The FishbowlDC Interview with C-SPAN’s Brian Lamb

Today we bring you a special edition of The FishbowlDC Interview. Say hello to C-SPAN’s now former CEO Brian Lamb. He recent stepped down to be Executive Chairman of the C-SPAN board. When we spoke with him the other day, he sounded completely at ease with the shift, saying it was time to move on and let others, namely Rob Kennedy and Susan Swain, step up. “I have had it planned for sometime,” he told me in a phone interview. “It’s time to pass it on to two people who can lead this place for the foreseeable future. I feel great about it. I don’t feel the least bit emotional about it. I had my run. I’m still going to see the people everyday. This is a natural evolution after 35 years.” He was more jangled about the FishbowlDC interview. Which, as everyone who has done it knows, is a cake walk. Lamb is actually something of a lamb. His profanity (at least what he’ll admit to) consists of “gosh darn” and he pigs out on chocolate frozen yogurt. Look for Lamb on Q & A, which he will continue to host. In the meantime, read on.

If you were a combined carbonated beverage, which would you be? I would be sparkling flavored water.

How often do you Google yourself? I don’t.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor/boss (or vice versa)? Uh man….you mean I’m not going to get a raise?

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Oh, boy, I don’t know that I have one. I really don’t. I better not go there.

What swear word do you use most often? Gosh darn.

You’ve just been told the big news: You get to have your own Sunday morning talk show. Who will be on your roundtable? (Pick four journalists or pundits types.) I would pick Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post and Mona Charen. Wow, it’s so dangerous to do this. I’d have Doug Brinkley, a historian at Rice University and Richard Norton Smith, a professor at George Mason University.

Now for a really serious moment: What is your dream job, money and practicalities aside? Probably being a concert violinist. It will be a dream job until I am gone.

When you pig out what do you eat? Frozen yogurt. Chocolate.

What is your absolute favorite item of clothing in your closet? We want the fabric, the brand, the store and the price if possible. If it’s a certain kind of underwear we don’t want to know about it. A blue suit. That’s all I have in my closet.

Pick one: Kim, Khloe, or Kourtney? I wouldn’t know a Kardashian if she walked through the door.

Have you ever had a tarot card reading? No.

Have you ever had a near-death experience? No.

Ever been arrested? Well, other than a speeding ticket, no.

Tell us a secret not many people know about you. I watch Mad Men.

What scares you? Hmmm not much anymore. Anticipation of the future always makes you anxious. I’m not easily scared. If there was something, the future of this country’s debt more than anything.

What’s your most embarrassing career moment? Probably when we were kicked off the air in the 80s during the budget debate because a tractor ran into a transformer that knocked us off the air for four hours during a very crucial budget debate.

Have you ever been fired? No.

When and why did you last laugh so hard you had tears in your eyes? Whenever I am with my niece. Watching “Wayne’s World” with my niece Deborah who is 45.  Every time we watch anything it leads to hilarity.

When and why did you last lose your temper? I haven’t lost my temper in a long time. I don’t lose my temper very often. I work at keeping a lid on my temper. It’s there but not ferocious.

Who would you want to play you in a movie? John Glenn. I get accused of being him all the time so I might as well. Let’s say Glenn, John McCain or Ed Harris.

Who should just call it a day? That’s a tough one. I mean my own reaction is a lot of people on television but that’s probably why I called it a day. I said it to myself.

From TMZ Founder Harvey Levin: You are about to be served your last meal. What will it be? It would be a gyros omelet from Louie at the Arlington Diner.

Publish date: March 28, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT