Jonathan Cheban Builds Out The Dishh

Entrepreneur, reality TV show star and man-about-town Jonathan Cheban has known entertainment journalist David Caplan for a long time, dating back to his days as a publicist and Caplan’s work for People, Star magazine and other outlets. So when Cheban was looking to add a managing editor to his nascent entertainment and lifestyle website The Dishh, he knew Caplan was a perfect fit.

“Right now, David has got six or seven writers that he’s dealing with,” Cheban tells FishbowlNY via telephone from Miami. “Because I travel so much, I needed someone who really knows what he’s doing and can help me expand the platform, move into a TV show with it as well and do video. I’ve known David for a long time and I just love his personality.”

The Dishh, for which Cheban is partnered with technology and media company Black Ocean, is divided into four playfully titled verticals: Drooling (food), Need This (products/gadgets), Star Struck (entertainment) and Don’t Judge (lifestyle/opinion). Caplan, who started Monday, says he’s open to freelance pitches.

“If something makes you drool and salivate, we want to know about it!” he explains. “As for products, we’re tech heavy and love Apps, since Millennials are a key demographic for us and they live and swear by the hottest Apps. We love the chicest of the chic when it comes to fashion, so cool sneakers and designer collaborations are hot for us. And across all verticals, we definitely want exclusive interviews and exclusive news items. We want to break news but also lead the news discussion. There are plans to add to the staff in the new year.”

Caplan (pictured) will continue to freelance for select North American TV outlets and contribute to the New York Post, as well as maintain his personal website Having worked closely with Harvey Levin on, the Canadian-educated journalist (York, Ryerson) says he takes inspiration from Levin and fellow multi-multi-hyphenate Ryan Seacrest.

“We’ve added an  entire green-screen studio to our offices,” says Cheban. “The video content will include myself doing reviews on restaurants and tech products. Just a whole gamut of stuff, including some live broadcasts. There’s even room for a small studio audience if we want to do any kind of talk show.”

Given Cheban’s long professional and personal association with the Kardashians, we were curious how coverage of Kim and her sisters will be served up on The Dishh moving forward. “To be completely honest, when we first started, there was kind of like a rule in the office that we couldn’t write about the girls without showing it to be first.”

“But since then, it’s become almost impossible to not otherwise write about them, whether it’s Kendall doing the Chanel show or Naya Rivera‘s comments about Kim’s Paper magazine cover. I gave my “Jonathinks” opinion on Rivera’s [critical] comments, because she is friends with Kim, so I just thought it was kind of like an underhanded thing to do. I kind of ripped into her, and it went viral.”

“The Dishh was originally envisioned to be about food and expanding on my Instagram. However, since then, it’s grown into this broader lifestyle kind of thing. I want to cover pop culture in a fun way and I also didn’t want to do one of those sites where there are fifteen boxes on the main page. I want each story to have its own life.”

For a look at Caplan’s new digs, check out the video below. We’re talking four-story, converted North Chelsea firehouse.

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.