So What Do You Do, SallyAnn Salsano, Television Producer and EP of The Real ?


If it seems as though there’s nothing on TV but talk shows and reality shows, you likely have SallyAnn Salsano to thank for that. After getting her start as an intern on the iconic Sally Jessy Raphael Show, Salsano launched her own production company and was responsible for bringing some of the most popular — if not controversial — reality shows to air, including Jersey Shore and spinoffs Snooki & JWoww and The Pauly D Project.

But Salsano’s not all about hard-partying coeds. She’s also behind milder programming like HGTV’s Design Star, CMT’s Nashville Star and, most recently, The Real, a fresh, youthful take on the ensemble daytime talk format. These eclectic interests, along with her crazy work ethic, have cemented Salsano’s rep as one of the most sought-after producers in the industry and are indicative of her own tendency to binge on a good TV show or 10. “This business is all the time, and you have to love it,” she says. “It’s not the kind of thing that you get into just because it’ll be fun to pass the time and pay the bills. It literally takes over your entire life, so you have to really be sure this is what you want to do.”

Name: SallyAnn Salsano
Position: Founder and president, 495 Productions
Resume: Interned at Sally Jessy Raphael and The Howard Stern Show while in college. After graduation, she became an audience coordinator and subsequently a producer at Sally before moving to LA to try her hand at reality TV, first on the ill-fated Richard Simmons’ Dream Maker and later on The Bachelor. Launched 495 Productions in 2006.
Birthday: January 24
Hometown: Farmingdale, NY
Education: BS in accounting with a minor in communications from the University of Missouri
Marital status: Married
Media mentors: Lisa Levinson and Sally Jessy Raphael
Best career advice: “When I interned at Howard Stern, I couldn’t afford to take the train, so my dad dropped me off every morning at 4:45 before he went to work. Everyone thought I wanted to get ahead, but truthfully, I was just broke. But I saw how much you could get done and how you could get ahead in the mornings, and Howard Stern said, ‘Listen, I don’t care why you get here so early, but I probably wouldn’t lose that.'”
Guilty pleasure: Reality and daytime TV
Last book read: “My version of a book is Us Weekly. I read about 80 magazines a month, cover to cover, and I love the weeklies.”
Twitter handle: @SallyAnnSalsano

How’d you get your first big break in TV?
I was an intern at the Sally Jessy Raphael show, and I absolutely loved it. Literally, after my first day there, I was like, ‘This is what I want to do.’

What parts of the industry most attracted you?
I liked the type of people that worked in the business, as well as how unpredictable it is. I think I kind of thrive on the behind-the-scenes chaos.

After leaving Sally Jessy Raphael, did you have a defined career plan in place or were you just open to whatever opportunities came your way?
Basically, I interned at Sally and then went back to school and got a minor in communications. And then I went back and interned a second time at Sally, and I interned at Howard Stern as well. TV was where my passion lay, so I stayed in touch with the Sally show, and if something happened in the Midwest and they needed me to go and do something, I would do it. And the day after I graduated, I got in my car, I drove to New York, and two days later I was sitting at my desk at the Sally show with my first job. I was the audience coordinator, and I left there about five years later as a producer and moved to Los Angeles.

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