Don’t Drink & Drive to Your Next TV Interview

This past Friday I received a call from news anchor Doug Shimell at NBC Philadelphia looking for me to help set up a shoot that morning with a winery in South Jersey for a piece they wanted to run that afternoon on the 2012 wine harvest.

On behalf of our client, the Garden State Wine Growers Association, we had set Wednesday as Harvest Day for media in the region, encouraging them to visit local wineries and interview wine growers about their enthusiasm for this year’s harvest, which because of the dry weather conditions earlier this summer, looked to rival 2010 as one of the best years ever for New Jersey wine.

After securing the availability of owner Ollie Tomasello of Plagido’s Winery in Hammonton, I called Doug back and told him I would meet his crew at the winery. NBC wanted to also interview me representing the NJ wine industry to give an overall perspective.

As I drove out of my parking lot onto Route 1 in Princeton I was juggling a GPS, blackberry, pad and cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee. Before I could turn on my hands-free calling device in the car, my mobile phone went off and it was Doug from NBC on the line. As I reached for the phone, I hit a bump and the coffee lid came off the cup and coffee ran down my right sleeve and side. Luckily, the coffee ran down my side and not on my chest or stomach. Forget about the traffic, my mind was on how I would position myself on camera to avoid the embarrassment of people seeing my coffee-stained shirt!

Fortunately for me, I arrived at Plagido’s Winery before NBC did. Ollie Tomasello, seeing my coffee-stained shirt took me into his house adjacent to his tasting room and searched for a shirt for me to wear. There, hanging in his closet was a brand new red Garden State Wine Growers tee shirt. It was my size and I quickly put it on.

NBC arrived, did their piece with Ollie as he walked them through the vineyard and then interviewed me. One of my sound bites made the news story. As you will notice in the clip my newly acquired red shirt served me well.

The moral of the story don’t drink and drive, especially when you know you’re going to be on television.

Tom Cosentino


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