White House Correspondents Dinner: Eric Podwall Brings Young Hollywood


Eric Podwall, talent manager and regular attendee of the White House Correspondents Dinner, is putting together a pre-party dinner with Spotify on Friday evening. He will have a top member of the family of the moment, Brody Jenner, one day after his father Bruce reportedly reveals to Diane Sawyer his sex change.

Podwall is known for bringing young Hollywood stars including Matthew Morrison, Chace Crawford, Will Poulter and Colton Hayes, and legends including Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen. The Hill reported it first.

April Ryan: We Miss Sam Donaldson

White House correspondent, April Ryan, headlined the Washington Women Technology Network breakfast. In an interview with White House Correspondents Insider editor, Tammy Haddad, she described the push and pull of being a White House correspondent and lamented the days when Sam Donaldson was there and all you had to do was shout and raise your hand to get a question in. She reviewed the race record of Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, and told stories from her new book, The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America.

She addressed reporters’ concerns that they are not in the room with the President at some events and that this White House often makes announcements on Twitter instead of talking first to the reporters in the briefing room. Co-hosted by Hilary Rosen and Connie Milstein, guests included Robin Sproul, Betsy Fischer Martin, Anita McBride, Karen Appleton, Kelley McCormick, Heather Podesta, Ceci Connolly, Didem Nisanci, and Emily Goodin. The Washington Women Technology Network is comprised of women leaders from technology, media and politics.

Jeremy Bernard stepping down as WH Social Secretary

Jeremy Bernard and Jill Zuckman

White House Social Secretary Jeremy Bernard will be stepping down from his post next month following the Japan State Dinner. His replacement will be announced in the coming weeks.

Statement from Mrs. Obama: “For the last four years, Jeremy has worked tirelessly to open the doors of the White House to as many people as possible and to make each and every event in the White House one to remember, not only for Barack and me, but for the tens of thousands of guests who pass through our doors each year. I was lucky to have such a talented individual on my team, and I am equally lucky to have made a lifelong friend in Jeremy. Jeremy will be missed, and Barack and I wish him the very best in all of his future endeavors.”

Statement from Jeremy Bernard: “It has been an honor to serve the President and Mrs. Obama as Social Secretary for the last four years. From State Dinners to Student Workshops to celebrating the holiday season, Mrs. Obama has welcomed every guest to the White House with her signature warmth, grace and style. I feel so privileged to have worked for such an extraordinary President and First Lady.”

Funny or Die Opens Washington, D.C. Office

“Funny or Die is opening a Washington, D.C., office to build on the success of politically minded videos such as President Barack Obama’s turn in the hot seat on Between Two Ferns.

“The new office, which is housed at the 1776 Campus, is being led by former White House staffer Brad Jenkins, who has been named managing director and executive producer of Funny or Die DC.”

Read more via hollywoodreporter.com: Funny or Die Opens Washington, D.C. Office

Jeremy Bernard to step down as White House social secretary

Jeremy Bernard and Hilary Rosen

“One of the White House’s most beloved staff members has been telling close friends the buzz is true: He is leaving the East Wing. Jeremy Bernard, White House social secretary, bon vivant, party maestro and trusted member of the Obama inner circle is set to officially announce his departure in the next few weeks.”

Read more via politico.com: Jeremy Bernard to step down as White House social secretary

New White House Briefing Room seating chart

seating_chart_with_logosThe White House Briefing Room seating chart was released Tuesday by the White House Correspondents’ Association. USA Today White House reporter, Gregory Korte, created this visualization of the room.

“The White House Correspondents’ Association recently made adjustments to the briefing seating chart, promoting some news organizations and instituting seat-sharing arrangements for others. The calculus that goes into the assignments is part tenure, part audience and part commitment to the White House beat. News organizations that don’t show up every day will find another reporter sitting in its seat; miss enough briefings and the seat may be lost permanently.”

One of the biggest updates: “Newcomers Buzzfeed and Al Jazeera get partial seats through seat-sharing arrangements with Scripps-Howard News Service and the Chicago Sun-Times, respectively.”

Read more via USA Today: Here’s the new White House briefing room seating chart

Glenn Thrush named chief political correspondent at Politico

“Glenn Thrush has been promoted to Politico’s chief political correspondent and will take a major role in the outlet’s coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign, according to a memo sent to staff Tuesday from editor Susan Glasser.

Thrush, a senior staff writer at Politico Magazine, will immediately “begin filing news, scoops and more in the news cycle as well for us,” according to the memo. He will also be the host of “Off Message,” a podcast dedicated to offering “a smart, unvarnished take on 2016.”

Read more via poynter.org: Glenn Thrush named chief political correspondent at Politico