Wednesday, July 31, 2013

NEW: REPORTER FIRED FOR REVEALING TOO MUCH


CONFESSIONS FROM A VETERAN JOURNALIST AND COACH





(Huntsville, Alabama)--If I have said it once, I have said it a million times, "Everything that comes up doesn't have to come out!" (Out of your mouth that is). That sobering reminder echoed in my ear as I woke up to the national headlines Tuesday morning.  Let’s just say,  I was more than a little surprised when one the more controversial headlines was breaking in my own backyard.  

Huntsville’s own, Shea Allen, an investigative reporter who worked at WAAY-TV  (ABC Affiliate) for nearly two years was terminated last week for publicly revealing too much about herself.  She was reportedly fired after her general manager viewed her blog entitled: "Confessions of A Red-Headed Reporter."  (SEE THE TODAY SHOW PROFILE/REPORT AT THE END OF THIS REPORT).            

Shea had her blog confession; now here’s mine. 

NEW ENTRY:

This week, “confessions" of an older, wiser, brunette-reporter who has learned a thing or two about how your activities are monitored, both on and off camera.                 

FILE PHOTO-WAAY-TV

First confession: Total transparency!  Many of the rookie reporters I coach everyday believe I coined the phrase "Everything that comes up, doesn't have to come out!" But honestly, I did not. All the credit for that goes to another seasoned, award winning journalist, Valorie Carter.  I fondly remember Valorie reciting that phrase as apart of her daily morning devotion. The only difference is when Valorie said it she was pointing to her temple and then her lips.

Quite honestly it became the "tag line" to both of our lives as Valorie and I were still finding our way during our rookie years in a Birmingham, Alabama television newsroom nearly ten years ago.                     


I missed the days when television newsrooms were filled with trusted, Emmy-award winning veteran anchors and reporters who looked out for younger reporters; and would help to instill in them credibility, integrity and ethics.

Unfortunately for Shea Allen and many other 21st century multi-media journalists, the newsroom environment I worked in doesn’t exist anymore.

After coaching rookie reporters for the past few years, I’ve come to realize many of them are entering the newsroom without filters. Sadly, they don’t know what to keep to themselves.

I am constantly reminding my clients through my company about compromising photos or "excessive profanity" on Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets.

Experience has taught me that not only is a journalism degree necessary to succeed in the business; having a mentor and or coach is necessary in order to survive in this competitive industry. That’s exactly why I created Walton and Associates. 

Everyday I coach the next generation of news makers on the “art of journalism.”  This situation is exactly why I’ve chosen to become an advocate for my clients who are constantly schooled about a certain decorum that is expected as long as they have a television station's call letters behind their name! Bottom line when you are hired your integrity becomes the station's integrity and more importantly--their credibility!

Second confession: I have never met Shea Allen.  In fact, I’ve only watched her reports from a distance whenever I am on assignment in Huntsville.  It is a shame because I am one of many in the industry who thought Shea was more than just another pretty face.  

Third confession:  Call me old school, but no matter what generation you fall in, the fact of matter is we all have made mistakes! Television news is based on “human interaction”.  It is a sobering reminder of what we are called to do and to never lose focus.

I truly believe Shea Allen has all the makings of a good investigative reporter. Honestly, I often thought, given time she could find herself in a TOP 10 market or perhaps the network.  I'm sure however, she never dreamed in a million years she would finally make it THE TODAY SHOW but, for all the wrong reasons.  

Chalk it up as a teachable moment Shea. As you go forward remember this.  It's something that this sustained me for nearly two decades; "You don't have to share with the world your every thought," that includes your religious and political views.  

Do it with me now,  (pointing to your temple and then your lips) "everything that comes up -doesn't have to come out!" Again, my friend and colleague Valorie would be so proud to learn that she is also "influencing the next generation!"

Hang in there Shea; “this too shall pass!”  I only wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW "THE TODAY SHOW" REPORT
http://www.today.com/news/tv-reporter-fired-over-blog-didnt-think-it-would-come-6C10791942


CLICK HERE FOR SHEA ALLEN'S EXPLANATION ON "INSIDE EDITION"
http://www.insideedition.com/videos/1662-tv-reporter-discusses-blog-posts-that-led-to-firing

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

WE'RE SOCIAL ON TWITTER TOO!


FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @VARIONWALTON



See who else Varion Walton is "chatting" it up with on TWITTER and read her EXCLUSIVE STORY on Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway!  VISION/VOICE/VARION....your source for celebrity news and interviews. 

BAYFEST ANNOUNCES LINE-UP FOR 2013

3 DAYS!  125 MUSICAL ACTS!   9 STAGES!

(Mobile, AL.)-- Check out the lineup for Bayfest 2013!  I am totally pumped about Anthony Hamilton The Zac Brown Band and Hunter Hays. Over the years, Bayfest has featured some of the biggest names in R&B, Pop and Country Music and this year is no exception!  Bayfest's announcement of it's line-up for 2013 proves why it is quickly becoming "Alabama's Largest Music Festival!"

                                   
Zac Brown Band
Varion Walton and Tamia-Essence- 2012  
The addition of Tamia and the Isley Brothers should also generate a lot of interest for R&B lovers.  Tamia, fresh from The Essence Music Festival has new music that's climbing the charts.  The Grammy Award nominated singer is making her way back to the stage after an extended hiatus. She and her husband,  former NBA Superstar Grant Hill  have been busy raising two daughters. After a five year absence,  this beautiful Canadian songbird is once again ready to balance touring and being a mother.                                                                 


Anthony Hamilton 

Another nice addition to the line-up includes the "legendary" Isley Brothers.  I had the pleasure of seeing Ron Isley and the Isley Brothers near Memphis, Tennessee last December.  Let's just say to all of your "Mr. Big" fans out there-- you're in for a treat.  Ron Isley still has it vocally.

BayFest will celebrate it's 19th year October 4th-6th.  Festival organizers expect more than 200, 000 music lovers to pack into Downtown Mobile. Past performers at BayFest include:  Luke Bryan, Kid Rock, Duran Duran, Kenny Chesney,  Mary J. Blige, Montley Crue and B.B. King and many, many more!  

Weekend passes are now available.  Cash in on the early bird specials today!
VISIT: www.bayfest.com.












Monday, July 22, 2013

WHAT'S HOT! ALABAMA'S OWN TERRY TOWNSEND

INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS!





(HUNTSVILLE, AL.)—The royal birth isn't thing that's got tongues wagging across the pond! Inspirational/Jazz Artist Terry Townsend is earning critical acclaim across the pond in the U.K.  Find out what all the "BUZZ" is about.  Read Townsend's latest review from "Soul and Jazz and Funk" in London. 

 "This Just in From The U.K.





CHECK OUT: SOULandJAZZandFUNK's Latest Review  

http://www.soulandjazzandfunk.com/reviews/2319-terry-townsend-mutual-love-affair-wwwterrytownsendnet-.html



DON'T FORGET TO DOWNLOAD Terry's new CD "A Mutual Love Affair." 
Switch Now: WWW.TERRYTOWNSEND.NET to get your copy today!













VANESSA BELL CALLOWAY--"THE ESSENCE" OF BEAUTY AND STYLE!

HOLLYWOOD STAR GEARS UP FOR ESSENCE FEST 20TH YEAR 

Vanessa Bell Calloway on the Red Carpet at Essence Fest

(New Orleans, LA.) Busy is an understatement when describing Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway.  Calloway, a seasoned actress who has been on the scene since breaking up daytime's beloved couple  Angie and Jessie on "All My Children. One of Calloway's most memorable role was the "submissive" lady in waiting" in Eddie Murphy's iconic movie "Coming to America." She's also remembered for her breakout roll in "What's Love Got to Do With It" as one of the Ikettes.  Aside from her work on the big screen, nearly 20 years ago Vanessa Bell Calloway kicked off one of the very first editions of what is now known as Essence Music Festival?  

VISION/VOICE/VARION got the inside scoop on the latest the ageless star, July 4th, during the Essence Music Festival's "Friends and Family" Reunion Day in New Orleans. Vanessa made it back to "the Big Easy" to reminisce and remind every one of her role as one of the celebrity host and contributors to the music festival nearly two decades ago.  



PRESS PLAY TO SEE VARION'S INTERVIEW WITH VANESSA

"Most people don't know, but I was apart of this music festival in the early years.  I served as an honorary host" said Calloway.  It's truly been cool watching Essence Music Festival grow over the years. Today it is "the event" when it comes to R&B, empowering African American women and the first class entertainment.

