The Insider

Apr 26, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Susan Zirinsky says Girl Scouting was not an option in her Queens neighborhood, so she grew up a “total Girl Scout wannabe” until she became a White House producer with a press badge that fulfilled a childhood wish to belong to an intrepid and high-minded crew.
To this day, the executive producer of “48 Hours Investigates” is a sucker for any Girl Scout selling cookies-unless they’re Thin Mints. “I am the only person on the planet who does not like Thin Mints,” she confided to The Insider.
That lapse in taste and the lack of actual Girl Scout experience are forgiven, clearly, since Ms. Zirinsky is to be keynote speaker and honoree at the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York’s 29th Annual Tribute Dinner, which will be emceed by “Inside Edition” and “Deborah Norville Tonight” anchor Deborah Norville. The honorees also will include Jenny Alonzo, VP of production, operations and marketing for Lifetime Entertainment Services.
“We don’t look at [Scouting background] when we go after honorees,” said Caroline Turner, director of special events and corporate initiatives for the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York. “We try to get a variety of honorees as role models for the girls.”
Ms. Zirinsky set off transatlantic outrage with her decision to include in last week’s “48 Hours” two paparazzi photos taken of an unconscious Princess Diana in the back seat while a doctor tended to her moments after the crash in which she and Dodi Fayed lost their lives.
No wonder she figures she would qualify for a bravery badge for having waged the magazine wars for eight years. She defines the Girl Scouts’ role as fiercely empowering girls to succeed beyond their dreams.
“It’s setting the flame for the future for the kid,” Ms. Zirinsky said. She tends to burn her candle at both ends and in the middle, between long, high-stress workdays; marriage to Executive VP of Telemundo Network News Joe Peyronnin, who commutes between Miami and New York; and rearing the couple’s 7-year-old daughter, Zoe.
Ms. Zirinsky does not plan to enlist Zoe in the Scouts. “I am an independent thinker,” she said. “l’ll leave it to her.”
Warner Bros. Entertainment spokesman Scott Rowe and wife Ericka-and elder daughter Taylor-on the safe and sound arrival of 7-pound, 15-ounce Annabelle Elizabeth last Thursday. … The PR person for a Hollywood publication who had the smarts to put a package of stories by its reporters about CBS in the hands of CBS in time to be considered for use in its upfront presentation, which traditionally includes reproductions of headlines that tell the CBS story.