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2013 February 18

The Joy of (Page) Six

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(NEW YORK) The talented team behind the world’s most powerful gossip column is always getting up in your business. Isn’t it time you got up in theirs? BY ALEXANDRA ILYASHOV

Emily Smith, Editor
Hometown: Bridgnorth, Shropshire, England 
Alma mater: University of Liverpool
Star sign: Leo 
Previous gig: U.S. editor, The Sun 
First media job: Reporter, then editor, of the University of Liverpool’s student paper
Daily grind: “Identifying and reporting out stories for both print and web. We close at around 8 p.m., then head out to dinners, events, and cocktail parties.”
Advice from an ex-Page Sixer: “The best advice I got was from Richard Johnson: ‘If someone throws  a drink in your face, smile.’"
Best rumor she’s heard about herself: “That I’m secretly pregnant.”
The golden rule of gossip: “Never discuss sources.” 
All great columnists have…: “A fierce sense of competition, a multitude of sources, a propensity to listen rather than talk, and an ability to remember things verbatim that were whispered to you very late at night.”
Biggest misconception about The Six: “People think that stories are handed to us every morning. In fact, we work incredibly hard to get scoops and to make sure our reporting is accurate.”
Favorite beat: “I enjoy covering sports stars, because some are so unpredictable.” 
Funniest reaction to being a Sixer: “Eddie Murphy said I had warm hands for a gossip columnist. We only shook, just to be clear.”
Second-funniest reaction to being a Sixer: “When a top New York publicist, who I had previously spoken to many times, refused to allow me into an important event because I was ‘too short to be Emily Smith.’”
Fantasy job swap: “I’d love to switch places with Margaret Russell at Architectural Digest for a week. Her magazine is such a pleasure to rea


Ian Mohr, Deputy Editor
Hometown: Brooklyn
Alma mater: University of Denver 
Star sign: Gemini
Previous gigs: New York bureau chief, The Hollywood Reporter; box office editor, Variety; VP of development, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas Productions
First media job: Copy clerk at The Chicago Tribune
Most useful takeaway from the Hollywood beat: “I’d be a ringer for someone’s Summer Movie League.”
Best scoop: “The one I had today.”
Trick of the trade: “The ability to talk about any topic for three minutes at a cocktail party.”
Advice from an Xx-Page Sixer: “I once read that Richard Johnson said, ‘Never eat lunch standing up.’”
Tips received per day: “Too many to count.”
Strangest source: “I’d never reveal a source.”
Desperately seeking sources: “…in Silicon Valley.”
Biggest surprise of the job: “That we all got Page Six tattoos that one night.”
Favorite beat: “The art world, which is as intriguing as Hollywood, if not more so.”
Does he actually read the rest of the paper? “Yes. Religiously.”
Gossip nugget he wishes were true: “Jack Palance accidentally reading Marisa Tomei’s name at the Oscars.”
On friends’ holding their tongues or spilling excessively: “Depends on the friend.”
On Emily as boss: “She’s the best! We make a great team.”
Pre-Page Six...: “I was an avid reader.”
Fantasy job: “Shortstop for the Yankees. Isn’t it everyone’s?”
OH, IAN! I KNOW HIM! He’s also Elisa Lipsky-Karasz’s husband.

 

