TITLE: President, Wheaton Entertainment Inc. Celebrity Entertainment Reporter/Executive Producer
DUTIES: Securing interviews and reporting Hollywood celebrity news
EDUCATION: Emerson College, B.A. Broadcast Journalism
“I like to talk,” says celebrity reporter and producer Wendy Wheaton of her gift to gab and her love of media, both of which are contributing to the success of The Hollywood Scoop,â„¢ Wheaton’s daily entertainment report that airs in several major markets across the country.
A Clear Route: Wheaton first became interested in news as a student at Emerson College in Boston. She pursued her B.A. in broadcast journalism at night and spent her days working as a sales assistant and hosting a R&B show at WLVI-TV. After graduating in 1988, Wheaton joined WLVI-TV as an executive producer of her own television program Videos in the Dark, a late night music show. “The show started in 1989 and came on after The Arsenio Hall Show, so it was a very popular time slot,” Wheaton says. “I looked at Emerson graduates such as Jay Leno, and thought I can be just as successful.”
While hosting the show, Wheaton became a hard news anchor for WHSH-TV and WHLL-TV in Massachusetts. A year later, Wheaton decided entertainment journalism was her calling.
Celebrity News: Wheaton moved to Los Angeles and landed her first job as video coordinator manager for A&M Records. She used her connections from Videos to start The Hollywood Scoopâ„¢ at Stevie Wonder’s Los Angeles radio station. “I walked into KJLH and talked my way on the air,” she says.
Wheaton trademarked her title in 1999 and then aggressively sought syndication. “I went to a radio convention, The Urban Network, in Palm Springs and got a commitment from 10 markets,” she boasts. Although there are a variety of similar radio programs, Wheaton believes she offers a unique perspective on celebrity coverage. “My show provides exclusive interviews rather than just gossip,” she says.
No Business like Show Business: During her 15 years a media professional, Wheaton has interviewed countless celebrities. She recalls being particularly excited to meet Muhammad Ali at a dinner and being front and center at a 2001 Michael Jackson concert.
Wheaton was also the host of a pre-show Web-telecast for the Democratic National Committee voter registration drive at the Apollo Theater in New York City.
While interviewing celebrities might appear to be an ultra-glamorous job, Wheaton juggles a hectic schedule. Managing a staff of seven part-time employees, her day usually begins at 5:30 a.m. to accommodate her East Coast clients. She doesn’t complain about her busy pace and hopes to expand in the future. “I’d like to model myself after businesswomen like Oprah Winfrey and Barbara Walters,” says Wheaton. “They love what they do, but they also understand the business.” You can visit Wheaton online at www.thehollywoodscoop.com.