Next in line for 'The View'
July 15, 2006
Dear Barbara Walters:
The ideal replacement on "The View" for Star Jones is honeymooning in the Caribbean right now, but go to www.talk2bev.com and shoot her an e-mail about the vacancy.
The name's Beverly Mahone, and she already knows a bunch about the TV industry, with 25 years in the business, most recently as an assignment editor at WTVD, the local ABC affiliate that carries your program.
But she quit that job when she had to choose between publishing a book and buying Froot Loops for her 16-year-old.
Would you believe this woman actually chose the book?
Not that she had daughter Janie going to class hungry at Riverside High. Her new husband, Nate Gibbs, made sure there were groceries in the house.
But what I'm saying, Ms. Walters, is this is the kind of woman you want on your show. Somebody with guts. Somebody with oomph.
Somebody with ... well, menopause.
"Have the seven dwarfs of menopause come knocking at your door yet?" Mahone writes in "Whatever! A Baby Boomer's Journey Into Middle Age."
"There's Sweaty, Bloated, Forgetful, Bitchy, Itchy, Sleepy and All Dried Up. They don't all show up at once, but you can rest assured they will come in, sometimes unannounced, and definitely uninvited, and, yes, they will wear out their welcome!"
Ms. Walters, if the seven dwarfs of menopause don't speak to your target audience, then the demographic you're after must spend all its time watching ESPN.
In her book, Mahone, 49, tackles feminine baby boomer issues ranging from cellulite to dating. She's becoming something of the go-to girl on this matter, once dealing with the subject on MSNBC.
Mahone also uses her book to delve into being 40-plus but having workplace managers who were much younger and seemed oblivious to the experience she brought to the table.
Which changed abruptly when she left the television station. No one from WTVD returned my phone calls to tell me what happened. But Mahone said the suits in charge wanted her to agree not to publish the book while still with the company. There's the whole deal with possible conflict of interest.
Plus, they didn't care for Mahone pulling out her journal to make notes for the book while on the clock. Which, in the name of being a model employee, is hard to argue with.
"But that's when my hot flashes were happening!" explained Mahone, who figures WTVD's concerns were nothing short of divine. "The book would not have been published had they not forced my hand."
And acclaimed writer Nikki Giovanni wouldn't have had the opportunity to review the book and give it her blessing, and Durham's Lyndon Johnson wouldn't have been able to purchase this self-published manual to help his fiancée work through some things.
There would be no refrigerator magnets touting, "I'm Still HOT ? It Just Comes in FLASHES Now!!" No Whatever! chocolate bars (actually Hershey bars with one of Mahone's labels wrapped around it, but give the lady credit for clever marketing).
Oh, and I can't forget about the Asian-style Whatever! hand fans that had menopausal women at a recent book signing swearing by their cooling powers.
Now, Ms. Walters, I'm no executive producer or anything, but there's a fabulous segment for "The View" unfolding as we speak, so get your camera people down to the Caribbean in a hurry and find Mahone.
The way she talks about hot flashes, the honeymoon dealings with her new husband combined with all that heat in the Bahamas should make for some dynamite must-see reality TV.
<i>John McCann's column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Contact him at jmccann.heraldsun.com or (919) 419-6601.</i>