Maria Menounos, Featured Moderator, "Women of Hollywood 2012"
-- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/31/2012 5:14:22 PMTo register for the Women of Hollywood event Nov. 14, click here
As a journalist, Menounos holds the distinct honor of having conducted the only interview with the entire Obama family. The interview was touted by political experts as one of the defining moments leading to Obama's victory.
Menounos' achievements have thus far set industry milestones. Her ground-breaking conversational style of reporting led her, at the age of 22, to become the youngest person ever to host Entertainment Tonight. She would go on to do the same for the Today show and Nightly News.
But the milestones don't end there. Menounos is the first person in the entire history of Hollywood to report for network news and star in a wide release feature film.
On the big screen, she starred in the romantic comedy Kickin It Old Skool opposite Jamie Kennedy and played herself in the Ben Stiller comedy Tropic Thunder. She also appeared in the 20th Century Fox Sci Fi/Action movie Fantastic Four. On the small screen, her acting endeavors include guest roles on CBS's Without a Trace, NBC's Scrubs and HBO's Entourage as well as a recurring role on the CW's One Tree Hill. While at Entertainment Tonight, Menounos hosted ET on MTV and ET on VH1, both of which soared to number-one weekend ratings on their respective networks. At NBC, Maria was a correspondent for Nightly News, Today, Access Hollywood and Dateline.
And yet there's more. In the literary world, Maria is a NY Times Best Selling Author with her critically acclaimed EveryGirl's Guide to Life published in 2011. The A-Z guide gives EveryGirl and EveryWoman expert advice on everything: weight loss, fitness, beauty, health, organization, dating, career and more.
In the online world and the world of social and new media, Maria is founder and CEO of AfterBuzz TV, the largest new media platform on the world web. The AfterBuzz TV Network is an online broadcast network, designated to producing live and recorded "after-show" webcast and podcast content for TV series of all kinds. A veritable "post-game" show for television shows, when TV fans finish watching episodes from select series, they can go to afterbuzztv.com to watch or listen to, an 'after-show' where hosts recap and break down that night's episode, take calls from fans and interview guests. The platform is open to all TV series from "American Horror Story" to American Idol" to Big Brother to Sons of Anarchy to Mad Men and Jersey Shore. The year-old network receives over 11 million weekly downloads from 75 countries!
Menounos was the international spokesperson and face of PANTENE hair care products. In 2009 and 2010, she appeared on Maxim's Hot 100 List. She has been one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful' and bested Charlize Theron and Jessica Alba for "Cyber Vixen of the Year Award" at the Spike Video Game Awards. Menounos starred opposite Sir Sean Connery in the video game "James Bond 007: From Russia With Love" and personally bestowed the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award to Connery. She has been in the top five of the askmen.com poll for "the girl men most want to marry" along with the likes of Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron and was first runner up in "the Best Damn Sports Show's" annual Sweet Sixteen of Beauties competition. Menounos hosted and sang at the annual 2006 Eurovision Music Competition Awards in Athens, Greece to a European audience of 600 million viewers. She is currently the face of Rickland Farms' Greek Yogurt Bars, partnering her international brand and Greek roots with the health-conscious products for active lifestyles.
As a filmmaker, Menounos has directed and produced several films, which have played most of the major film festivals including Tribeca, South-by-South West, Hollywood, Palm Springs, Boston and Cinevegas. Menounos recently produced and starred in the yet to be released film, "Serial Buddies," the world's first serial killer buddy movie' starring the likes of Christopher Lloyd, Chris McDonald, Kathie Lee Gifford, Henry Winkler and Artie Lang.
Menounos attended Boston's Emerson College, where she majored in broadcast journalism and film. At Emerson, she became the first freshman in the school's 125-year history to garner the prestigious EVVY award for best newscaster. After her junior year, Menounos became an international correspondent for Channel One News -- launch pad to such reporters as Anderson Cooper. At Channel One, Menounos interviewed President George W. Bush and travelled the globe reporting on world affairs. Her coverage of the AIDS virus in South Africa inspired her to dedicate herself to charity work and to create the non-profit, Take Action Hollywood! (TAH!).
TAH! is a charity whose mission is to utilize the power of the entertainment industry and the production medium to educate, empower and raise social awareness. Menounos and TAH! have teamed up with various organizations such as The Weinstein Company, Tide, Channel One News, the Entertainment Industry Foundation, Nike, and Cosmo Magazine. TAH! has helped raise awareness for Diabetes, pet adoption, women's suffering, MS, racism and countless others. Menounos and TAH! helped secure distribution for the award nominated Miramax holocaust documentary Paperclips. Menounos and TAH! created the "Take Action-One Cup", a competition via Channel One designed to empower students and communities nationwide to confront social issues. Menounos and TAH! teamed with NIKE for their "Let Me Play" initiative to refurbish national neighborhood playgrounds. Menounos and TAH! created the annual "Day of Beauty" at LA children's hospital where Hollywood stylists and other celebrities apply makeovers to terminally ill children. As a Diabetes Awareness Ambassador for Entertainment Industry Foundation, Menounos has spoken on Capitol Hill and is working with lobbyists on improving treatment for the disease, worldwide. Menounos is also proud to be the first Global Ambassador for Shining Hope for Communities - an innovative, grassroots non-profit organization working to champion gender equality and combat urban poverty in one of the largest slums in Africa: the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya. She was the recent recipient of the 2012 Lifetime Impact Honoree Award for Variety Magazine's prestigious Power of Women event.
Menounos' career has been groundbreaking and will no doubt be emulated by many to come. Incredibly, Menounos' career remains in relative infancy and has much more room to blossom. A girl who did not speak English till the third grade and one who worked as a janitor cleaning Boston nightclubs throughout her adolescence, Menounos is proof that you can come from nothing and succeed. She is proof that you can do it all. Most importantly, she is proof that you can remain true to yourself and humble in the process.
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