I spent another Monday on HLN’s “The Daily Share” talking about #MondayMotivation, #AskTrump, the Dallas Cowboys and Sunday night’s Emmys. Fun times as always; big thanks to HLN for having me!

We caught up with friend-of-the-show Marc Scibilia recently on “Ralphie Tonight.” His new album, ‘Out Of Style,’ is set for an October 30 release. Scibilia just dropped the music video for the first single, “How Bad We Need Each Other,” featuring Vine star Brandon Bowen. He also made his national TV debut with a performance of the track on The Today Show.

Scibilia talked about life on the road; he’s been busy supporting James Bay followed by ZZ Ward in addition to traveling to radio stations in promotion for his single. He also revealed the one spot he always hits up in New York City; a place that has a location just blocks from my apartment and yet I have yet to stop in for this famed “Cereal Milk Ice Cream” that Marc speaks of.

Gotham Magazine Entertainment Editor Juliet Izon called in ahead of Sunday’s Emmys to chat about some of the nominees Niche Media has covered over this past year and what she was looking forward to with the award show.

Justin Bieber started the week not knowing who Shawn Mendes was. By the end of the week, he sang the fellow Canadian’s highest praises.

In the words of Shakespeare, all’s well that ends well.

Of course this all started Monday on “Ralphie Tonight.” During an interview that aired with Bieber, I asked him if he wished he could go through what Mendes is currently experiencing with the present-day knowledge that the 21 year-old currently possesses.

In a now infamous video clip, Bieber bit the cap of the water bottle he was drinking, turned to a few of the record label representatives that were in the studio and asked, “Who’s Shawn Mendes?”

Our chat hit YouTube Tuesday, and it wasn’t long before almost every major media outlet reported that Bieber threw shade to some extent at the 17 year-old.

My reaction in the video is genuine; I was shocked Bieber didn’t know who Mendes was. I didn’t perceive it as an insult, thus why I attempted to rattle off Mendes’ current-day resume.

Wednesday morning, BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Nick Grimshaw asked the “Stitches” singer about my Bieber interview.

“We haven’t met, but I guess he just doesn’t know,” Mendes told the radio host. “I’m definitely a fan of him; I’ve looked up to him for a while. But I guess he just doesn’t know who I am.

“We’ll have to let him know.”

Bieber started figuring it out after the clip went viral by following Mendes on Twitter. Then Thursday, the “What Do You Mean?” star posted a screenshot of “Stitches” on Instagram and tweeted it with the caption, “Shawn I checked out the music and I’m so proud! So glad to see another boy from Canada crushin it. #canadiansdoitbetter”

Mendes replied on Twitter with, “Thanks man! Means a lot !!!”

The course of true friendship never did run smooth.

Shawn I checked out the music and I'm so proud! So glad to see another boy from Canada crushin it. #canadiansdoitbetter

A photo posted by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

Betty Cantrell won the 95th edition of the Miss America competition last Sunday in a live telecast on ABC from Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall. Cantrell did not celebrate her Miss America win with an extravagant dinner or over-the-top bash, although she attended the pageant’s after-party for about five minutes.

But after showing face, Cantrell retreated to a more intimate post-crowning setting.

“My after-party was in my hotel suite with my family and friends,” Cantrell revealed in an interview that aired Wednesday on “Ralphie Tonight.” “That’s pretty much how I celebrated; by eating like little cheese and crackers.”

For Cantrell though, the real celebration was when the crown went atop her head. In person, the crown is quite stunning; even the box it travels in looks elegant. There are four points on the crown signifying service, scholarship, success and style. And while Cantrell is looking forward to her $50,000 scholarship and the success and style that the title tows, she was quick to point out first and foremost that the next year for her will be one of service.
“Miss America has to have a servant’s heart and be service-oriented,” she noted. “I love being a servant to the people and catering to the children that I so dearly love.”

“Healthy Children, Strong America,” is the platform that Cantrell plans to speak about in schools around the country. As Miss America, the Georgia-native will also represent the Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.

And she will travel, a lot. Cantrell’s schedule won’t keep her in the same city for more than three days. But the Broadway-hopeful, who wowed the likes of Brett Eldridge and Vanessa Williams with her Opera performance during the talent portion of the show, doesn’t seem to mind.

“I’ll just get sleep next year!” she joked, while also noting that “home base,” if you can even call it that given her schedule, will be Atlantic City.

Maybe one day she will call New York home. But Cantrell has much to accomplish before she can entertain those thoughts. Besides, the next stop on her press tour was a place she would be visiting for the first time, and also one associated with stardom and big dreams.


Monday night’s interview with Justin Bieber is creating headlines both in the States and abroad.

Everyone is talking about it for the same reason: during my chat with Bieber I mentioned 17 year-old Shawn Mendes. I find a few similarities in the two: both achieved success as teenagers, both are talented and good-looking singers who can play guitar and both are from Southern Ontario. Mendes scored a number one album this year and has a single climbing the Pop chart. The two apparently have a number of mutual friends and were even both up in the same Much Music Video Award category back in Canada.

But, now infamously, Bieber responded to an inquiry I made about the up-and-coming singer by asking, “Who’s Shawn Mendes?”

The media is having a field day with this one. Billboard, MTV News, VICE, USA Today, E! News, Entertainment Weekly and SPIN all covered it.

Then Mendes appeared Wednesday morning on BBC Radio 1’s Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw. Audio of their exchange is below. The original interview hit 100,000 views in 24 hours.

And in a plot twist, last night Bieber began following Mendes on Twitter.

