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Alumni Profile

Making her mark in broadcasting

Bell Blue

On Oct. 20, 2009, Linda Bell Blue, BJ ’78, executive producer of Entertainment Tonight, was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. In recognition of the honor, her coworkers arranged for a message of congratulations to display in New York City’s Times Square.

Linda Bell Blue easily admits her addiction — to the business of entertainment. Now in her 15th year as executive producer of Entertainment Tonight, Bell Blue, BJ ‘78, is the longest-running executive producer in the history of the show. In recognition of her contributions to broadcast journalism, she was inducted to the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame Oct. 20, 2009, in New York City.

“It was breathtaking,” Bell Blue says. “Of the 12 people inducted, two were women. To be standing up there with powerful people who make decisions about worldwide media was a real honor for me.”

Bell Blue, originally from Springfield, Mo., lives in Los Angeles. “Hollywood is a very long ways from Springfield,” she says, but “being from the Midwest and having a unique sensibility of what people want to see on TV is one of the reasons I’ve had success.”

Over the years, Bell Blue has produced CBS television specials such as “Red Carpet Confidential” and “Celebrity Weddings Unveiled,” and also serves as executive producer of The Insider, a nightly, 30-minute entertainment news show based on ET.

Despite having interviewed countless celebrities, Bell Blue still relies on her J-School training and experience. “I’m an amalgamation of all the things I’ve done right and all the mistakes I’ve made,” she says. “The basics you learn in J-School really do apply, even after you’ve been out of school for 30 years.”

For journalism students, she offers a little advice on how to make it big: “You need to decide what you’re going to do and go for it. You have to sacrifice a lot, work harder and be better than the next person. You simply will not make it unless you are completely dedicated. It is a tough, ruthless, competitive business, and I absolutely love it.” — Sarah Garber