TCM Names “Ultimate Fan” as On-Air Host

postIt’s a story right out of the movies: plucky newcomer dances her way from the chorus to center stage. And where else but TCM would a classic movie dream like that become a reality?

Turner Classic Movies announced today that Tiffany Vazquez, the winner of the TCM Ultimate Fan Contest in 2014, will be the new host of the channel’s Saturday daytime programming block. The 29-year-old joins Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz as just the third on-camera host hired in the network’s 22-year history and the first woman.

Beginning in June, Vazquez will provide intros and outros for a collection of iconic titles airing between noon and 8 p.m. Eastern on Saturdays, including REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955) on June 4, RIO BRAVO (1959) on June 11, ON THE WATERFRONT (1954) on June 18, and DARK PASSAGE (1947) on June 25. She’ll typically host three or four films each Saturday and her introductions will also be available on the Watch TCM streaming app for a week after broadcast.

Vazquez first came to TCM’s attention two years ago when she was one of hundreds of fans who submitted a video for a contest celebrating the channel’s 20th anniversary. Her winning entry was a black-and-white intro for Jules Dassin’s THE NAKED CITY (1948), wherein the New York native waxed noirish about the film in a trench coat, while the city skyline loomed behind her. TCM judges were impressed with her “content, staging, and creative use of effects, which resulted in the video looking like the movie.”

Vazquez went on to introduce the film at the TCM Classic Film Festival in April of 2014 and again on-air a few days later with venerable host Robert Osborne. She also emceed a month of relationship-themed films as part of the network’s Spotlight franchise in December of 2015 and was a roving correspondent at the 2016 edition of the film festival last month.

TiffanyWhile actress and author Illeana Douglas has become a popular fixture on the channel and at the film festival (and hopefully will continue to be so), Vazquez will be the first female on-camera personality with a regular presence on TCM. She’s also the first person of color to be a TCM host and the youngest in the channel’s history. Ben Mankiewicz was 36 when he joined the channel in September of 2003 and Robert Osborne was 61 when TCM launched in April, 1994. As regular viewers know, Osborne has been off the air for some months tending to a “health issue.” At the Meet TCM staff panel that kicked off the 2016 TCMFF, V.P. of Studio Production Sean Cameron had this to say about the patron saint of classic film:

“He’s doing really well. He’s in good spirits. He’s just got more he’s got to do and a little more time off. But we’re working with him and we’ll have him back on the air soon.”

While Vazquez may be younger face than some TCM viewers are accustomed to, she comes to her new role with a background in film scholarship, including a graduate degree from New York University in cinema studies, a day job as a senior editor in charge of film content for GIPHY, and a past position at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. She also brings with her the infectious enthusiasm and hunger for knowledge that unites classic film fans of all ages.

“TCM does an incredible job in giving you an education; for me it was a secondary film education,” Vazquez said in a video released by TCM today. “It’s just amazing to me that I can get to do this. It’s really, really a dream come true.”

 

About willmckinley

I'm a New York City-based writer, video producer, print journalist, radio/podcast host, and social media influencer. I've been a guest on Turner Classic Movies (interviewed by Robert Osborne), NPR, Sirius Satellite Radio, and the official TCM podcast. My byline has appeared in Slate.com and more than 100 times in the pages of NYC alt weeklies like The Villager and Gay City News. I'm also a social media copywriter for Sony's getTV and a contributor to four film-and-TV-related books: "Monster Serial," "Bride of Monster Serial," "Taste the Blood of Monster Serial," and "Remembering Jonathan Frid."
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40 Responses to TCM Names “Ultimate Fan” as On-Air Host

  1. I was so happy when I heard the news yesterday! I think she’s going to do a wonderful job hosting 🙂 Also, she reminds me a lot of Raquel so I already like her immensely haha!

  2. julia says:

    I haven’t been all that impressed with her intros, she seems stiff and needs to relax.

  3. Pingback: TCM's Summer Under the Stars 2016 — Immortal Ephemera

  4. “She also emceed a month of relationship-themed films as part of the network’s Spotlight franchise in December of 2015…”

    Oh dear. Is this the young lady who introduced “These Three” as starring Miriam Hopkins, Merle Oberson and Joseph Cotten? I don’t blame her so much as she was surrounded by others who, presumably, should know better and fixed it prior to air. Personable and sincere young woman. I hope and expect she will do well.

    • willmckinley says:

      My understanding is that TCM has writers who prepare those intros. I really don’t think the viewer can hold factual errors against the on-camera talent, who is just reading what was prepared for her (or him) and may, in the case of a newbie, not feel empowered to question a script put before them. That said, would Robert Osborne have said, “Hey. I’m not sure this is right”? Sure. But there’s only one Robert!

