As we crave connection during these isolating times, Sree Sreenivasan has stepped up to bring people around the world together, sometimes several times a day. While almost 80 straight days in a row of recording his Global COVID-19 show drove his family to furlough him from his own home during livestreaming hours, this social and digital media expert, known by many as “@Sree”, has an expanded family of connections that faithfully gather round for a dose of positivity.
And every Sunday, they tune-in again for his New York Times “readalong,” now five years running, with his own scintillating and scholarly guests perusing the paper and op-eds alongside him. So, that’s 80 days in a row and literally twice on Sunday. Did I mention his 21 years of conducting Social Media Weekend gatherings to educate on the latest tools and tactics? How about his frequent appearances on radio, or CNBC as a tech-expert?
Hear why this the former chief digital officer for The Metropolitan Museum of Art is now focused on the art of generous content both altruistically and, candidly, as a business development vehicle for his digital marketing and virtual event business. Less generous, perhaps, in his opinion of social ISSUES, Sree’s stories – from adjusting to new countries and his quirky love of comic strip Calvin and Hobbes to how he adopted new communication tactics to connect people through every crisis of the past two decades – are equally passionate. The throughline is also his ardent belief in journalistic integrity, veracity and humanism.
We joke about how his livestreams and social sharing are the perfect outlet for a man who likes to talk, but with Sree, people want to listen. He’s learned the art of that, too.
Listen to the inaugural Marshall Loeb visiting professor at Stonybrook University, and former Columbia University journalism professor, Sree Sreenivasan, and you’ll hear why.
We also discuss:
His humble and sometimes humiliating path to acculturating to America
The evolution and promise of his Global COVID-19 Show
How reading the New York Times out loud on Facebook Live become bigger than he could have imagined
How he competes with – or defers to his wife, Roopa
How that love for Calvin and Hobbes has played a role in his life
The world of comic books and graphic novels is serious fun.Meaning, both serious and fun. From a serious shift in the revenue model as paper product has gone digital and the edutainment factor of non-fiction hand-drawn histories, to the wildly wicked fantasies spawned by Barbarella type heroines to fictionalized lives of heroes among us.Darren G. Davis, president of one of the leading producers of both the serious and the fun books, TidalWave Productions, made a spontaneous appearance for Episode 8 of Insider Interviews with E.B. Moss – who was actually his former boss at the start of his career in entertainment, and now counts herself as a friend to the seriously funny founder!
In an office surrounded by framed super heroes, acquired during his days at DC Comics, and signed comic book covers from his biographical spins on everyone from Hillary Clinton to Barbara Walters, Davis both reminisced about our days at E! and his path forward from there, dished the dirt, and shared breaking news of stranger than fiction comics to come. Hint: Thought you’d heard the last of Stormy Daniels?….
Davis described the evolution of some of the iconic titles he’s created or developed over the past 20 years, including the top-selling “10th Muse” for Image Comics, and the niche he carved out in the fiction world via successful collaborations with iconic larger than life real characters ranging from William Shatner (Star Trek) and Adam West (Batman), to Vincent Price, William Nolan (Logan’s Run), Roger Corman, and now even the infamous Tiger King!
Listen for some of these moments, but it’s a breezy 35-minutes and you’ll want to hear all the fairly unfiltered anecdotes of this side of the content business:
03:45 Leveraging an E! internship to a network ad sales career to marketing “B” movies (including his first encounter with Leprechaun the movie, which made its way years later into a comic book) to repping artists — and how it all came together to create a new career;
08:00: From the muse of Olivia Newton John to learning to love the WWF
09:30: The difference between a comic book and a graphic novel
:11:40: Phone messages from Batman and making misadventures for Adam West
13:00: How Julie Newmar ended up back in time as Catwoman meets super-secret spy
15:25: How to wear multiple hats and learn to pivot as a manager
17:10: How to calm the tempest of Stormy Daniels’ angry manager (or lawyer) and wind up as friends – and business partners
20:25: Turing women ranging from Condoleezza, and Sarah to Hillary and Stormy into a female force series (Hint: listen here for the breaking news!) to showcase the positivity in what they’ve accomplished – and the inspiration for it from the master, Stan Lee;
23:15: The origins and value of comic books as educational – and taking a non-partisan stance, even when drawing on Obama to Bush;
27:25: How Nook and Google and other platforms fill in the pages of lost print ads
29:00: A not so serious discussion of fantasy super powers
30:20 A serious discussion of celebrations and creations during COVID times
33:00: The evolution of a “best worst idea”… twice
And…best ending ever? Davis pays tribute to Moss as SuperMentor.
PS: You heard this here first, too: He promises to put me in a comic some day!
With more media consumption projected during our current crisis — and radio and podcast hosts perceived as companions — I thought it was a fitting time to speak with someone who has spent an entire career in audio – from on-air in college to the C-Suite of major radio networks, to delivering multiplatform content aligned with high wattage personalities: Gary Krantz, chief executive officer of Krantz Media Group LLC (KMG).
Proof positive? One of the last times I hung out with Gary was alongside classic rock legends like Alice Cooper, Jimmy Page and Brian May, in London. But I digress….
Krantz has taken entertainment companies and brands from conventional broadcast to digital business models and helped fuel the radio careers of such notables as Carson Daly, Ryan Seacrest and Rachel Maddow. In a conversation for Insider Interviews podcast, he explains how he leveraged his stick-to-itiveness to go from unpaid “gopher” to ultimately help run MJI Broadcasting (later acquired by iHeartMedia, where he became executive vice president of their Premiere division), on to president of Air America to chief digital media officer at Westwood One. We learn how his gut instincts led him to syndicate some of the biggest names and events on air and ultimately adding to the utopian landscape of podcasting, with the launch of half a dozen new podcasts, some in conjunction once again with iHeart, including The Fred Minnick Show and Politicon, hosted by Clay Aikens.
You’ll want to listen to the whole conversation to get the inside scoop on radio from the 70s to today, and making moves in podcasting and syndication.
Here are the pictures, as promised in the episode!