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In the television business, you are where you eat as much as you are what you eat.

TelevisionWeek Managing Editor Melissa Grego is tapping into Hollywood's penchant for the working meal with her TVWeek.com feature, Mel's Diner. Ms. Grego sits down with television industry players at their favorite restaurants, giving readers a window into the minds -- and appetites -- of industry heavyweights.

As each Mel's Diner guest dishes about what they're working on, planning and thinking about, Ms. Grego provides a unique view of the television business from the insiders perspective.

TVWeek.com invites fans of Mel's Diner to report back in the comments section on the meals, deals, or anything at all that is eating them about what the featured players have to say.

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Mel's Diner



Mel’s Diner: Sam Schoemann

April 2, 2007 4:06 PM

Who: Sam Schoemann, VP Client Development, Concrete Pictures
Where: Border Grill, Santa Monica
When: Tuesday, March 20, lunch

The Dish: Call it branded entertainment, product integration, a combo of network promotion and ad sales. However you say it, like most things in business today, it’s competitive.

“The industry is evolving so quickly,” Sam Schoemann said. “Look at my kids. Saturday morning cartoons? No. Saturday morning computer.”

But hey this is America. Hollywood, no less. Who’s not up for a little challenge?

“If you have a bone in you that’s entrepreneurial, now is the time, the opportunity to make things happen,” Sam said. “If you’re passionate and can visualize ideas, the TV business is one place you can get things done.”

Sam joined Concrete Pictures in December from the promo division of “Rugrats” producer Klasky Csupo. He is charged with building on the Phildelphia-based firm’s traditional broadcast design biz.

Sam is knocking on the doors of advertisers, agencies and networks to create coordinated campaigns on which Concrete Pictures does the production. DirecTV and Travel Channel are among the networks he is working with this way.

The gig is still new, but so far he’s enjoying a creative approach to drumming up business.

The day we had lunch, for example, he got word that a Japanese Maple tree he sent to the New York office of an exec he’d been trying to reach had arrived at its destination.

I’ve heard of flowers, gift baskets. I got milk and cookies before. But he sent a tree?

“Well I did send a note with it,” he said. “You know: ‘Just tryin’ to branch out.’”

Dined On: Sam eats at Border Grill at least once a week.

“This is good food. They understand the subtleties of flavor. It feels homey and you can almost always get a table,” he said.

The “they” he referred to is culinary duo Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger aka “Too Hot Tamales,” as their former Food Network series dubbed them.

Sam generally orders specials at Border Grill; when we met up that meant pollo Colorado.

He also suggested a sampler plate so I could check out some of his regular faves.

The tamales in the sampler are especially yummy. Like eating baby food for the first time, Sam says.

I got chili relleno, and we shared the decadent tres leches for dessert.

If you didn’t get the drift by now, the Border Grill menu is Mexican.

Or, more precisely, “someone’s take on Mexican,” Sam said. “If you want traditional Mexican go to Tito’s Tacos.”

Of course, for Sam, Border Grill has Tito’s beat on location: Concrete Pictures’ West Coast office is in a brick building at the corner of 4th and Broadway in Santa Monica—right across the street from the restaurant on 4th.

Concrete Pictures’ space has a view Sam says looks a heckuva lot like what you see when Larry David peers out the window of his office on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Sam suspects those scenes are shot somewhere in the building.

He asked me to ask “my people” if they knew. … So, my people, I’m asking. Anyone know whether the building used for Larry’s office is at 4th and Broadway?

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Comments (3)

MTVCOPS:

Larry's office is a building in Pasadena in Old Town.

Hey thanks, MTVCOPS.
There you have it, Sam...
Melissa.

Larry's office above the old "second cup" is in Old Pasadena at 84 S. Fair Oaks. The place is no longer called "Second Cup" and is now called Cafe Alibi.

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