Cindi Rinehart- Do I look like I'm eking?

By Cindi Rinehart

In my business, it is said that any press is good and I've had my share of really great press ,but there was this one entertainment reporter that didn't think much of what I did for a living. He said and I quote:” Cindi Rinehart, who EKES out a SEMI CAREER talking about soap operas ..blah….blah…blah.


I eked out a living????? I was furious!

My Program Director, Dick, was not only my boss, he was my mentor and friend. I have many stories to tell you about our relationship but, then, this will do for now.

Anyway, I immediately stormed into Dick’s office, read the article to him and said..”Dick, this guy is just a horse's ass to say that I eke out a living,eke!! What the hell does he mean? …eke…I’m gonna call him and” Dick immediately held up his hand and said, “Nooooo Cindi, slow down. I don’t blame you for being upset but don’t jettison off! The viewers will read it and probably deluge his phone with angry retorts. Let the viewers take care of him you need to take the high road on this one.”

I said, “Come on Dick just let me at him!” Dick said, “Listen, Cindi, if someone calls you about this I want you to take the high road and say nothing. Period. “

Dick had that “Don’t you dare!”, look. Well, that was that and I stormed out, but sure enough the viewers musta filled his message machine with nasty missives because he called to apologize. I thanked him and hung up. I went to Dick and told him about the call and that I was a good girl. Then, I took one more stab at Dick and said,” “Look,Dick, I just want to, you know, give him a call and ask him if I can buy him lunch to thank him again for the press.”

Dick said,”Why would you do that??? I said, “Simple, I would ask him to bring his paycheck and I’ll bring mine and we’ll see who’s freakin’ eking a living!!” That never happened, but what a juicy thought.

From thoughts to things. One of the things that I loved about my job was all the traveling I got to do! Back in the late 90’s, my producer, Sandy and I decided that we should go to New York and do a “Behind the Scenes” segment on All My Children.

That also encluded shooting behind the scenes and interviewing the stars. I had met Kelly Ripa (Haley) on a previous trip to the set of the AMC and we just plain became immediate friends. I made sure that she was on the list of folks to interview.

When Kelly saw me in the hallway, she ran right up to me! We hugged and she said, “Cindi, let’s do my interview in my dressing room, you can have a smoke and we’ll talk!” We set up the camera’s and while that was going on, Kelly and I just chatted away. I brought up the fact that Kathy Lee was leaving the Regis show and she should go for her job!

Kelly said, “Cindi, no way. I mean come on, you think I could do her job?” I said, “Of course you can do her job, are you kidding me, get an agent and get on it, girl. What, you don’t want to work 9 -5.?” Kelly said she’d think about it. We finished the interview and flew back to Seattle.

A few years later while hosting Regis and Kelly, Kelly nailed her first sitcom, Faith and Hope. She and her co-host were doing satellite interviews from NYC to promote the show. A satellite interview means that they sit in a studio and interviewers from all over the country take turns interviewing. That means that anyone waiting for an interview can see the person before them interviewing. Does that make sense? Anyway, I was on the list to interview them. All the sudden Kelly and Faith popped up for me to interview and when Kelly saw who it was, she started banging on Faith’s arm and saying, “Faith, this is Cindi Rinehart, she helped me get my job with Regis! Hi, Cindi, thank you, thank you, thank you!!” She and I camera hugged and I said, “Kelly, cut it out, I only told you that you could do the job and by God, you’re doing it, Congrats.”

I am so proud of her. What a nice Thank you. But wait, let me digress. That may be the end of the Kelly Ripa story, but not the end of my trip with Sandy to the Big Apple. It was Sandy’s FIRST trip to NYC and I wanted to show her some of New York highlight! Did we ever find that needle in the haystack or were her memories forever lost in a random cab? Stay tuned!

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