In addition to staking her claim in the upcoming 20th anniversary of Essence Fest 2014, Calloway filled us in on her current projects.  "I am very excited about my new web series called IN THE COMPANY OF FRIENDS,"... everyone is invited to enjoy me for an intimate gathering of friends at my home as we eat, laugh and chop it up as only good friends can do," Calloway said

"In The Company of Friends" is a new series where you can watch Vanessa chats it up with some of "Hollywood's" Black "Elite" like Actress Loretta Devine, Vivica Fox, Wendy Raquel Robinson (Tasha Mack, "The Game"), Salli Richardson and Actor Dondre' Whitfield just to name a few. Check out a preview of the new September series by visiting
www.in-the-company-of-friends.com.

Be sure to check out Vanessa's BLOG TALK RADIO SHOW Sundays, 3pm PST and 6PM EST www.blogtalkradio.com/vanessabellcalloway

I've got to take my hat off to this renaissance woman.  From "Hollywood to Motherhood," Vanessa Bell Calloway has successfully celebrated more than 20 years of marriage and raising two daughters in Hollywood, a perpetual "fishbowl" that consistently presents more than a few challenges when it comes to "having and keeping the brass ring!"

Vanessa makes me proud to spell my name "W-O-M-A-N."  She is quite the example for me, and other professional Black businesswomen, in the entertainment industry when it comes to being  "FABULOUS OVER 45!"  I look forward to being just as "healthy, happy and whole" as a wife and mother in the future.

May God bless you and all of your endeavors Mrs. Calloway. ("No Hyphen") LOL.  I can't wait to tell our VISION/VOICE/VARION viewers what role you will play in the upcoming 20th gala of ESSENCE MUSIC FEST in 2014.


Letters From Zora-August 15th thru August 18th

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON VANESSA BELL CALLOWAY AND HER UPCOMING PLAY,  LETTERS FROM ZORA, "In Her Own Words" visit: www.lettersfromzora.com 


LEE BAILEY'S EURWEB.COM's Article on the Upcoming Production:
http://www.eurweb.com/2013/07/vanessa-bell-calloway-to-perform-for-breast-cancer-survivors-in-letters-from-zora-at-pasadena-playhouse-august-14th/

Vanessa Bell Calloway and Varion Walton 


Sunday, July 21, 2013

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: HALO WHEELER'S "THIS IS WHO I AM" CD RELEASE

IT'S ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED EVENTS OF THE SUMMER!

video



(Birmingham, AL)  Join Halo Wheeler, Producer Kelvin Wooten, and other Birmingham artist for the much anticipated CD RELEASE PARTY of Halo Wheeler's, "THIS IS WHO I AM" on Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 6pm.  This event of the summer will be held at one of The Magic City's premiere spots, "The Workplay Center."
Guests will enjoy live music performed by this young, fresh, dynamic newcomer to the music industry.  Halo Wheeler will meet and greet record executives, industry insiders and party the night away in what's truly becoming one of Birmingham's most unique music venues.

Limited, VIP guests will enjoy preferred seating, complimentary hors d'oeuvres, and a FREE CD. We look forward to seeing you at this summer's hottest event!  

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

Visit https://www.facebook.com/halowheelermusic FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines"--A Naughty, Romantic Hit!

(HUNTSVILLE, AL.)--This joint right here!  Let's just say the rest of the world is finally catching up with what me and my girls have known for years---"Robin Thicke" is the funkiest brother who wasn't left in the incubator long enough.

I've seen Robin in concert and he's simply true to a sound that is pure, genuine and leaves you dancing in the isles.  Turn up the volume and rip off the knob!  This one is going to stay in your head for a while.  Enjoy!


Monday, July 15, 2013

HERE WE GROW AGAIN....


"WE'RE BUILDING SOMETHING HERE"




(MOBILE, AL.)---"Varion, you seem to be everywhere!"  If I had a nickel for every time I've heard that phrase I'd be rich.  Over the last two years, many of you have watched me do everything, from interview some of the biggest names in the news and entertainment business, to covering some of the most anticipated events of the year like The Stellar Awards, BayFest and The Essence Music Festival.

