Last year, we announced a partnership with London Broadcasting, which owns KTXD, a local channel that, with our help, is about to get a whole lot more local. On February 18, we are launching a morning show called D: The Broadcast. It will be co-hosted by four ladies whose names you’ll likely know. Think The View — only not. This week on FrontBurner, I’m rolling out a new Q&A each day with a different host. Yesterday was Courtney Kerr’s turn. Today, we talk with Lisa Pineiro, who most recently did her broadcasting on CBS Channel 11. Let’s boogie:
Tim Rogers: [I had promised to call her “first thing in the morning” but didn’t ring till 10:15.] This is kind of first thing in the morning, isn’t it?
Lisa Pineiro: Are you kidding me? I’m a morning person!
TR: What does that mean? What time do you wake up?
LP: I wake up at the crack of dawn. You remember I had to do that morning show, and I had to wake up at 2:30 a.m. every morning.
TR: And you still haven’t shaken that off?
LP: Well, I go through these peaks and valleys with it. I am crazy. I don’t know. The truth of it is that last night I had horrible night’s sleep. I went to bed at 4 a.m. and just woke up an hour ago.
TR: So how long has it been since Channel 11 made the absolutely horrendously stupid mistake and let you go?
LP: Aw, I love the way you put that. Let’s see, my last day was the end of May last year.
TR: But you started your TV career in Cheyenne, Wyoming?
LP: Yeah. How did you know that?
TR: Hey, listen, I have a team of research assistants that put all of this together for me.
LP: Oh, God. So did you find the sex tape?
TR: Hmm. I’ll need to talk to them. If there is a sex tape out there, we’ll want to get our hands on it for sure. I mean, I would think that would generate some web traffic. So I think of Cheyenne like a lot of people who haven’t been to Texas or Dallas. I just imagine horses and mountains and vast emptiness. What’s it really like?
LP: Well here’s the crazy thing. I went to college in Wyoming in Laramie. Which I think is like the coldest place on the planet. We had days where it was 40 degrees below 0, and they would cancel class because they said if you walked outside between buildings, your lungs could freeze. As soon as that happened, I called home because I am from Los Angeles, saying, “Please send me a ticket. I want to come home.” My parents were like, “Nope!”
TR: How did you end up going from Los Angeles to Laramie?
LP: You know, it was weird. I had a friend of mine in high school who was from there, and she’s like, “Come on, it’s great. You’ll love it! You’ll get out of LA. It will be something new and different.” And of course you know how you are. I think I was 17 at the time. You’ll do whatever you can do to drive your parents crazy. Which now is the karma because I now have teenage boys.
TR: You have four sons?
LP: I do.
TR: What are their ages?
LP: 12, 15, 17, and 19
TR: And the 19-year-old plays football at SMU?
LP: He’s a sophomore. He’s a redshirt freshman for football, but he’s academically a sophomore. So he will be a junior next year, which I don’t even know how I feel about that.
LP: Yes, it makes me feel ancient.
TR: I have a boy. He’ll be a freshman next year in high school, and I feel the same way. How can he be a freshman?
LP: Well, that means you’re younger than me, Tim.
TR: That’s the only reason I brought that up, Lisa, is to point out that I am younger than you.
TR: So do you go to all the games? You go to the boulevard and that whole thing whenever they have home games?
LP: Oh, yeah, it was crazy this summer. I have a whole group of friends. We all go down to the boulevard and we make a big deal out of it, and, of course, you know I have to always check with Spencer (that’s my son who plays), because when they were kids and they were playing little league football, they had all these rules for me for, things I couldn’t do. Like I couldn’t be the crazy mom on the sideline screaming for them. And some of the moms were nuts. They said, “If you do that, we will disown you.”
TR: I assume he gets to play even though he’s a redshirt freshman?
LP: Yeah, he actually got some pretty decent playing time in the first game against Baylor. They got crushed. That was heartbreaking. But he got some playing time in that game, and against Stephen F Austin, he actually had his first sack.
TR: Let me take you back to, I guess, after Cheyenne. Did you go directly to Salt Lake City after that?
LP: It was actually Casper, but the reason you say Cheyenne is because we did a Casper show from the studio in Casper and then we did another half hour that we shot from our station in Cheyenne.
TR: Ok, so from there you went to Salt Lake City? And they made the bad decision to let you go. And so what I want to get to is what you did while you had about five years off, not doing television. If my crack team of researchers has done their work, then you got your mortgage license, you started a skin care company, you worked as media consultant, and—the thing I am most interested in—you wrote two novels.
