TLC’s Laurie Goldberg Featured In the NY Times

By Pam

I came across an interesting read in the New York Times today that featured TLC’s Executive Vice President of Public Relations, Laurie Goldberg.  Ms. Goldberg is the top spokesperson for TLC and is responsible for handling many of the public relation sticky situations that come the network’s way.

The most recent controversy that sparked national interest as well as the interest of many of the readers of Imperfect Women involved Lowe’s Home Improvement pulling their advertising from TLC’s “All-American Muslim” television show. With this controversy as well as many others she has handled, she basically had no comment which is Public Relations 101 in how not to encourage the controversy to multiply and grow.

Many of us who have followed Jon and Kate Plus 8 and then Kate Plus 8 are familiar with Laurie Goldberg or at least recognize her name. She has worked with TLC since 2007 and was the PR person for the shows throughout their consecutive runs. I have emailed back and forth with her several times and she is always very helpful. Many times she does give you information but states that it is off the record. The last time I contacted her was regarding the arrest of William Blankinship. Although TLC was not commenting because Blankinship did not work for them, she pointed me in the right direction to get the appropriate statement I needed.

There was information and quotes shared within this article that also involved Kate Gosselin that I found somewhat interesting.

Kate Coyne, an assistant managing editor for People magazine was interviewed for this article and had this to say about Ms Goldberg’s relationship with Kate Gosselin:

“She’s in a really unique position because she works with reality-show talent that don’t have publicists of their own,” said Kate Coyne, who met Ms. Goldberg while covering the very public collapse of Kate and Jon Gosselin’s marriage.

“Laurie Goldberg is just about the only person I’ve ever seen say to Kate Gosselin, ‘You can’t do that.’ She’s very, very maternal in that sense,” Ms. Coyne said.

Although Ms. Goldberg declined comment for this article, there were quotes from her that I had never seen before.  One quote that I think we can all relate to …..”TLC’s shows, “Jon & Kate” chief among them, were addictive — they were like “digital crack,” she exclaimed (and sometimes complained) to reporters who would call and e-mail for comment.”

I totally get what she is saying there. I think a good deal of us, fans and non fans alike, went through those “digital crack” withdrawals this past August when the show was cancelled. No so much withdrawals from the show but more so from the drama surrounding it.

It was also interesting to learn that Laurie Goldberg traveled to Alaska frequently and was involved in the filming of the Sara Palin’s Alaska. She dined with the Palin family as they ate Todd Palin’s latest catch and she also babysat for the Palin kids at one point. According to this article, Goldberg was the person that Kate Gosselin was talking to when Kate listed her grievances about the trip — “I am freezing to the bone. … I’m hungry.”

“I felt like Forrest Gump,” Ms. Goldberg told her boss, Eileen O’Neill upon her return. In an interview, Ms O’Neill joked: “I’m still paying for that trip.”

Probably the most telling quote from Goldberg was this one when discussing the Gosselin show:

On that show, and later, on “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” she found that some bloggers would speculate freely without asking for comment, spurring reporters at more mainstream outlets to chase the rumors — a race to the bottom that she could do little to control.  


Hmmmm…….I am wondering whom she is referring to?

On that note, what do you think the effect of speculation by bloggers, tweeters and social media is on the main stream media?

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  1. Ann@IW says

    One effect: mainstream media is less careful than it should be, to get ahead of these rumors, or just to catch up.
    I definitely agree that the drama surrounding Kate Plus Eight is digital crack for some. They have had to create fake drama to maintain interest in their digital world.

  2. Deborah says

    Wow, ‘digital crack’ in a nut shell. I can’t agree more Ann.

    “I definitely agree that the drama surrounding Kate Plus Eight is digital crack for some. They have had to create fake drama to maintain interest in their digital world.”

  3. GeeWhiz says

    Pam – Thanks for the link to the article. One of the hate tweeters said TLC was talking bad about Kate so I’m glad you posted this.
    Digital crack is so fitting. I hope the bloggers take note of her statement “she found that some bloggers would speculate freely without asking for comment”.
    Ann – It is sad there lives are so empty they have to create fake drama to have something to talk about.

  4. Pam@IW says

    Gee Whiz, TLC declined comment for this story and most quotes that were in it were old quotes.

    I will say that both Ms. Goldberg and Figure 8 productions both thanked me for reaching out and trying to get accurate information instead of just posting speculation whenever I contacted them.

