Friday, January 28, 2011

You'll Never Anchor in This Town Again (UPDATED)

Read juicy highlights from the book HERE.

I'm not sure how much people care about local TV news -- even in a market like New York City -- but oft-fired Charles Perez's Confessions of a Gay Anchorman" sounds like the kind of bitter tell-all I could really relate to sink my teeth into.

Product description: "A behind the scenes, in front of the camera look at what it is to be a gay man on TV. It is a call for others -- like Anderson Cooper and Shepard Smith -- to come out of the closet!" (Ed. Note: That's twice this week, AC!)

Likening himself to the "new girl" in school when he arrived at WABC/Channel 7 in the Big Apple, Perez claims his coworkers were mean girls who wouldn't let him into the clique. "I'd never had a problem fitting in before," he writes in this self-published memoir. "This was new to me. It was like one of those teen movies where the bitchy girls don't let the new girl in. But, in my case, after a while I didn't want to be let in."

"Real World" Norm's ex rips into just about everyone -- Liz Cho, Bill Ritter, Diana Williams -- and goes after (A-Gay weatherman) Sam Champion with a vengeance. (His only friend? Sade Baderinwa -- but what GAY wouldn't wanna be BFFs with a chick named Sade?!!!)

The Daily News reports that insiders at Channel 7 are shocked Perez would take such a public stand, "given that he was not there long and his run was not seen as spectacular."

"He hardly knew anyone," said a source. "The book should be 'Confessions of a Bad Anchorman.' He was dreadful. A young Ted Baxter."

UPDATE (Jan. 29): A source who worked at ABC News while Charles was at WABC -- but does not know him personally -- confirmed with me on Saturday night that during his own time with the network, "word traveled around the building about (Charles') incompetence. Makes you wonder how he got the job in the first place. One story that became legend was during the 2005 tsunami he pronounced it 'tee-sunami.' If I'm remembering correctly Sandra Booker told him during the break that the 't' was silent and he argued with her that it was proper either way. Yeah. Based on what I've heard about him socially from people who have known him in Miami I would tend to believe he is the snotty new kid in school who shows up with a sense of entitlement and alienates everyone, as opposed to his version. I'm good friends with various other people there ... and Charles' account doesn't add up."

Perez, who later moved to Miami only to be canned a couple years later (he says he was fired four days after filing a sexual-orientation complaint), got married in 2009 to his lover, Keith Rinehard, and now goes by the name of Charles Perez Rinehard.

Here's hoping his "new" name confuses perspective employers and helps him line up some new interviews, although it sounds like he's more content being away from it all -- and writing catty memoirs.


JimmyD said...

I use to have such a major crush on him.

Unknown said...

I too had a major crush on him!

The book sounds catty and fun, and kudos to him for coming out, unlike almost everyone else in the biz (hello Anderson Cooper).

Anonymous said...

She sounds bitter and should hope her book makes some money. With her track record, no one will hire her with good reason. Why do we really need to know the orientation of our anchormen, actors, etc. Live and let live please.

Anonymous said...

I like him!! He is right in so many ways!!

-Michael K.

Kent said...

Charles was absolutely gorgeous back when he was a real estate agent in Los Angeles. he was always the best-looking guy at the West Hollywood gay-rights protest rallies.

Bruinsfan said...

I know the cat's technically been out of the bag since the first Real World season, but wasn't he officially mum about his orientation in a very Cooper-esque manner during those years when he had his own talk show and was a producer for Ricki Lake and Montel Williams? You'd think given that he might want to respect other people's right to come out at a time of their own choosing.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure his former employers are circling the wagons and making him seem like a problem child to avoid embarassment. I don't know, I think anyone who is trying to help people accept themselves and not be ashamed of who they are should be applauded and not torn down. Just my two cents.