In this week’s edition of “Trend Hungry Tuesday” – Resident Fashionista Jessie Holeva highlighted a trend seen at NYFW: see-through style.

Visit Trend Hungry to find the latest fashion 411 on a skinny budget, and catch Jessie every Tuesday evening on “Ralphie Tonight.”

Photo: https://instagram.com/lclaurenconrad/

Photo: https://instagram.com/lclaurenconrad/

When I can get on cable news and work in both Buffalo Bills AND Syracuse University references, it’s a good day.

Here are some highlights of my appearance on HLN’s The Daily Share Monday. We also chatted about Sunday’s Miss America competition.

The reports on Justin Bieber, and there were plenty of them, said that he was simply hanging with the wrong crowd. That explained the rumors of drug use and parties, the run-ins with the law and the rather reckless behavior.

In an interview that aired Monday on “Ralphie Tonight,” Bieber admitted as much.

“I just had pretty bad people around that were just taking advantage of my generosity and taking advantage of my sweet soul,” a low-key and relaxed Bieber spilled to me while donning a black sweatshirt, hood pulled up above a black baseball cap. “I just thought that that’s how it was supposed to be. They were saying the right things.”

But Bieber, in perhaps one of the many ways that he has changed, stops short of placing all of the blame on others.

“I was young and naïve,” he admitted before adding, “and just trusting people and got my heart broken.

“So then I was just like, f— everybody.”

But now the 21 year-old is surrounded by a group of people he feels is looking out for his best interests. I ask if those people, such as his mother Pattie Mallette and manager Scooter Braun, were always there but simply not paid any attention to until now.

“For sure, but it has to be on your time,” he replied. “They were poking me and poking me saying, ‘Justin! Justin!’ (But) until I really wanted to listen, it wasn’t going to happen.”

But this journey, which he explains involves no longer internalizing what people say but rather reflecting it back out in to the world as a positive light (his words, not mine), is what Bieber attributes in part to scoring his first chart-topper on the Billboard Hot 100. “What Do You Mean?” debuted at number one, with 337,000 downloads sold in its opening week.

“I want it to be all about the music but you want to see people win when they’re genuine and authentic,” he stated. “I was in a place before where I was just trying to figure it out.”

It seems that at least to this point, Bieber has done that, although even he warns that inevitably he will “fall again.” But right now his focus is on a new album, due out this November, which he says is “40% done.”

“Like the album is pretty much complete,” he elaborated. “I just have so much touching up to do, but it’s going good.”

By “touching up,” Bieber means that he’ll go back to some songs after he sits with them for a few weeks and re-cut lines and/or add background vocals. The Canadian-born singer said there will be features on the LP, but would not reveal who. However when I asked him what artists are influencing him positively, one came to mind.

“I really like Ed Sheeran,” he responded. “I think he’s a really good dude too.”

And perhaps that is just an example of Bieber “reflecting” his light of positivity towards others. Ultimately though, he will be judged by his actions and not words. Yet even his harshest detractors might admit that the pop star sounds like someone who has experienced a life-transforming moment or two.

My summer weekend travels continued with a two-city trip. Following an all-nighter to update this blog, I hopped on a Saturday morning bus from New York to Scranton, Pa. My friend and colleague Danny picked me up, we grabbed a quick breakfast at Starbucks, and then chilled at his apartment for a few hours. On the docket for Saturday? Mohegan Sun Pocono’s Oktoberfest; a three-day, annual event in Northeastern Pennsylvania that features music, food and about every Oktoberfest and Pumpkin beer you can think of.

What I’m saying is, I was in Heaven.

This was before I took a sip of Susquehanna Pumpkin Ale, my first of well, a couple beverages.

ANYWAYS – the awful weather in NEPA on Saturday did not affect us in the least bit. My friends and I had a great night, which ended with a few hands of Black Jack and some Domino’s to-go.

I slept a little Saturday night, then caught a 7:20 a.m. ride out of Scranton to Atlantic City, N.J. The Martz bus dropped me right off at Resorts Casino for my second destination of the weekend. After a bit of contemplation, I decided it would be fun to “Do AC” for the Miss America competition, which was co-produced by my friends in dick clark productions.

I checked in to my room, ran 3 miles on the Boardwalk and changed in to my Bills shirt before catching some football (and a nice Bills win!) at a local sports bar. My plan was to then make my way to the local baseball field where a seafood festival was taking place. Instead, a torrential downpour forced me to call an audible, and an Uber. I suited up, called another Uber and made my way to Boardwalk Hall.
My original plan was to attend with Danny but due to work obligations he bailed. The fine folks at dcp hooked up a credential, so I decided to join my Cumulus cohort Erika Grace Powell on the red carpet and assist with her evening.

EGP killed it!

After the carpet wrapped, we headed inside the Hall to catch the pageant. I had judged at the state level for Miss USA, but had never attended a national event. There were so many great moments – between Vanessa Williams, the talent portion of the competition and the addition of celebrity judges and music curator Nick Jonas (who I said hello to earlier on the red carpet). And the energy inside the building only amplified the fun.

Following Miss Georgia’s crowning, we headed in to the press area for the post-show press conference. Betty Cantrell was there, along with Williams and the other judges.

And as the song went, after the show it was the after-party. There I ran in to Williams on the dance floor and told her that I also attended Syracuse University. We exchanged a solid high-five.

Another Black Jack donation and trip to Dunkin’ Donuts inside Resorts Casino later and it was back on a bus following my second all-nighter in three evenings. It’s not like a full day, including TV and the radio show, awaited me in New York.


Trust me, I’m NOT complaining.