He’s short. He naps at inappropriate times. He’s intense, even annoying. Those are a few details you may know about Sam Solovey, the latest contestant to be “fired” from reality show du jour, “The Apprentice.”
You may not know that Sam’s an interactive media veteran and ad sales exec, a co-founder of the influential D.C-based Potomac Tech Wire, which — along with eight other Tech Wire publications — he heads as director of business operations.
NBC’s “The Apprentice” pits 16 men and women against each other in a “Survivor”-like battle to be hired by Donald Trump. Solovey took two months off for the filming of the show’s 15 episodes last fall, making it only to the third episode before being “fired” by The Donald.
To say no one was sad to see him go is an understatement. The diminutive publisher was reviled by show contestants and TV viewers alike. How does it feel to be a punching bag?
“It’s actually an advantage in business to be misunderstood by the majority,” Solovey shrugs. “People are busy criticizing and taking shots at you while you’re out doing deals.”
He argues his own negative image is analogous to Trump’s (his idol). Solovey says the real estate magnate is a highly effective — if highly annoying — “brand.”
“He has figured out a way to use his lifestyle and his image to sell the brand,” Solovey observed. “People love to criticize the hair, the fancy girlfriend. But would you expect anything else? People aspire to a certain level of prestige. He’s a symbol of that. He’s an exaggeration of that.”
Being in the spotlight is nothing new for Solovey. Having hosted his own call-in radio show in the ’90s (“The Untrained Psychologist,” on Colgate University’s WRCU) and acted as a professional auctioneer for several charity events, his 15 minutes of fame amount to more like 45 minutes. Yet he admits the clock is ticking — and he’s trying to make the most of it.
“I’m going to be on ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ tonight,” he laughed. “Crazy.”
Solovey enjoys being back on the job since taping ended. He averts even if he had won the $250K position in Trump’s organization, he could never have relinquished involvement in the Tech Wire publications, which he describes as his “baby.”
“Whether I’m full or part-time, I’ll always be involved in some fashion,” he said.
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