Always be nice to the assistant

by in View All Posts, June 18th, 2009

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As Bob Tuchsman’s assistant my job is to manage his schedule (i.e. make sure he’s on time for meetings) and keep my eye out for the next big talent. Which is easier said than done since: A) Bob has a schedule that rivals that of President Obama and B) There is only one Rachael Ray. I’ve been his assistant for 2 and ½ years, and let’s just say that I’ve learned more than a couple of things:

1. Bob’s phone line is not the complaint hotline. phone
Yes, I know that your upset that Emeril was canceled, and I’m sorry that you’re having difficulty finding the latest Unwrapped episode, but calling the network and asking to be transferred to Bob Tuschman’s office isn’t the best way to getting your complaints heard. We have a complaint hotline, and the number is (865) 560-3663…for my sake, please use it.

2. It is a lot harder to be a Food Network Star than you think.
A lot of people come up to us on the street and say they should have a show on the Food Network. But they might think otherwise if they really knew what went into it. The 30 minute cooking show that you see on television actually took 12-14 hours to shoot…and imagine having that to do that for weeks on end…. AND then add all the media requests and other promotional obligations that are required of the chefs. Believe me – it’s not all chopping and yummo’s.

3. We aren’t supposed to have a favorite but I do…
…and her name is Sunny Anderson. Not to say that all of the other talent on are network aren’t amazing, but Sunny was signed around the time that I started working here, so I’ve been able to see how she went from obscurity to the star that she is today. So make sure you watch her show (if you don’t already)!

4. Even when you work for a TV network, it can be difficult to get your idea on the air.
The Programming department is made up of 13 opinionated people with very different personalities and viewpoints. It’s rare that we all come to agreement on a topic. But the great thing about this network is that the assistants here are actually encouraged to pitch our ideas and potential talent to the executives. Thus, giving us the chance to show chefs who we believe in and think would be great for the network. So in conclusion and most importantly….

5. Always be nice to the assistant.
You never know where your submission tape might end up and having a positive attitude when you deal with assistants, always makes it easier for us to champion your cause.

Christine, Bob Tuschman’s Assistant

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Comments (28)

  1. Alex Lopez says:

    Hi Christine,
    Thanks for posting your behind the scenes blog. I really enjoy reading about all the happenings at FN. Feel free to check out my site. I write about food, cooking and travel. This summer I am working on a farm. I am taking the year off and roaming as a culinary gypsy. Who knows, maybe my wandering will lead my to NYC. Take care.

  2. Diane says:

    Hi Christine
    This is a great behind the scenes piece. It makes it very real and in addition hi-lar-i-ous. It makes everyone at the foodnetwork look good, since you are obviously the best assistant in the world. It also reminds us all that EVERYONE is important including the bosses assistant.
    Make it a great day!

  3. Velma Marshasll says:

    Chris

    You are so glamorous–enjoyed reading your article!

  4. Robin Koury says:

    Christine,
    What an interesting day you must have! I couldn’t imagine fielding misdirected calls from unhappy viewers, FN Stars, and million other important callers each day! Sunny is my favorite FN Star as well. She is just bubbling with kindness and has worked incredibly hard to achieve her place at FN! I’m really just thrilled for her. I’d love to see an FN Dish column from you featuring the most obscure calls or requests you’ve received. Also, I must know has anyone actually impersonated an FN Star in an attempt to get Bob Tuchsman on the phone?

  5. Beth Stevens says:

    What a great blog! Thank you for making it feel tangible. Not all people are that terrible, but I swear I am always surprised to hear about them. Look forward to reading more from you!

  6. Lolah G. says:

    Christine,
    Thank you so much for your blog! Wonderful reading…I shouldn’t be surprised by what people will do but I was gasping about requests to speak to Bob about their complaints. I salute you! You are one of the necessary people to keep the FN engine running!

  7. Sharon says:

    Hi Christine! How exciting to hear about “a day in the life of Miss Christine”. I loved it. Its nice knowing what your day looks like! I want to be a FN star…..do you have to know how to cook? LOL

  8. Howard Hinkelmann says:

    I watch often and sometimes become so dizzy I have to change channels. The camera is being waved around like a garden hose.. zooming in and out, and images flashing by so quickly that my eyes cannot focus fast enough. It is VERY distracting and not at all enjoyable. Could you please pass this on to whoever might make some adjustments.

  9. Lesli Schwartz says:

    Hi Christine! Thanks so much for enlightening us with your life at FN. Personally, it would be my dream job to work in such an exciting environment. Lucky you! Can you tell me what it takes to get a FN show concept looked at? I know it must be a competitive process, but I have concept that would be unique and entertaining. Thanks so much for your help!

  10. luvcookin says:

    HI Christine,

    Thanks for your blog. It was great reading it. I have a question. Does Bob own any shirts that AREN'T blue? If not, why not?

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