Is Ted Sann becoming another Gertrude Stein? The chief creative officer of BBDO Worldwide's New York office -- who's a graduate of the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop -- appears to be presiding over a salon of successful authors. Peter Smith, 35, an assoc. creative director who toils by day on ads for Visa, Schwab and Frito-Lay, has been working in the wee hours for several years on his first novel, just published by Little, Brown. The title is "Raveling" and it has gotten rave reviews. The mystery is about a woman who vanishes, and her two brothers -- a homeless man and a neurosurgeon -- who suspect each other of complicity in her disappearance. Smith has already sold a film option to Warner Bros. and is helping director Bart Freundlich ("The Myth of Fingerprints") develop a screenplay. Smith's immediate superior, Jimmy Siegel, 44, newly named exec CD, is also coming out with his first novel, "Epitaph," to be published by Warner Books next year. "It's a literary thriller," Siegel says. "The main character is a 75-year-old man who begins to discover some unsavory things about someone he knew long ago." Siegel says he wrote the book "on weekends, on planes and while shooting in L.A., when you wake up at 6:00 in the morning and you have nothing else to do." Neither BBDOer plans to give up his day job. Sann says he's proud of his two writers, but "let's talk about advertising."
Write stuff: Chapter 2
And for the rest of us literary wanna-bes, veteran humor writer/editor Tony Hendra (credits include National Lampoon and Spy) and wife Carla have formed Gigawit.com, an on- and offline publisher of humor. Carla Hendra happens to be North American president of OgilvyOne Worldwide, the direct marketing arm of Ogilvy & Mather. Also collaborating on Gigawit is former News Corp. exec John Evans. Writers of all experience levels can contribute material to the new Web site. Gigawit's first offering: The Gigawit Dictionary of the E-nglish Language, by, not surprisingly, Tony Hendra. Ogilvy & Mather CD Brian Collins designed the dictionary, a collection of humorous Internet terms.
NBC blankets GOP snoozer
NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw at the GOP convention admitted that despite all the network's effort to cover the confab on broadcast TV, MSNBC and msnbc.com, more people will be interested in election night coverage than convention coverage. Still, he said the coverage makes sense. "This is the realization, the confluence of all the effort we make, intellectually and financially," Brokaw said. With the convention anything but a cliffhanger, "we have decided that we have all these places that we can go to both deal with the audience that is interested and build a new audience generationally . . . [one] not weaned on the convention as a great summertime excitement." Brokaw suspected that if the number of people watching NBC, MSNBC and msnbc.com were combined, "it would be a hell of a lot larger audience than what we had when we were just over the air."
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