TCM's New Host Tiffany Vazquez and a Suggestion for An Additional Host
If you are a Turner Classic Movies fan there is little way you could have avoided the news this past week that the cable channel has hired a new, permanent on-air host. Tiffany Vazquez is only the third on-air host hired by Turner Classic Movies (after Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz) in the channel's entire 22 year history. At 29 years of age she also happens to be the youngest host hired by Turner Classic Movies (Robert Osborne was 61 when he started hosting Turner Classic Movies while Ben Mankiewicz was 36). She is also the first permanent female host and the first Latina host as well. Miss Vazquez will host Turner Classic Movies's Saturday afternoon programming block.
Tiffany Vazquez was born in the Bronx, but grew up in Queens. She earned a Masters degree in international studies at St. John's University and a Master's degree in Cinema Studies at New York University. She interned at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Lincoln Centre. She served as Social Media/Web Content Manager at Christ Tabernacle Church in Glendale, New York. She is currently senior editor for film content at Giphy.
In 2014 Miss Vazquez won Turner Classic Movie's Ultimate Fan Contest. She was flown to Atlanta where she introduced the classic procedural The Naked City (1948) with Robert Osborne. This past December she was the host of TCM's Spotlight on Girlfriends in the Movies. At this year's Turner Classic Movies Classic Film Festival she served as a roving reporter.
As I mentioned earlier, Tiffany Vazquez's hiring is certainly history for Turner Classic Movies. She will be the first woman to serve as a permanent host on the channel. She is also the youngest permanent host Tuner Classic Movies has hired. Given how many of my classic film friends are young women belonging to Generation Y, I think it is fitting that Tuner Classic Movies has one as a host. Indeed, over the years Turner Classic Movies has continued to draw a younger audience and I am hoping that Miss Vazquez's presence will help continue that trend. Miss Vazquez is also the first Latina to serve as a permanent host on Tuner Classic Movies (although not the first host to belong to a minority--Ben Mankiewicz is Jewish in descent). This certainly makes Tuner Classic Movies much more diverse. Indeed, Tiffany Vazquez is living proof that not all classic film buffs are old, white, and male.
Tiffany Vazquez will make her debut as a permanent host on Tuner Classic Movies on June 4. She will host four movies starting at noon and ending at 8 PM Eastern Time. The first will be Rebel Without a Cause (1955). I missed Tiffany Vazquez when she was on Turner Classic Movies earlier, but I am certainly looking forward to her debut. My classic film friends have had many good things to say about her and, I must say, anyone whose choice of movie to introduce with Robert Osborne is The Naked City scores points in my book.
Of course, here I must point out that Robert Osborne is much older than when he first started hosting Turner Classic Movies and his health is not what it used to be. Sooner or later Tuner Classic Movies will have to hire another permanent host. Here I will play armchair quarterback for a moment and suggest whom Tuner Classic Movies should hire as their next permanent host: Bobby Rivers. Mr. Rivers has a long history in broadcasting going back to his days in radio in Milwaukee. Many of you might remember him from his days on VH1, where he interviewed everyone from Kirk Douglas to Sir Paul McCartney to Norman Mailer. He also served as a veejay on the channel. He was later a host on Lifetime Live on the cable channel Lifetime. He was later a host on the Food Network. He maintains the blog Bobby Rivers TV.
I personally believe Bobby Rivers would be a perfect fit for Tuner Classic Movies. He has been a classic film buff all his life and has substantial knowledge of classic film. Indeed, many classic film buffs are already familiar with him from Twitter, Facebook, and his blog. I think I can speak for all of us when I say he is both charming and affable. Anyone who saw him during his days with VH1 knows that he is a very fine interviewer. I think Bobby Rivers would be a perfect fit for Tuner Classic Movies. Of course, as a matter of full disclosure I must point out that I have been a fan of Mr. Rivers since his days on VH1 and we have been online friends for several years now, so I might just be biased.
Regardless, the hosts of Turner Classic Movies have always played an important role for the channel. They provide much more than simply providing commentary and trivia before and after each movie. Permanent hosts such as Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz, as well as occasional hosts such as Illeana Douglas, provide fans with faces for the channel and thus forge a stronger bond between fans and the channel than if it had no hosts. I have no doubt that Tiffany Vazquez will continue that tradition and look forward to seeing for years to come.