  5. Ann@IW says

    It’s good to know that you do try to get comments, confirmations, or denials, Pam. I have to say that in all the time at IW, I have never read or heard anything about Kate that makes me regret the support I have given her, acknowledging that her decisions at times would be different than mine.
    I think Kate Gosselin is very much the woman we see.
    ETA: No need to make anything up about her.

  6. PeggyP says

    On the other hand, I think, in terms of providing support, they seriously fell down on the job with Kate that last season. The Sarah Palin episode had disaster written all over it from the beginning, including the fact that they were perfectly well aware that the Palins did NOT always rough it. I didn’t generally watch it but, when I saw the promos for the episode after the Gosselin episode, I did. They took a friend of one of the Palin kids camping in their RV which would have cut a very respectable presence on HGTV’s annual luxury RV show. As for the RV episodes on Kate + 8, I refuse to believe that TLC’s budget would not extend to having decent equipment. They appeared to be going out of the way to increase tension and aggravate tension between Kate and Jamie/Ashley. Nice move, TLC, to try to destroy 2 long-term friendships to have ratings drama. They failed to promote the show and they were constantly moving it around and putting it in bizarre time slots (10:00 pm Sunday for a family show?!?!?) When they finally did promote it, it was to air sensationalized clips from the RV shows. It’s not amazing ratings were down, especially from the train wreck days when people were watching who’d never watched the show in good times. It’s amazing that the ratings were as high as they were, given TLC’s actions. Kate’s not a saint, but she was, throughout their association, a loyal employee of TLC’s, including defending them against Jon’s charges. I’m not going to get hysterical about TLC’s cancellation of the show. No show lasts forever. No matter how good relationships are, cancellations are the norm. I simply feel that Kate deserved better, more respectful treatment by TLC than it gave her that last season of Kate + 8

  7. momsby says

    Peggy ITA with you, exactly how I felt about the last season.
    Digital Crack LOL …I can see that! I know I developed a slight addiction.
    Were any of the “mainstream” media who ran with rumours created online, considered “reputable” media? How frustrating that must be for the people targeted & their publicity teams?
    Thanks for the link Pam & for reminding some of those who may need it. IW does it’s homework & gets an A+ for honesty & integrity.

  8. Ann@IW says

    Very good perspective, Peggy. I think you have valid points. It should be noted, Kate is still gracious and supportive of her TLC alliance despite the lack of positive promotion she got in that last season. She made TLC millions. I hope she is very rich herself as a result.

  9. Deborah says

    Momsby, I want to tell you how good it is to see you back.
    I have to agree with you about the ‘Digital Crack’. I could list all the things that drew me in but still I’m in, Lol. Also it puts the haters on twitter in a perspective light. I always get the drift they’re on something, I always just saw it that they were getting high off their hateful feeling and having others join them its just a big hatefest party but yeah, ‘digital crack’ is what they’re on.
    Pam, I want to thank you along with Ms. Goldberg and Figure 8 productions for trying to get accurate information instead of just posting speculation. Gosselin blog land is full of speculation on both sides.

  10. momsby says

    Just when I thought it was out, they drew me back in! LOL
    Hearing that good people, especially “virtual” friends are/ were being falsely accused & once again people who have nothing to do with the G-blogs were being hurt …brings out the Momzilla in me :(
    Mo, you let me know what was going on..guess that makes you my enabler ;0

  11. Ann@IW says

    Momsby, On that note, I appreciate your defending IW and the mods here along with Sage from game-players who tried to divert attention from their bullying by lying about us. Your kindness toward us shamed her.

  12. says

    Very interesting article.
    I have to admire the person who can tell Kate ‘no’. Just kidding. I thought Kate Coyne’s observation was interesting in that Goldberg frequently has to work with talent that aren’t media savvy or don’t have PR people themselves. I’m sure that calls for the right temperament – assertive, but patient. Goldberg seems to possess this.
    I do think bloggers have frequently had a negative effect on how the media reports stories. It is unfortunate. It doesn’t have to be that way. Bloggers shouldn’t necessarily be held to the same standards as journalists, but have a little self-respect, you know? [You can just guess who I am referring to!] I think it’s gotten so out of hand though – I see bloggers and the media running with stories just based on a quick tweet from someone. Reality TV seems to bring this about in spades.
    I do have to say, I rarely watch TLC anymore now that Kate Plus 8 is off the air. I do watch ‘Sister Wives’ and caught some of the ‘American Muslim’ episodes.

