LOS ANGELES, Jan. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Zap2it, the leading TV and celebrity news web site from Tribune Media Services (TMS), announced its Editorial Director Joseph Kapsch will team with renowned "American Idol" experts on a new live chat series coinciding with the start of the hit show's tenth season. The weekly "Idol" conversations will super-serve avid fans who crave an inside look at the competition, its talented contestants and their dramatic performances.
The live chats will bring together a core group of "Idol" experts who share the common bond of being uber-fans. Regular participants in the discussions which promise to be lively and provocative will include:
- Richard Rushfield, creator of Idol Inferno (http://idolinferno.com/) and author of "American Idol: The Untold Story"
- Rickey Yaneza, the namesake behind Rickey.org (http://www.rickey.org/), called "the essential 'American Idol' fan site" by Entertainment Weekly
- M.J. Santilli, creator of MJsBigBlog (http://mjsbigblog.com/) and "Idol" commentary contributor to the New York Post and AOL Television
Special guests including past "American Idol" performers and insiders will add another dimension to the conversations. Guests will be announced as the chat series progresses.
The live chats will take place every Thursday at 10AM PT/1 PM ET starting January 20 and running through the end of the "Idol" season in May, The chats will be available to consumers on each of the participating web sites and blogs as well as on Zap2it editorial partner sites and Tribune-owned TV station and newspaper sites.
This collaboration marks a reunion between Kapsch and Rushfield who first teamed together to bring the Los Angeles Times' online entertainment offerings to prominence among consumers and the industry in 2008. Heavy interest in the duo's coverage of "American Idol" at the time helped LATimes.com reach new audience and page view highs.
"American Idol," the most watched reality and competition show in modern television history, kicks off its 10th season tonight on FOX. An off-season shake-up added singer/actress Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith singer/songwriter Steven Tyler to the judging panel to replace the departing Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres and Kara DioGuardi.
Zap2it's comprehensive coverage of the show is aggregated in its "State of the American Idol Union" special section available now at http://www.zap2it.com/tv/american-idol/. From the season's opening audition episodes through the Hollywood and Las Vegas rounds and on to the finale episode in May when the winner is crowned, the "State of the Idol Union" section will serve as the pre-eminent online hub for avid fans of the show.
"'American Idol' is one of our lifetime's true pop culture phenomena so I'm super-psyched to be taking part in this new chat series," said Joseph Kapsch, Zap2it Editorial Director. "Collaborating once again with 'Idol' pundit extraordinaire, Richard Rushfield, as well as M.J. Santilli and Rickey Yaneza is going to be a blast. I'm confident that week in and week out, Zap2it readers who are as fanatical as we are for all things 'Idol' will be more than satiated by these conversations."
"Idol Nation is a vast community, spread across the Internet," added Richard Rushfield, creator of Idol Inferno. "I'm thrilled to be working with these partners to bring it all together in one great chat room where we will break down the critical issues each week of 'American Idol' brings."
Richard Rushfield's latest book, "American Idol: The Untold Story" which chronicles the behind-the-scenes action at the most popular TV show in history, is available in bookstores now. Rickey.org is regarded as the fastest-to-market in terms of posting recaps and fan reaction to "Idol" performances. Created in 2005, MJsBigBlog is a one-stop shop for "American Idol" spoilers, opinion and commentary.
Zap2it is the online destination for more than 8 million TV and Movie fans who want to stay connected to popular shows, films, events, celebrities, and other fans. Zap2it is a service of Tribune Media Services, a division of Tribune Company. For more information about Zap2it, visit Zap2it.com/MediaKit.
About Tribune Media Services
Tribune Media Services' Entertainment Products division is an international leader in entertainment navigation. It provides industry-leading databases of TV, movie and celebrity information; guides in print, online and on-screen formats; and advertising and marketing services to build audiences. For more information about TMS Entertainment Products, visit TribuneMediaServices.com.