LP: I did!
TR: What were the novels about? What are the titles of both of them?
LP: The first one was called Affinity.
TR: Affinity? Sounds sci-fi or something. But I bet it wasn’t.
LP: Well it was a little. It was young adults, paranormal. The whole vampire thing. And the second one was called Gods of the Realm. It was another young adult novel that was about these teenage gods and goddesses who were fighting against the evil forces that were causing the apocalypse. And the reason I got into writing young adults was after that whole crazy Twilight thing, and my mom and I, who are both voracious readers, both of us actually read the series. Come on, really, a teenage vampire book is going to hold our attention? And we both read the series at the same time and were like, “Wow, that was really good. Now what?” And my mom was like, “Why don’t you write something?” I said, “I guess I could. What else am I going to do?” And I sat down at the computer and it was interesting. I sat down at the computer—and you understand this—writing for print or television is so different from creative writing
TR: Were you able to get them published?
LP: After the first one, I actually got signed by a literary agent who helped me tremendously in rewriting. I pretty much had to rewrite the entire book. He shopped me to some pretty big publishing houses, and Little Brown, which is the publishing company that did Twilight, gave me a really great letter, a rejection letter.
LP: But it was a really great rejection letter!
TR: You’re so positive. So it was a really well-written rejection letter, or what?
LP: It was so kind. I just wanted to go meet them and have coffee with them. They were very complimentary of my writing style and capturing teen voices.
TR: But neither book sold?
TR: You should consider going the e-publishing route. Do it yourself. If you can build a following, sometimes the big houses will buy a book that way.
LP: Look at Fifty Shades of Grey. Worst written book I’ve ever read.
TR: My wife’s book club read it, and that’s what they all said, too, but of course they devoured it.
LP: Oh, horrible, horrible. You can only read about sex for so long.
TR: Hey, listen, I agree with you. I spent two hours reading this morning about sex and that is it. For the rest of the day, I don’t want to read about it anymore.
LP: Right. Because you only read the articles, right?
TR: No idea what you’re talking about. Ok, so let’s talk about The Broadcast. And the ladies that you will be co-hosting with.
LP: Oh, my God. I hate them all.
TR: Which one do you hate the most?
LP: Let’s see. I don’t think that I hate any of them yet. That’s what’s going to be so exciting about the show, though, right? We all met, and we just totally clicked, and I would right now go and choose any one of them to grab coffee with or be friends with. But the cool thing about the show is that it’s putting us in an environment where we are discussing topics that each of are going to have a different opinion about sometimes. So, it’s going to be really interesting to see all of our personalities together, even though we all really like each other. Maybe we’ll have smack-down arguments with Jell-O wrestling. It might get crazy.
TR: Sure. But your role, as I understand it, is you’re the traffic conductor of this whole thing. You’re the calming influence.
LP: We are in so much trouble if that’s my role!
TR: But just as far as bringing the show in and out of commercials and stuff.
LP: Yeah, and what’s really exciting about the show is it’s the first time ever I get to play behind the scenes as well. I am also the creative producer behind the show as well. While we actually don’t start the show until the 28th, I’ve been there working, crafting the show, what sort of segments, what’s interesting to our viewers? Now we’re at the stage of, well, we need to start booking this because we have five segments a day.
TR: Here’s a suggestion. It’s free. If you like it, you can take it. If you don’t, just throw it back. Just book [name of famous husband married to co-host who will be revealed on Thursday] every show.
LP: (laughs) It’s funny because we are like, “When do we throw down the [famous husband] bomb. It’s like our secret arsenal. When do we do that?
TR: And then he’s got to confess something. He’s got to have some big, tearful confession.
LP: Oh, my God, yes. And then we’ll do it like Oprah’s interview.
TR: Promote it for two weeks before the show, and then you do it as a three-part show. All you gotta do is find something for [famous husband] to confess.
LP: Oh, we’ll make something up.
TR: Alright, well it starts February 18. Are you ready to go? Starting to get a little jittery? Starting to get that nervous anticipation?
LP: Nervous anticipation, yes. It’s weird this time because it’s like a whole new area for people to judge me. I’m already used to being on air and having people say, “Your lipstick really doesn’t match your shirt.” Now it’s like I am kind of accountable for some areas of the show, which is on one hand really cool, and on the other hand, really terrifying.
TR: That’s good. Being terrified is good. A little bit of terror serves us all well.
LP: Maybe that can be the tagline for The Broadcast?
TR: The Broadcast: Just a little bit of terror every day.
LP: Yes, I love it. I love it.