Bloke in Media – Rob Moran

Do you remember the cartoon Doug? It aired in the early 90s and I watched it obsessively. Adorable Doug was my first (and, er, only) male cartoon character crush. An 11-year-old with a love for writing, music and Patti Mayonnaise, Doug transcribed his thoughts into his beloved journal (not a diary, he would insist) each episode, composed cute songs about Patti to the tune of his banjo and transformed into one of his many alter egos (Quailman, Secret Agent 000 Smash Adams, the Chameleon) to accomplish all sorts of feats. A geek with a social conscience and a 6th grader out for my own heart (hey, I was 11).

If Doug had been a real boy (like Pinocchio), he might have grown up to be Rob Moran, Girlfriend magazine's resident entertainment reporter. In fact, when Rob was recruited into the team during my own tenure on the mag, I thought he was Doug come to life (see picture, right!).

While his penchant for procrastination was always a running joke at editorial meetings (sorry, it was!), Rob has a knack for producing endlessly amusing, pithy reportage, while also bringing balance to an otherwise estrogen fuelled office (though he did question whether the word 'bloke' was applicable when I approached him about this interview).

His blog 'Front Row' is one of my favourite monthly reads (seriously, if you haven't picked up a copy of Girlfriend of late, you should), while his brand of irreverent entertainment journalism brings a fun flavour to what can otherwise be a boring beat (rehash press release here; kiss celebrity butt here...). Though, you do sort of get the sense that after three years on the job, Rob writes as much to amuse himself as his 14-year-old girl-fans (send job offers care of – joking... sort of!).

So, at the risk of bringing down the integrity of this blog, meet Doug Rob. I bet he can't wait for Britney to bring her circus to town!

Age: 27
Occupation: Entertainment Editor, Girlfriend
Tenure: 3 years or so
Writing credits: Girlfriend, TV Hits, Remix, Rolling Stone, Top Of The Pops, The Brag, Beef Knuckles [see zine question below].
Greatest aspiration: robot slavery

Why writing, Rob? My hands were too delicate for carpentry. Dreams shattered!

Where were you educated? UNSW Faculty of Film. I was too dumb for words, so I studied pictures instead.

Did you have any mentors and/or role models? Anybody who has given me money for writing stupid things. Nick Tosches and Richard Meltzer for teaching me to review CDs with the shrink-wrap still on (you get more money at the pawn shop that way).

How has your writing career developed? Uh, less swearing?

How did the Girlfriend gig come about? I wore a Hilary Duff badge to my interview in a cynical attempt to sway [then editor] Sarah Oakes’ love. It worked and she resents me to this day.

What's it like being the only bloke in the office?
Pro: I can say anything I want and people will laugh it off with, “Oh, boys!”
Con: Everything smells like musk. And the squeals; oh, God, the squeals.

How does an average day in the office pan out for you? Wake up late, turn up to work late, read the whole Internet, stare through my computer screen, go home with genuine relief that I wasn't fired that day, resolve to get more done tomorrow.

Best celebrity interview? Zac Efron. The way he touched my hand as I left his hotel said we’d be friends forever.

Worst celebrity interview? Barack Obama. America, politics, change, blah – I just asked him what his favourite dinosaur was!

Your thoughts on the state and/or art of celebrity journalism... It’s boring as heck, unless it’s about Paul Westerberg or Pam from The Office (US).

Which mags do you think do entertainment well? I haven’t read a magazine since some early ‘90s issue of Right On! with Heavy D & The Boyz on the cover. That was pretty great. I guess Blender’s celeb interviews were funny (‘cause they were mean), but they don’t exist anymore (or so I’m told, I haven’t actually checked).

Just how annoying and/or helpful are celebrity PRs? For people that party so much, they sure can be uptight. But most of them are pretty nice, until they’re institutionalized for alcohol abuse sometime near the end of their careers (see: Jack Lemmon in Days Of Wine & Roses).

Piece you're currently working on... Nice try, snitch! But it’s probably got something to do with RPattz [that's Twilight's Robert Pattinson].

Pros of being a teen entertainment editor... Teenagers are great! They’re like little adults or big kids.

How do you keep up with the ET world? AV Club. Oh No They Didn’t. Pitchfork. Kotaku. Armond White film reviews (NY Press). IMDB messageboards.

Tell us about your zine... It’s called Beef Knuckles. I write some stupid stories and hat poems, and my friends Hon and Bryn draw amazing comics full of laughs and pathos. It costs $3. You can only buy it out of our hands.

If there was a Rob Moran magazine, what would it feature, look like and where would you sell it? It would feature cats, essays about basketball, rap song reviews, cool hairstyles, self-help slogans and some sort of healthy recipe. I’d sell it from my coat pockets and it would look like this (see attached).

Yours truly (wetting her pants),
Girl With a Satchel


bel.frizza said...

Awww Robbie! I miss sitting acroos from you and hearing Excuse # 567880 of why you were late to work!

Anonymous said...

What a bizarre interview. Not insightful or interesting. He hasn't done himself any favours at all.

Erica Bartle (nee Holburn) said...

Oh, I thought it was a bit of good fun.

Anonymous said...

I think it's lovely to see a boy offer up some self self deprecation. Definitely insightful considering his audience and I'm always interested to see where media types get their gossip.

Anonymous said...

Adorable! I might have a crush on him.

And to the second poster, lighten up! I loved it.

*this daisy said...

wheee! i was delighted to see that Rob was the subject of Bloke in the Media! :D Same ol' funny guy. Loved the interview.

Nat said...

Hooray! Rob is awesome. I used to love reading his entertainment column.

frangipani princess said...

I love Rob :) His column is my favourite part of the magazine. It never fails to make me majorly laugh. It's so good to see a guy in a teenage girls magazine, because, obviously, guys want to be journalists to. Thanks heaps for interviewing him Erica, it was epic :D

Rochelle said...

Great interview! Thanks for the chuckle. :-)


Sade Jasal said...

Hey Girl with a Satchel, love your blog. Following you now! I used to watch Doug, too :)

And I love love love your bookshelf! I happen to own a copy of Pretty: The Nylon Book of Beauty.

Anonymous said...

A journalist who doesn't read magazines? Seems a bit odd. This interview was funny; but some actual insights from Rob would have been good, too.

-<3-toongen-<3- said...

Rob is my hero. His blog is my favourite part of the mag, and his interviewing skills pone (asking Obama and Demi their fav dinosaurs? Heck yes!)

Lauren said...

haha, rob is great. and his girlfriend, nicole, is even greater.

and anonymous, lighten up! sheesh -rob is hilarious!