters Revealed!

Jane Valez-Mitchell / CNN

Jane Velez-Mitchell hosts “Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell,” a topical event-driven show with a wide range of viewpoints. A veteran television news journalist, Velez-Mitchell reported for the nationally syndicated Warner Brothers/Telepictures show “Celebrity Justice” and regularly served as guest host for “Nancy Grace,” another HLN program.

As a commentator on high-profile cases, Velez-Mitchell has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and other national cable television programs. During the Michael Jackson molestation trial, she appeared daily on “Nancy Grace” and was featured on CNN’s “Larry King Live” on several occasions, including the evening of the verdict.

Velez-Mitchell chronicles her lifelong battle with alcoholism, as well as her coming out as a lesbian and her discovery of a healthier, happier and more meaningful existence, in “iWant: My Journey From Addiction and Overconsumption to a Simpler Honest Life,” which was released in October 2009, and became a New York Times bestseller. Her most recent book, “Addict Nation” was released in February 2011.Her first nonfiction book, “Secrets Can Be Murder: What America’s Most Sensational Crimes Tell Us About Ourselves,” was published by Touchstone, a division of Simon & Schuster. The paperback version appeared in bookstores in June 2008.

Velez-Mitchell previously spent more than a decade anchoring and reporting for KCAL-TV in Los Angeles. She also served as a reporter/anchor for eight years at WCBS-TV in New York City. In 2010, her HLN show garnered a Genesis Awards from the Humane Society of the United States, her third having won two others on “Celebrity Justice.” Velez-Mitchell is the recipient of a Los Angeles Emmy Award and a New York Emmy Award. The KCAL-TV newscasts she co-anchored won three Southern California Golden Mike Awards and an Emmy. She also wrote, directed and produced “Dancing Through Life,” an award-winning documentary.

Mentor: TJ McCormack


Greg Mocker / WPIX 11

I moved to New York City in the summer of 2008 because I always wanted to live here. After spending more than 12 years in the TV news business and traveling around the country, I missed my family. I’m from Ohio (one of those good midwestern boys). My parents and brother visit often and my sister lives in Brooklyn.

I also missed the snow and the seasons. I spent the last 4 years in Phoenix, Arizona where I reported on monsoons, illegal immigration, and home owner associations. Before that I worked in Albuquerque, New Mexico. That’s a great place. I liked it there. We should visit. I’ve been to the Augusta National 4 times, although I do not golf. I reported in Augusta, Georgia for 4 years. My first job was in Ardmore, Oklahoma and I was there for 50 weeks. I lived in a garage apartment across the street from the son of an International Rodeo Star.

I am fascinated with this city and the people who live here and the people who keep it going. This place is loud and quiet and full of contradictions and simplicity. I love what I do. I’m just a guy with a question, looking for an answer on the trail of something different.

Mentor: Billy Bingo


Courtney Friel / FOX News Channel

Courtney Friel joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in February 2007 as an entertainment reporter.

Prior to joining FNC, Friel was an anchor and reporter for KPSP (CBS) in Palm Springs, CA. She also hosted “The World Poker Tour” on the Travel Channel and co-anchored Court TV’s “The Saturday Night Solution.” In 2004, Friel served as a west coast correspondent for FOX’s “America’s Most Wanted.” She has been a field reporter for various networks including E! Entertainment, Oxygen Channel, GOTV Mobile Television, Comcast Cable, as well as the syndicated program “Extra.”

Friel’s first job in local news was the primetime anchor at WBBJ (ABC) in Jackson, TN. A graduate of San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, she began her career at Channel One News where she served as a student reporter.

Mentor: Jeffrey Gurian


Adam Shapiro / FOX Business Network

Reporter Adam Shapiro joined FOX Business Network (FBN) in September 2007 as a New York based reporter.

Shapiro was previously a general assignment reporter in New York for WNBC-TV morning show Today in New York, covering all aspects of New York City. He also occasionally provided reports for the early evening and nightly newscasts. Before joining WNBC-TV, Shapiro was the anchor of WEWS-TV (ABC) Emmy Award-winning morning show Good Morning Cleveland and the early evening newscast Live on Five.

While there, he received a 2003 regional Emmy Award for Best Anchor and a 2002 Associated Press Award for Best Reporter. Prior to this, Shapiro spent a year as a network correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Chicago covering major national news including the Versace murder and the Louise Woodward murder trial.Before joining FNC, Shapiro anchored the weekend newscast for WXIN-TV (FOX) in Indianapolis, where he received a 1994 Emmy Award for an investigative piece. Prior to that, he was a reporter for WSJV-TV, then ABC affiliate, based in South Bend, Indiana.A native of Miami, Florida, Shapiro is a graduate of Syracuse University.



Marlaina Schiavo / CNN

Marlaina Schiavo is a Senior Producer for HLN’s top-rated primetime show Nancy Grace. From field producing to on-air reporting, Marlaina has covered everything from crime and punishment to celebrity justice.

In 1998, Marlaina began her journalism career at CNN’s headquarters in Atlanta. During her tenure, she worked as a Video Editor and quickly reached management level within the company. In January 2002, she returned to the northeast, joining the Fox News Channel in NYC as Newsroom Manager. In 2005, Marlaina landed a Producer position with
Nancy Grace at Court TV and then moved on to HLN’s Nancy Grace in 2007.

Prior to her success in the media world, Marlaina graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor’s degree in Television-Radio. And although she is making her mark in cable television, Marlaina’s passion extends beyond breaking news. Always having a love of comedy and reality TV, Marlaina spent some time in Los Angeles in her early years, where she interned for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and MTV’s Road Rules. Marlaina is grew up in New Jersey and claims that there is more to the Jersey shore than fist pumping. She currently resides in Manhattan with her fiance Eric.



Wendy Diamond / Animal Fair Magazine

Pet Expert & Author Wendy Diamond was called “The Martha Stewart of the milk and bone dish” (The New Yorker), dubbed “Pet Diva” by the New York Post, and crowned the “Canine Queen” by Forbes. She has appeared on Fox, CBS, NBC, Animal Planet, and with her rescued Maltese Lucky Diamond was one of three judges on CBS’ summer primetime hit show – “Greatest American Dog!” After writing two best-selling books titled “How To Understand Men Through Their Dogs and How To Understand Women Through Their Cats,” Random House unleashed Diamond’s next entertaining albeit informative book titled “It’s a Dog’s World. Also, Wendy is Founder of Animal Fair, (fairness to animals) the first lifestyle media company for animal lovers in support of fairness to animals.

Mentor: Carole Montgomery



6th Annual New York’s Funniest Reporter Show

New York’s Funniest Reporter Show will take place on Saturday August 20th, at 5:30 pm at Comic Strip Live comedy club (1568 Second Ave) www.comicstriplive.com

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