Hosting New Year's Eve is the highlight of my life!
New York, NY (PRWEB) December 31, 2011
Blanton teamed with Jeff Straus, the President of Countdown Entertainment, and the Executive Producer of Times Square 2012, to create the role of the live event Emcee-Host for the show watched around the world by more than 2 billion people.
Don Blanton is no stranger to show business. He was one of the youngest radio personalities in the country as well as a DJ & pioneer in the disco era.
After spending many years with his mentor, Dick Clark, in Times Square, Blanton realized that there needed to be entertainment as well as a host to inform the loyal crowd as to what was going on during the show. As the story goes, 11 years ago, the NYPD was afraid to have someone on a Public Address system, as the fear was that the crowd would become too excited and break through the barriers. "They did not have the budget for a celebrity host,"Blanton said as he volunteered as the host to prove that his theory was correct.
11 years later he is still at the helm and volunteers and donates his talents free of charge. Don says, "I do it because I truly love it. It is the highlight of my life! I had also wanted to share the spotlight with Dick Clark, and my first big year was the year that Dick became ill. I never got my moment with him, but we are still close friends to this day." Don and Regis Philbin created a tribute to Dick Clark in Times Square and sent the feed to Dick's hospital room. Blanton remarked, "I wanted Dick to know how much, we all missed him, as that was the first year he (Dick) had missed in many years." This year also marks the 40th anniversary of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve on ABC.
Blanton remarks, "The first year we were allowed six lines, and the script grew every year, until now, it is 52 pages of dialogue." Blanton, along with Countdown Entertainment and the Times Square Alliance created many performances in order to create the event you see today. Don remarks, "The people were becoming bored with just the ball drop, and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve only showed the people in Times Square as a backdrop for performances they had taped in June or July." Today the event boasts live performances, and every network and media outlet covers the the Times Square Celebration around the world.
Don was also responsible for introducing the television hosts, Ryan Seacrest, Anderson Cooper, and Carson Daly to the crowd before their broadcast. Countdown Entertainment and the Times Square Alliance created the wishing wall in the Times Square Information Center where people write their wishes on pieces of confetti, which are dropped at midnight, and became one of the highlights of the Toshiba hourly countdowns.
Don is also the CEO and President of The WOW Factor, Inc., an award-winning production company which manages and creates the content for some of the most famous signs in Times Square. (e.g. Coca-Cola, Toshiba, TDK, Hyundai and Xinhua News)
Blanton and his team at the WOW Factor also produce the official countdown animations and graphics shown underneath the ball at midnight on the Toshiba-Vision screens. These countdown animations have been used in hundreds of shows and documentaries, as well as featured in the newly released Gary Marshall film, "New Year's Eve."
In the past, Don created the hourly countdowns with Jeff Straus which were sold to Coca-Cola and for the first time in history, the cameras showed the ball drop and cut to the Coca-Cola sign for the official countdown. He also helped sell some of the past major sponsorships, including General Motors.
Don Blanton is truly a Times Square icon, and was honored at the 100th Anniversary of the "Crossroads of the World" as being 1 of the 100 people who has changed the Times Square landscape and has helped to build Times Square 2012 into a world class event!