Daily Archives: June 29, 2009

Las Vegas Headliner, Impressionist Fred Travelana Dies

Yet another great entertainer has been sadly taken from us…  

Impressionist Fred Travalena, a headliner in many Las Vegas showrooms and a regular on late-night talk shows with his takes on presidents, crooners and screen stars, has died in Los Angeles. He was 66. FredTravalena

Publicist Roger Neal says Travalena died Sunday at his home in the Encino area after a recurrence of the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that first surfaced in 2002. 

The Bronx native, who started his career in Las Vegas in 1971, was known for the sheer volume of celebrities he imitated, leading to the nicknames “The Man of a Thousand Voices” and “Mr. Everybody.” 

His act included presidents from Kennedy to Obama, musicians from Frank Sinatra to Bruce Springsteen and actors from Marlon Brando to Tom Cruise.

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Beauty Crown Found, Medical Student Wins Miss Nevada Title

Christina Keegan, 23, of Gardnerville, Nevada beat out 11 other women to be crowned Miss Nevada on Saturday night.    ChristinaKeegan

Before the crowing night, organizers couldn’t find her $400 crown, but on Friday it was finally discovered in the possession of an apologetic volunteer who said she misplaced it.

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702.tv Launches in Las Vegas

702.tv recently launched in Las Vegas its new Web and TV product from Greenspun Interactive.  “News never looked so good,” touts the tagline of 702.tv’s promotional ads, a tongue-in-cheek reference to the show’s non-traditional approach to news.

Rob Curley, president and editor of Greenspun Interactive, said the project is part of a challenge laid out to his team by Brian Greenspun, Curley’s boss and Las Vegas media mogul who owns the Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas Weekly, Greenspun Interactive, Vegas.com and a host of other properties in Sin City.

“If I were to try and tell you that this was built to save democracy, I’d be lying,” Curley said in a phone interview with Poynter. “We’re not trying to reinvent the news, we’re trying to go after an audience that doesn’t care about the news and trying to figure out how can we trick them into learning something. If we can reach that market and help our advertisers have success, we get to fund more journalism.”

To describe 702.tv to journalists (whom he emphatically emphasizes are not the target audience of the program), Curley has used the analogy of a bowl full of Skittles with a handful of vitamins mixed in; the show has a colorful, fun-loving format with a little bit of news that’s good for you.

The 30 minute, twice-weekly show airs on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. (PT) n VegasTV, a cable station that Greenspun has a major stake in. The show will also be distributed through multiple platforms — the Web, mobile devices and Apple TV.

The 702.tv team plans to go five days a week in the fall, with a potential lead-in from syndicated episodes of “The Office.” A staff of 11 produces the show with much of the content coming from local Web videos created from the company’s entertainment sites, including the Las Vegas Sun and Las Vegas Weekly. Curley said that generally a three-to-four minute package on the Web during the week ends up becoming a 90-second piece in a TV episode.

Curley said the new product will be marketed through ads and content promotion in the Greenspun family of publications, including two daily pages in the Las Vegas Sun devoted to sports and entertainment news, interactive billboards around Las Vegas, semi-monthly promotional parties and appearances on Las Vegas media outlets.

Curley admits 702.tv is in its early stage of development and is going to be constantly evolving. “The whole thing is a work in progress,” he said. “One of the things we learned out of Studio 55 is this sucker better evolve every day — and that means the broadcast piece and the Web piece.” 

The team is experimenting with new revenue models, including the use of “promotional partners” within the production to earn money. 702.tv hasn’t integrated any yet, but Curley said they will be clearly labeled and produced separately by Sun Media Productions (also a Greenspun business).

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Celebrities Turned Away By Las Vegas Nightclub Bouncers

The reason “why what happens in Las Vegas, stays there” could be merely because what is planned to happen there gets sometimes thwarted by nightclub bouncers.  bouncer

As reported by Las Vegas Backstage Access on June 18, Holly Madison was stopped from entering the Body English nightclub inside the Hard Rock for having an underage friend.  Now we learn that she’s not the only one.  

The NHL’s most valuable player, Russian Alex Ovechkin, was reportedly turned away from Lavo nightclub in the Palazzo on June 17 with two of his friends after showing up wearing flip-flops.   

Recently, Lavo nightclub also turned back NFL great Terrell Owens because of dress code infractions.  Tao nightclub in the Venetian did the same to NBA star Dwyane Wade. 

Eric Trump showed up at Light nightclub (now The Bank) with more than a dozen male friends on his 21st birthday in 2005, only to be turned away in part because of Light’s policy that limits parties of men to sex, to keep the female attendance ratio high, and because he played the “don’t-you-know-who-I-am” card.

NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal, wearing shorts and sneakers, was also asked to leave Light nightclub about seven years ago. 

To prevent these unsavory mishaps, it might be well when coming to Las Vegas and planning a night out on the town to bring along your Sunday best to change into just in case you get turned away for wardrobe infractions.  

Besides, the always dapper Jermaine Dupri, whose crusade for Las Vegas partiers is to start dressing spiffier to the nines, will love your for it.

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