  13. carol says

    TLC used to be one of my favorite channels to watch but I rarely watch it at all anymore. I don’t like any of their new shows, never liked cake boss,can’t stand the Duggars treating their girls like servants. I watched sister wives a couple of times but after seeing how unhappy those kids were with the move I had to quit watching it. I do like Say Yes to the Dress, but that is about it. I used to love Trading Spaces but I guess that kind of got old. I wish they would consider giving Kate a daytime cooking show,I think she could do really well with that.

  14. snickers says

    I don’t watch TLC much at all. Sister Wives was interesting, but I can see the family having trouble in the new season, another trainwreck for TLC. I can’t imagine what the learning channel is now, a bunch of nothing shows, reality, the cheapest way is the market today. People have caught on to the old game and have moved on. TLC should just be named the Total Loser Channel. They sure don’t protect and keep good PR out there for the people lives that they have used for money in their pocket.

  15. JennieIW says

    I never liked Cake Boss (blech) but I do like Sister Wives and All American Muslim. I think that might be all I watch on TLC. Wait, they had My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, right? I did like that show, though it was a bit of a clusterf@$%.

  16. Mojito H says

    momsby says:
    January 3, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Mo, you let me know what was going on..guess that makes you my enabler ;0

    I knew if something was bothering you, you would have said something to someone. The fact that they were trying to use your absense to rag on someone else was dirty.

    I’ll be your enabler anyday!! lol

  17. Deborah says

    I still watch ‘What Not To Wear’ on TLC. That was what I was watching when they started advertising ‘Jon & Kate +8. I watch ‘Sister Wife’s’ ‘All American Muslim’ ‘Extreme Couponing’ ‘Say Yes To The Dress’ ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’. Watched ‘Cake Boss’ the first season but got burnt out, now I even find the add for it irritating.
    If there’s something else going on no big deal, I’m not that attached to any of it.
    I agree with Jennie@IW, ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’ is like watching a “clusterf@$%”.
    I do try to watch ‘All American Muslim’. Not that I’m that attached to the families. Its more my need to understand the Muslims and find what I have in common with them. To wipe out the fear I felt and still feel over 9-11.
    Much to my dismay I have family members that believe all of them are of the same mind set as the terrorists.

  18. momsby says

    So true Mo! Waves to Deb & Snickers :)
    @Ann Anytime Sunshine :)
    I used to do most of my television viewing on TLC, but with Little People & K=8 gone, now not so much.
    I did catch 2 episodes of Muslim Family (I liked it) but it was only because my oldest had the t.v. on TLC. I think she had just watched LPBW or perhaps The Duggers. No we don’t have a magic remote lol she enjoys The Duggers & I figure it’s a huge step up from some of the stuff her friends watch ie Teen Mom or Jersy Shore. I still don’t see how some people can’t see that kids on reality are kids on reality & it’s o.k. for some families but not for others. That topic still frustrates the heck out! of me

  19. kimmie says

    hey can i ask a non-tlc spokesperson-related question? lol i was reading at ziggy’s and from what i got there ALL the hate started from a writer (dana hoffman) from the reading eagle (and her followers) who was bent of shape b/c jon and kate decided against selective reduction with the tups? because their tax dollars would be paying for them?

    i read where this dana h would encourage people to run the big blue bus off the road when they saw them and to go look in their windows, etc.

    is that true? was that really the beginning and catalyst for the hatred shown to the gosselins and now to kate?

  20. Deborah says

    Kimmie, I believe the first part is correct. Dana Hoffman is/was a writer for the Reading Eagle and yes she was mad they didn’t choose selective reduction and instead choose to burden the tax payers. She started writing about them and got people rilled up.
    I don’t believe she encouraged people to run he BBB off the road or to look in their windows but I do believe it was because of her hate crusade things happened(tires on BBB were flattened and a few other things)
    This is my understanding of the part Dana H played.
    I believe the IW Ladies would no for sure.

  21. kimmie says

    wow! i just can’t imagine. but i guess hate, when it is uncontrolled, has no boundaries.

    thanks for answering me…i have only been around for a couple of years and have no idea what happened early on.

  22. momsby says

    Hi kimmie,
    If you want to get a really great history lesson & have some time on your hands! Read the old posts from when IW was Gosselins Do Not Need Our Pity! Also, there is a blog called GWOP without Pity that can also help fill in some of the blanks. Although, she hasn’t posted in a year IWHY is still a very entertaining read!

  23. kimmie says

    thanks momsby…where do i find the posts from gdnnop? i hear people talking about archives but i don’t know how to get there. lol

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