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CCS grad focusing on the big screen PDF Print E-mail

By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican

Energy and ideas radiate from Gabe Lenners. He gestures enthusiastically or leans forward with hands clasped as he explains what he’s currently working on.
The 2006 Chase County Schools graduate is working and learning in Los Angeles (LA). Actually, he’s employed by AEG and LA Live, as well as Disney and Radio Disney, tossing many balls in the air and hoping to add a few more.
His website describes him as “an upbeat LA-based TV  host, journalist, weathercaster and producer.”
Add in the fact that he has a blog, The Renaissance Man, and produces a weekly radio show, “In the Mix with Gabe Lenners,” and the fact that he’s beginning to shop some television show ideas around, and that’s a lot of enthusiasm to cover.
Lenners has always been interested in weather. While fishing at Enders Reservoir with his parents, Dan and Jane, as a child, Gabe always had his eye on the clouds.
He was frequently the one to declare that a storm was coming and that it was time to take the poles out of the water.
That interest led him to the University of Oklahoma (OU) to study TV weather.
At the same time he was forecasting weather on OU Nightly, which led to a TV road show job for a local Cox cable station.
Traveling across the state, he would create travel stories about restaurants, casinos and destinations. That exposure led him to change his major to broadcast journalism.
After his junior year in college, Lenners obtained a summer internship for ABC World News Now, with Dianne Sawyer. He was hooked.
He had the chance to interview national newsmakers and cover the deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett for “World News with Charles Gibson.”
ABC was like “a small family in the profession,” he noted.
He formed his own production company called Lenners Entertainment. “The brand produces compelling entertainment content based on evolving digital culture,” he said.
Lenners graduated from OU in 2012, having studied part-time his final two years, due to his television interests.
He immediately moved to Studio City in LA. Because of  a contact with the manager of Jason Kennedy of ENews, Lenners began taking hosting lessons. Then he attended a digital summit and met a digital editor, who contacted him five weeks later and offered him a job with Primetime Emmys.
Lenners began interviewing people from prime time shows, which is pretty constant work in LA.
Lenners said there’s usually a red carpet event somewhere in LA, as there are always premiers being held, or concert promotions, “TV shows, book signings and movie premiers on any given day.”
If it’s a large red carpet event such as the Emmys, Lenners takes a crew of six to 10 people, including cameramen, “wranglers” and researchers along with him.
If it’s a movie premier, Lenners and a cameraman are on their own. He said he does his research ahead of time.
“I want to see what’s going on in their lives and the projects they’re working on.”
However, “You start a conversation off to see how it flows. The best moments are the unscripted moments,” he said.
For instance, he was set to interview a star who was very pregnant. She quipped, “A doctor’s waiting in the limo.” Lenners said asking her how the show was wouldn’t have worked after that lighthearted moment.
Lenners has three favorite people he’s interviewed.
When interviewing Aaron Paul of the hit TV show “Breaking Bad” at the Primetime Emmys, Lenners said that Paul is “selfless and cares so much about the fans...It was interesting to talk in depth about the biggest episodes and sense in the show.”
He’s interviewed Cat Deeley, host of “So You Think You Can Dance” multiple times.
Lenners compliments her willingness to take the time to answer many questions from reporters.
“Her true personality that we are so attracted to on (the show) shines through, and she has long and real conversations with members of the press, as they are catching up over coffee.”
His most memorable interview with Forest Whitaker of “The Butler” was at the NAACP Image
Awards. “The story Forest shared with me about him and director Ryan Coogler’s first meeting was incredibly motivating and still inspires me today.”
Those red carpet interviews are shopped to different networks. Lenners also uses them on his own show.
“In the Mix with Gabe Lenners” is his radio show, broadcast in the Pacific Northwest.
In it he uses interviews straight from his red carpet interviews, such as the cast of Scandal, or author Nicholas Sparks two weeks ago.
He then adds pieces from his blog The Renaissance Man, geared “toward guys in their 20s with an entertainment twist,” he said. He wants to build on his blog, increasing exposure to his name.
He then ends the show with a viral story.
“I really just want to show people, especially through my blog, what Hollywood’s like.”
He wants to connect with audiences on a personal level, regardless of the project.
And what about the future? Lenners said he’s had ideas for some E! or cable television shows. “There are so many things I want to do.”
The 26-year old said he’s too young to be a producer and “get in a slot,” so at present, he will continue to be an interviewer. “I love the red carpet,” he enthused.
Oh, and he’s taking classes online through Mississippi State University for a Masters in meteorology.
Lenners loves living in LA “because some of the most creative people in the world” live there. He’s learning a lot.
“I’ve been so lucky,” he said.
Follow Lenners on his blog The Renaissance Man, Insta/Twitter/Snapchat:@GabeLenners or e-mail him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

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