      • CB says:

        The “Ultimate Fan” should be able to properly pronounce the names she’s reading. Does the crew hate her enough to let her so obviously fail week after week? It’s as if nobody wants to give her a clue.

  5. Lee Ann Pittard says:

    Will there be another Ultimate Fan event for 2016 or 2017 where one submits a 90 second video in a contest to appear on TCM as a guest host? I stumbled onto this contest that took place a couple of years ago. I would love to try this. I don’t know what I would do without TCM in my life. I love the old classic movies! They do not make great movies anymore that families can go see together without being very embarrassed from a suggestive or graphic scene, or just getting grossed out by gutter humor and profanity.

  6. Diane says:

    This young lady has a future ahead of her, but totally inappropriate for TCM, I almost change the channel as she “reads” the history of the following movie.

    • Tammy says:

      Agreed. I mute or change the channel. She seems so drab.

      • SC Norman says:

        Ditto – I pounce on the mute button OR quickly change the channel – she is a little annoying. Am sure she has a great future but not as announcer.

  7. Debra says:

    I agree with Diane. I watched her Spotlight intros and I’ve watched her for the past two weekends. She’s not cutting it for me. In all things media, youth is the thing. Got to get those “young’uns” in there so they can bring in the younger demographic. I started watching TCM in 2008 and Robert O. was a big part of the draw for me. Looked forward to coming home from work each day and settling in with soothing, charming, mature Robert who soothed my work-worn nerves and got me in the mood for great classic films. Guess that will never happen again. But, I’ve got my remote and I can mute Ms. Vasquez just like I (sometimes) mute Ben Mankowitz. The movies themselves are the thing after all.

    • Neville Ross says:

      So then, Debra, why not just buy the films you want on DVD, and cut the cord so that you don’t have to look at her? You can’t expect Robert and Ben to be here forever, and they do need younger blood to host this channel’s movies (I’d also argue that they need to start airing more movies from the ’70’s, 80’s, and soon enough, the ’90’s to get said younger people to watch the channel more, but that’s another debate.) You sound like the sour old people saying ‘Get off my lawn, you kids’ and not a mature person who understands that this needs to happen.

      Yes, she did do a few mistakes, but that’s not her fault, and the people who write said copy have to get better at doing so. You and others like you have to give her a chance and not be so judgemental.

      • Elsa says:

        Why are you trying to shut Debra down, Neville? You are being judgmental yourself. Why do people get so up in arms when someone expresses a less than delighted opinion about Tiffany? Debra was in no way rude. I don’t want to be loaded down with thousands of DVDs. I like to stream and watch TCM. We can love TCM and still express our opinions about what we don’t like. Why is that perceived as disloyal by so many TCM fans?

        I’m all for a young person as a host on TCM. But they could have done better than Tiffany. She’s not engaging and not very knowledgable. I know tons of people in their 20s that are far more passionate about classic film. I hope she gets better but so far she is not an interesting new addition. She just seems very average and is not good in front of the camera.

      • Claudio says:

        Actually my friend i disagree with your comment. This channel is for golden era movies, not movies from the 1970s, 80s, 90s. There are other channels for those decades. This chanel only should show movies from the 1950s and before. The GOLDEN ERA get it?

    • Neville Ross says:

      So then, Debra, why not just buy the films you want on DVD, and cut the cord so that you don’t have to look at her? You can’t expect Robert and Ben to be here forever, and they do need younger blood to host this channel’s movies (I’d also argue that they need to start airing more movies from the ’70’s, 80’s, and soon enough, the ’90’s to get said younger people to watch the channel more, but that’s another debate.) You sound like the sour old people saying ‘Get off my lawn, you kids’ and not a mature person who understands that this needs to happen.

      • Bertha Jade says:

        No movies from the 70s we kinda pushing it with the 60s. Movies from the 70s to present are no way near as good as the older ones save the 70s and present movies for AMC and I’m not feeling the new host yet either😛….

  8. Whoever coached the young lady trying to learn how to be a successful hostess needs to be fired. The incessant flipping of the hands is distracting and immature and most of all, unprofessional!!!! Stop with the flippers, already!!!

  9. I don’t mean to be harsh, but she does seem stiff and hasn’t much in the way of screen presence. I assumed she knew nothing about film, based on her presentation, until I Googled her CV. Her bona fides are impressive, but I think she needs a bit more coaching. At times she sounds like a high school student presenting on the school television channel.

  10. lor says:

    Believe TCM needs a more ‘seasoned’ emcee. Understandably, Ms. Vazquez is in a learning curve (fewer hand gestures, IMO), only time will tell.

  11. V says:

    Maybe the next person to host will be an African American woman or man look forward to that.

    • SC Norman says:

      Actually – there was an African American female fan years ago who spoke eloquently about her love of old films – why can’t they get her back. She had presence and poise.
      And thank you some of us have been digitizing these films for years ready to cut the cord.

