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HRTS Lunches Fizzle With ‘Star’ Moderators

The Hollywood Radio and Television Society will hold another one of its monthly lunches on April 21, and although the topic sounds interesting — “The Hitmakers: Cable Reality — Unscripted on Cable: The State of the Business” — count me among the no-shows.

Why? Look a little further in the press release: Chris Harrison, Host of “The
Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” to Moderate.

Now for the record, I have nothing against Harrison, except for the fact that since the HRTS began relying on celebrity moderators, its events have consistently been news-free zones. And while having a celeb might make the give-and-take more entertaining (see Jimmy Kimmel’s forays into this duty), they virtually ensure that the discussion won’t have much depth or follow-up to it.

People attend these affairs for different reasons — to network, or just to trade a couple of hours of their time for a free lunch. For journalists, though, the HRTS’ turn to pomp over substance has made the “newsmaker” designation a misnomer and the lunches “hard to justify my parking fee” affairs. So with apologies to Harrison, I wouldn’t go even for a whole bouquet of roses.

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