All of those exclusive interviews and "backstage" coverage was streamed live via The VW Network.  The VW Network is the new "go to place" for all of your entertainment and celebrity news....24/7.  Check out our facebook page at www.facebook.com/vwnetwork

In addition to working in the entertainment industry,  I have been actively involved in mentoring and coaching the next generation of journalists.  After 20 years as a proven, award winning journalist,  I wanted to use my experience and expertise to groom others.

During those 20 years in the television industry,  I've been blessed with the ability to bring my multiple gifts as a reporter, anchor, host, producer and event planner under one umbrella....WALTON AND ASSOCIATES.

Walton and Associates is a 21st century company meeting the needs of new journalists, recording artists and business owners.  The services we provide are not "cookie cutter," but are tailored to the individual needs of every client, regardless of your budget.

Me and my partners have nearly 60 years of combined experience in legal, marketing, branding, hosting and producing experience.  All of which is the basis of our company's mission: "building relationships."

Please go to FACE BOOK and "LIKE" my NEW official WALTON AND ASSOCIATES page.  It is where you can read more on our clients, success stories and testimonials.

Walton and Associates is the parent company of: Vision/Voice/Varion, The VW Network and Varion Walton.Com.  Visit:  www.varionwalton.comwww.varionwalton.blogspot.com

SWITCH NOW:  https://www.facebook.com/waltonassociates





Sunday, July 7, 2013

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION--ESSENCE STYLE!


HERE'S TO 07/07

(New Orleans, Louisiana)--BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AT ESSENCE 2013--Waking up this morning truly knowing that I am blessed and highly favored.  God is amazing and he continues to go over and beyond my expectations with ever new venture.  He covers me at every turn. Today I thank him for my health, my family, my friends and yet another season to get it right and make a difference!  Here's to 07/07

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

UNITING ESSENCE "GUNS DOWN" INITIATIVE AND NEW ORLEANS- "NOLA FOR LIFE"

ESSENCE EMPOWERMENT EXPERIENCE STAGE


ESSENCE PARTNERS WITH NEW ORLEANS MAYOR MITCH LANDRIEU TO BRING TOGETHER TO END VIOLENCE!

(New York, NY–July 2, 2013)--As the world watches one of the most prolific trials in America, the trial of George Zimmerman accused of gunning down teenager Trayvon Martin, Essence partners with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to bring grieving mothers together with their families to finally call for an end to all of the violence in America Sunday, July 7th.




At the culmination of the renowned ESSENCE Empowerment Experience at the 2013 ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans (July 4-7), ESSENCE will partner with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to unite mothers and families in an effort to end violence and murder across America. 

ESSENCE and Mayor Landrieu will host ‘Love, Loss and Life’, a special prayer vigil for mothers who have loved and lost , on Sunday, July 7,  at 9AM (CST) at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on the ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage. 

Mayor Landrieu, highlighting the city’s comprehensive murder reduction strategy NOLA FOR LIFE (#NOLAforLife) and ESSENCE, referencing its Guns Down series (#ESSENCEGunsDown), will lead vital conversations and encourage collective prayer about stopping the violence and murder that are plaguing our cities. 

“The loss of young people to senseless violence is a national tragedy,” said ESSENCE Acting Managing Editor, Vanessa K. Bush, “Our community of ESSENCE readers is praying for our families.  As mothers, when we send our children out into the world, we expect them to always come home.  By joining with Mayor Landrieu and the City of New Orleans, we are coming together to mourn, rejoice and inspire a national movement.”

The ‘Love, Life & Loss’ program will include testimonies from mothers, choir performances, a moment of prayer, a second line procession and a pledge by the community.    In addition, a ‘Wall of Remembrance’ featuring images of the children lost to violence will be created on-site and the pledge will be shared around the world via social media. 

“Partnering with ESSENCE is an important step in galvanizing women and making murder reduction a national priority,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu.  “We understand that mothers who have loved and lost are critical in changing the culture of violence and in ending this unacceptable epidemic of young African-American men killing each other.”

For the latest news about the ESSENCE FESTIVAL, visit ESSENCE Festival www.essencefestival.com. Join the Festival community: follow us on Twitter @essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of 2013 ESSENCE Festival on Facebook.

The 2013 ESSENCE FESTIVAL™ is executive produced by Essence Festivals LLC, a division of Essence Communications Inc. (ECI).  GeChar is the executive producer of the 2013 ESSENCE Empowerment Experience Stage.