  12. Jeff says:

    She’s great

  13. Dropzone says:

    Hmmmm have to agree with everyone with their thoughts on new host,dry,a little to monotone ,no zip of excitement etc etc. but I think when she settles in a little more she’ll pop and shine! Let’s give her some time? She’s a little cutie and coming from a single parent too,I wish her the best! Get those kinks out though ,Tiffany . Settle in kid your going to be ok! You might remember this Tiffany,”Here’s looking at you kid” remember that movie classic ? It was just on and is truly a long standing terrific oldie,aka classic.

  14. Claudio says:

    So here we are we have to hire a woman, minority, and young so we can get on the band wagon. I don’t like her. She’s stiff. She does a poor job.
    Hire an old actress from the 1940s plenty of those around.

  15. lorraine montoya says:

    She needs more zip!

  16. lorraine montoya says:

    Tiffany is boring.

  17. Debra says:

    She is just plain….TERRIBLE!!!

  18. Pat tapper says:

    Give the girl a chance. She will loosen up. It won’t make me stop watching TCM.

  19. alipalix says:

    Tiffany Vazquez may be camera-ready, technically (sort of) proficient, but she sorely lacks charisma and her delivery is far from compelling. Facts are delivered without real inflection, giving them an air of distracting arbitrariness. I’m sure she has passion for movies, which is great, but a career in front of the camera is not her forte. End the experiment and find someone better.

  20. CB says:

    The “Ultimate Fan” should be able to properly pronounce the names she’s reading. Does the crew hate her enough to let her so obviously fail week after week? It’s as if nobody wants to give her a clue.

    • Tammy says:

      I think she did good for the Breakfast at Tiffany’s event. I was not looking forward to her intro and outro but she did a good job, imo.

  21. Eric says:

    Just watched the end of Gunga Din and she comes on with her serious face and lack of emotion and essentially says the movie is racist and was remade a couple of times, implying it needed to be remade. Is this her typical delivery? She came off like a young college social justice warrior trying to impress her progressive teacher.

  22. William R. Maines says:

    Can’t believe all the negative complaints about Tiffanyl! I am a huge fan of TCM and of her! I think she is great! I hope she has along career with TCM. Would love to meet her! She is sweet, lovely, and I definately like her. Very charming! Thanks TCM ! Love Robert, Ben, and Tiffany! De

  23. David Heimark says:

    I, too, am surprised at the nitpicking comments of some the comments here. I immediately googled her/TCM because I was excited to see someone under 40 on air and intrigued/happy that “young people” appreciate classic film. She’ll do just fine and if she engenders further appreciation of classic film, we win.

  24. Steve Loza says:

    Bravo William and David – I find her charming and informative, and I think some people think that everybody has to have some kind of flashy, absorbing personality to be on screen – Tiffany represents the way a lot of people feel and talk an think – and yes, in a more reserved fashion than others – We live in a culturally and intellectually diverse world, and Tiffany brings us another view from reality –

    Steve Loza

  25. Rose Marie says:

    She is terrible I can’t watch her. I turn off until her segment is done.

  26. Bob Boze Bell says:

    Let’s ignore, as best we can, her poor-to-beyond-lousy TV host skills. (She could grow, right….over a long period of years, as she excruciated the viewers….but hey! There’s a hope in there somewhere, right?)
    Let’s ignore, in the same spirit, how little she seems to know. She is, after all, a Film Historian, with an MFA or such…..so surely we must be wrong. When she declares, as she did, Will Rogers to be the most famous comedian of the 19th Century, well….she’s a film scholar, right? We must be wrong. We must be fools. She must be…if not right, well…. she’s now an official TCM host.

    But let’s not, please, ignore how clueless, how insight-free, how Wiki-nonsensical she is. How little she offers when it comes to ideas, thoughts, fresh thinking, her generation’s response to the film she’s introducting, or for that matter, any generation that she hasn’t looked up and now parroted, as if she vaguely seemed to understand the orignator of whatever thought or theory she’s amateurly announcing at….ish.

    She’s tragic, a deer in the headlights, and the sooner TCM acknowledges it, the better for all.

    The Mankiewicz moment seemed to signal an increase in genuine appreciation, in wit, in substance. It’s easy to understand how Tiffany V, apparently a genuine fan, might have been brought forward.

    But really? Frankly, she makes Drew Barrymore look like the Wise Voice of a Generation. It’s humiliating, especially for the avid viewers, no matter how well-meaning. TCM needs to find a graceful way out of the situation, and move on.

  27. B. Hollister says:

    Tiffany is not a good fit- I avoid watching TCM on Saturday afternoons because of her. She would probably do quite well in a different occupation- not hosting classic movies. Please consider replacing her, thank you.

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