Stephanie Smith, Reporter
Hometown: Chicago
Alma mater: Northwestern
Star sign: Cancer
Previous gig: Memo Pad reporter, WWD; reporter, MediaWeek; writer-reporter, Money
First media job: “Contributing to Playboy.com. Stories, not photos!”
Best Scoop: “I had the story about Chelsea Clinton’s husband, Marc Mezvinsky, quitting his job to become a ski bum in Jackson Hole, WY. Other media outlets were so afraid it was wrong that no one wanted to pick it up the next day. But the day after, it exploded everywhere.”
Trick of the trade: “Work the phones every day.”
Early signs of promise: “People told me all of their dirt in high school. I was never a big party girl, but I always knew who went to what parties, who hooked up with who, who was breaking up with who, and who got arrested. People would tell me all of their business on Monday morning!” 
A great gossip reporter...: “Knows how to read a room. There are some situations where you just want to watch and observe for a bit before approaching.” 
Favorite beat: “CEOs and tech types. When Paris Hilton goes wild in a nightclub, it’s not newsworthy. But if Bill Gates had a dance-off at a bar mitzvah with a bunch of 13-year-olds? Now, that’s a good read!”
Funniest reaction to being a Sixer: “People always say, ‘But you’re so nice!’ when they find out I work here. We’re actually all nice! There’s a lot of laughter here.”
Page Six in six words: “Lohan, Bloomberg, Jay-Z, Clooney, Weinstein, and  Wintour.”

 

Mara Siegler, Reporter
Hometown: Novelty, Ohio (“40 minutes outside Cleveland”)
Alma Mater: Ohio University
Star sign: Scorpio
Previous gigs: Editor at AVENUE and GuestofaGuest.com and “a ton of freelance writing and reporting” for the Daily News’ Gatecrasher column
First media job: Covering the events industry for the trade mag BizBash 
Reporting tip: “Keep your eyes open at all times. I’ve heard crazy things from smokers or in the bathroom. And always ask the follow-up question: You rarely get a second chance.”
Biggest rookie mistake: “Not making sure you have the exclusive. It’s terrible to have something you think is great, only to find out everyone else has it, too!”
Lesson from the trenches: “If you have to ask something tough, make it your last question and be polite. The first gossip assignment I ever had, I was so nervous I barged up to a big movie star’s table while he was eating at some super-fancy benefit at Cipriani. America’s favorite action star told me to go f*ck myself. I cried in the bathroom, but his blow-up ended up being the story!”

 
Melissa Cronin, Web Editor
Hometown: Abington, MA
Alma Mater: Harvard
Star sign: Cancer
Previous gigs: Deputy news editor, Star magazine; senior editor, In Touch
First media job: “I started at Star magazine almost exactly five years ago! They sent me out on a lot of adventures all across the country. It was definitely a great way to get to know the industry from the ground up. It was also an opportunity to visit the Britney Spears Museum in Kentwood, Louisiana.”
Why you bookmark PageSix.com: “We’re posting fresh exclusives throughout the day. We broke the news that Beyoncé had lip-synched at the inauguration!”
Print vs. online: “It’s actually easier to cover gossip online, because I can post stuff immediately and don’t have to worry about other people breaking a story first. For a journalist, that’s the most stressful feeling in the world! It sometimes takes a few minutes for stories to show up on the website—whenever I have something big, I sit there refreshing like a maniac.”
Not-so-gossip source: “Twitter, duh.” 
 

Lorraine Chow, Web Reporter
Hometown: Los Angeles
Alma Mater: Loyola Marymount 
Star sign: Sagittarius
Previous gigs: Assistant editor, HollywoodLife.com; intern-turned-associate editor, iVillage.com
First media job: An internship at CNN
Web 101: “The celebs we cover online are different than the ones in print: More Lohan and Kardashian. The web audience is different. There’s a reason why the Al Roker story went viral!”
Daily grind: “We’re up early because that’s when most people are on the Internet. The feeling of immediacy and posting stories before they break on other sites is a real rush. We know how to write headlines for SEO purposes to make sure it’s on top of a Google search.”
Early signs of promise: “Growing up in L.A. I was always fascinated by the entertainment industry. I think I watched a little too much E!” 
Best scoop: “Nicki Minaj being denied entry to her own album release party at Greenhouse. I left the event bummed that she never showed up. We found out the next day that she wasn’t allowed in because she showed up at 3 a.m. with an entourage 30-deep.”
Off-duty gossiping: “I try to turn it off when I leave work, but I inevitably find myself obsessively dissecting Lindsay Lohan’s latest stunt with my friends.”
Dream job: “I really admire Malcolm Gladwell.”

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