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Introducing Wendy Williams
TV personality Wendy Williams attends the 23rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Marriott Marquis Hotel on March 24, 2012 in New York City.
May 31st, 2013
12:22 PM ET

Introducing Wendy Williams

Hosted by Michael Schulder

Follow Michael at: www.wavemaker.me

Editor's Note: Listen to the full interview in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - I think I hit the jackpot when I sat down with Wendy Williams for this CNN Profile.

She may be Exhibit A in the case I’ve been building since I turned 50 to destroy the myth of the 18-49 demographic.

The “demo” is the age group that advertisers having been paying top dollar for on network television for the past half century or so. In fact, some advertisers won’t pay for any audience members outside that demo.

If any advertiser or network executive would like to inform Wendy Williams she will soon be kicked out of your target “demo,” please leave your name and job title in the comments section below. We’d like to hear from you. FULL POST

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Filed under: CNN Profiles • Culture • Media • Profiles • Voices
Managing cruise ship mishaps
The Crown Princess, which had toilet trouble while on a Caribbean cruise, is shown here in Venice in 2009.
May 29th, 2013
08:58 AM ET

Managing cruise ship mishaps

By Barbara Hall, CNN

(CNN) – The "Dream," the "Legend," the "Triumph," the "Freedom..." All cruise ships with whimsical names turned distressingly ironic after the ships caught fire, clogged up, broke down or even sunk this past year.

Such incidents seem to be happening more frequently in the cruise ship industry. Spencer Aronfeld is a Florida trial lawyer who specializes in cruise ship injury cases:

[1:28] “In handling these kinds of cases for more than 20 years, I have never seen a series of botched cruises like I have in the last year – year and a half.”

But Memorial University of Newfoundland Sociology Professor Ross Klein, who operates the website, CruiseJunkie.com, says  it's unclear whether such incidents are actually happening more frequently than in years past:

[2:07] “I'm not sure that I could say that they're more common. Certainly when they occur they're more likely to be reported and make it into the media.”

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. And listen to CNN Soundwaves on our SoundCloud page.

The Chopra Brothers
Six-year-old Deepak Chopra and three-year-old Sanjiv Chopra outside their home in Pune, India in 1952.
May 24th, 2013
10:56 PM ET

The Chopra Brothers

Hosted by Michael Schulder

Follow Michael at: www.wavemaker.me

Editor's Note: Listen to the full interview in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - Once upon a time (and this is a true story even though it begins "once upon a time") there was a physician in India who had amazing ears.

His name was Krishan Chopra. He was a cardiologist with the Indian Army.

His ears were so sensitive that, through his stethoscope, he could hear and time the milliseconds between parts of a heartbeat that, today, doctors must use an EKG to measure.

FULL POST

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Filed under: CNN Profiles • Culture • Faith • Profiles • Voices
The Tao of Jen Lancaster
Blogger and author Jen Lancaster spent a year trying to raise her living standards to Martha Stewart-levels.
May 17th, 2013
01:53 PM ET

The Tao of Jen Lancaster

Hosted by Michael Schulder

Follow Michael at: www.wavemaker.me

Editor's Note: Listen to the full interview in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - Dear Fellow Parents who are worried about what college their children will get into and, after those children graduate from college, what will become of them in their professional and personal lives.

Please – before your next bout of worrying – listen to the story of Jen Lancaster.

Jen Lancaster does not have a roadmap for you to follow. And it’s not the path you probably have in mind for your children.

Because what parent would ever design a roadmap for their child that includes 11 years to complete an undergraduate degree? That’s how long it took Jen Lancaster to get her degree from Purdue University. FULL POST

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Filed under: Behavior • CNN Profiles • Culture • Voices
Seduced by Mary
Producer David Davis, actress Mary Tyler Moore, producer Allan Burns, fan Joe Rainone and producer James L. Brooks gather for a photo in 1971.
May 10th, 2013
12:13 PM ET

Seduced by Mary

Hosted by Michael Schulder

Follow Michael at: www.wavemaker.me

Editor's Note: Listen to the full interview in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) - Once a success, always a success.

You know who said that?

Nobody.

At least nobody I know of.

Often when we see a great success, whether it’s an individual like Steve Jobs, or a product like – oh man, I better get off this Apple bandwagon. Let me think of another iconic brand.

Mary!

The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

When you think of how hooked America became on The Mary Tyler Moore Show – through its initial run in the 1970s and many years of reruns, it’s easy to imagine the successful backstory.

The incredibly likable Mary Tyler Moore pitches her show to CBS executives.

They can’t resist this new, refreshing storyline that’s just a little ahead of the curve on America’s evolving attitudes towards the role of women in society. A 30-year-old divorcee seeks to start life over in the big city, to seek career satisfaction and, if it comes, true love. It’s fresh. It’s new. It’s unfamiliar.

That was the problem.

You know how it is. Some leaders have a hard time saying yes to something they’ve never quite seen before. The unfamiliar is where the greatest opportunity lies. But it’s risky.

So here is the initial response from executives who listened to the pitch, as reported by our guest on this CNN Profiles, journalist Jennifer Keishin Armstrong.

[1:12] “We want you to listen to some research from this guy who does our research for us and he said that people do not want to watch television about divorced people; Jews; people from New York; or people with mustaches."

Audiences loved Mary when she was Laura Petrie married to comedy writer Rob Petrie on the Dick Van Dyke Show. But a single lady – who could leave a man to strike out on her own personally and professionally?

Risky for Mary Richards – the spirited young woman applying for job with TV news manager Lou Grant. Too risky for the real life executives. They resisted Mary’s charms at first.

Her story was too unfamiliar.

But, as Tom Waits sings, in one of his greatest songs of seduction, “we all begin as strangers.”

Wait until you hear what our guest found out about why executives resisted Mary.

Focus groups too. So much resistance.

So how did Mary make it after all?

That story – of overcoming adversity to create something original – is the story Jennifer Keishan Armstrong has brought to life in her brand new book, “Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted. And you can only hear it if you click the play icon at the top of this blog.

Yes, we all begin as strangers.

But if we just give a new relationship a chance – give it enough time – then we may come to realize, in the words of Tom Waits, “we really aren’t strangers any more.”

FULL POST

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Filed under: CNN Profiles • Culture • Entertainment • Media • Profiles • Voices
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