That was me (and NKOTB) on the Today Show

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Not much gets me up at 5:30 a.m. This morning a car came for me and took me to 30 Rockefeller Center. The place was mobbed with screaming people in the pouring rain. Now, I work just across the street, and I see crowds every morning waiting to catch a glimpse of Matt and Meredith—but nothing along these lines.

I was on a segment on the Today Show this morning about the best cities for college grads. (More on that in a later post.) The section of the show is called The Whip, and features five experts on a hot topic, which in this case was jobs and other prospects for recent college graduates.

I arrived in the green room, all bleary from a hideous night spent wrangling a sleepless three-year-old, to find an old friend: Carmen Wong Ulrich, a colleague from Money magazine. Since she left that magazine, she’s published a book called Generation Debt and become a sought-after TV personality on personal finance. Carolyn Kepcher was also on the couch. You and I know her from The Apprentice; since she left that show, she’s published a hot business book called Carolyn 101 and launched a company, Carolyn & Co. Media.

The others on the segment were Dale Atkins, the popular psychologist and author, and Rod Kurtz, an editor at

Anyway, so we get there at the butt-crack of dawn for hair and makeup. The amount of labor that goes into a show like this one is truly mind-boggling. This morning I necessitated the services of a limo driver, two very sweet pages, two very competent producers, a hair guy, a makeup lady, a microphone-fixer crew person, and, of course, Meredith Viera, the interviewer. And all that’s for what amounted to a two-minute segment. Two minutes! I suppose it’s comparable to the man-hours we put into, say, two paragraphs that run in TIME Magazine. But still.

So we step outside after our segment to a screaming, stamping, soaking wet crowd. The star attraction? New Kids on the Block. Seriously. “Some of them have been camped out here for two days,” said a staffer. Seriously. Said a crew guy, “This might be our biggest crowd ever.” Seriously!

But I am so not above the crowds. Carmen and I snuck out to a strip just yards from the stage and watched the sound check, hyperventilating like preteen girls. We called our sisters: “Can you hear this? It’s NKOTB!!” Go on. Be jealous, girlfriends. I was feet from Donnie Wahlberg.

Step by step… / NBC