Friday, March 25, 2005

The name game

Those of you watching Fox News (and why would you not be?) may have noticed one of the infobabes slogging around the media gang-bang in Florida. Her name is Julie Banderas. Or it's Julie Bidwell. Whatever. She was, until early March, a reporter for New York Fox station, but seems Ms. Bidwell's moved up to the big time. Of course, changing her name was a nice branding effort, according to this NY Observer article:
Then there’s the matter of Julie Banderas, a new WNYW reporter, whose last name has been the subject of much buzzing in the station’s newsroom. Prior to coming aboard WNYW, Ms. Banderas went by the name Julie Bidwell during on-air stints in Harrisonburg, Va., and Wilkes-Barre, Penn., among other locations. That prompted speculation among WNYW staffers that Ms. Banderas changed her name from Bidwell to Banderas to have a more ethnic-sounding surname. Ms. Banderas said that Banderas was a "family name," and that her mother and grandmother are of Colombian heritage. She also said the decision to make the change was made "together" with the station’s management.

"Her mom is Latin American and she chose to use that name to reflect that heritage, as lots of people in news do with their preferred names," said Ms. Van Allen, the Fox spokesperson. Gregg Willinger, Ms. Banderas’ agent, said: "It’s not that unusual in this business for people to have their names reflect their ethnic background, and Julie is Latina."

But when asked if she was comfortable with her new on-air name, Ms. Banderas didn’t sound particularly enthusiastic. "All I have to say is that I’ve adjusted to it," she said. "It’s an adjustment. It’s a change, I don’t necessarily want to comment as to how I feel about it, whether it’s a positive or a negative thing, I will say I have adjusted to it."

My name henceforth? Juan Diego Vallamos. Maybe that gets me a full time job.

Special note: I ran into Bidwell/Banderas on an assignment three years ago in Newark, on a story about a lottery pool gone bad. She looked pretty good in person, I have to admit.

UPDATE: Judging by my site meter, this seems to be a popular place for those seeking certain photographic materials. Sad to say, there are no pictures of Bidwell/Banderas getting her freak on here.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 6:16 PM

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