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Press releases

For Immediate Release September 22,1999
It's A Snap, South Florida's new home and crafting
television program will premiere on PAX-TV, WPXP
Channel 67, Friday September 24, 1999 at 11:00
AM in West Palm Beach and Port St. Lucie Saturday
September 25, 1999 in Dade, Broward, and Monroe
counties on PAX-TV, WPXM, Channel 35. The first
two episodes include tours of the world famous
Mar-a-Lago club in West Palm Beach and interviews
with Donald Trump. A news conference kicking off the
season will be hosted by Mar-a-Lago for the press
on Friday September 24, 1999 (by invitation only).

 

Palm Beach Post Article - Friday September 24, 1999
The following article appeared on the front page of the
Palm Beach Post Friday 9/24/99:

 

Palm Beach Daily News
September 24, 1999
By Shannon Donnelly, Daily News Society Editor

Mar-a-Lago stars in episode of show

It’s sort of like This Old House, except on a different scale.  This Big Old House maybe?

 A new television show is doing the house-and-garden thing, South Florida style, and four of its episode focus on Palm Beach.

 Called  It’s A Snap, the show – hosted by Scott Whiddon and Janie Casoria – tours interesting homes and then goes into a workshop to show viewers how to adapt architectural and decorating features to their own use.

 “Our concept is that we go into nice homes and steal decorating ideas.  Then we go back to the shop and re-create them inexpensively,” said producer Nadine Floyd. “Its champagne decorating on a beer budget.”

 The first two episodes of the show tour Mar-a-Lago.  Episode No. 8 focuses on Boehm porcelain, and visits the Douglas Lorie store on Worth Avenue and Helen Boehm’s apartment.  Nancy Sexauer Walsh’s home is the subject of episode No. 9.

 Donald Trump himself led the tour through Mar-a-Lago, and Floyd said she found the billionaire developer an amiable host.

 “He was delightful.  I was surprised how tall he was.”  Do-it-yourself projects from the episodes include Mar-a-Lago’s angel doors and ideas for a small scale library.

 The show is the brainchild for Floyd and Casoria.  “I produce mostly corporate videos, nothing commercial, and she was working for Prudential Realty and had her own furniture restoration business,” Floyd said, She’s really talented.”  We became good friends.  She wanted to do a video on how to fix up your house before selling it.  Then we thought about doing the craft’s show.  I told her there was already Two Fat Ladies on the food channel.  They don’t need Two Blonde Ladies.”

 

Whiddon is also a do-it-yourselfer.  The chemistry between the two hosts is “incredible,” Floyd said.  “It’s like ‘Lucy and Desi in the workshop,’” she said.  “They work well together.”  Floyd and Casoria lined up their own sponsors to make the show easier to sell.

 The show will air on PaxNet at 11 a.m. Fridays, starting today.   We all have day jobs, and we did this on spec,” Floyd said. “We’ve all been nuts trying to juggle our schedules.”  Floyd is hopeful the show will find an audience.

 I had the voice-over guy in here,” Floyd said, “and he’s watching the tape.  I gave my husband the high sign to speed it up, so he fast-forwards it.  The voice-over guy said, ‘No wait, I want to see this.  My wife would like this.’

 “And the voice-over guy’s union, so of course I’m paying him through the noise while he’s watching  the show.”

 The South Florida Motion Picture and Television Underwriters Society and the Trump organization will host a special preview party for the first episode, said Executive Director Robert Weneck.

 The preview will take place at 10:30 a.m. to noon today at The Mar-a-Lago Club.  Attendance is by invitation only.

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The Herald
September 24, 1999
By Vivi Abrams, Herald Writer

Couple offer decorating tips, home tours on new TV show Janie Casoria had a robber’s field day at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach in February. “There was so much to steal I can’t tell you,” she said with a giggle.

What Casoria stole were decorating ideas, which will be broadcast on a new PAX TV home show that organizers are calling a cross between Martha Stewart and Tool Time. The show, It’s A Snap, is filmed by The Media Lab, a production company at 3250 Stirling rd. in Hollywood. It will preview at 11 a.m. today on PAX TV in Palm Beach. PAX will air the show at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays from Broward County to the Keys starting this week.

Casoria a 53-year-old Fort Lauderdale real estate agent, and co-host Scott Whiddon, president of Causeway Lumber, visit luxurious South Florida homes and show viewers how to duplicate the lavish adornments. Tips from the Trump mansion fill the first two programs. Casoria says Trump was gracious in sharing his home. “He played a little bit with us. He had fun,” Casoria said.

The co-hosts will show how to copy Mar-a-Lago’s 3-foot wooden “angel doors,” – well, not exactly. “Most people don’t have a room for 30-foot doors,” Casoria said. “We scaled down to size.”

The show brings together people who “all have day jobs,” said Casoria, a lifelong crafts enthusiast. She met Nadine Floyd, the owner of the production company, six years ago thorough the Broward Alliance’s film and television committee. Casoria broached the idea of the show about a year and a half ago.

“We did some limited marketing and found a lot of people are really into these home-and-garden style shows,” said Floyd’s husband, John a producer and editor. But many of the shows already on the air were leaving out a whole region of the country. “Most are based up north,” John Floyd said, “Nothing shows South Florida and what we have to offer.”

Homes to be showcased on It’s A Snap will represent Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, Casoria said.

Featured Homes
The homes filmed so far includes those of John Offerdahl, a former Miami Dolphins player, Helen Boehm, a porcelain artist, Nancy Walsh, a Palm Beach socialite and Tom and Ginny Miller, owners of a construction company. Whiddon, 39, said many of the homes belong to his friends, acquaintances and local celebrities.

The first few shows were filmed in the showroom of his Fort Lauderdale business. In future episodes, he and Casoria will appeal to viewers to submit ideas for homes to visit.

Personal Touches
The ideal homes are not the ones decorated by famous designers, but the ones that reflect their owner’s personalities, Casoria said.

“We’re looking for homes where they’ve put some of themselves into it,” she said, “Ginny (Miller) got down on her hands and knees and did so much stuff.” For the next 13 weeks, the show’s producers are paying PAX for the airtime in South Florida, with a potential audience of 1.4 million viewers, said PAX regional sales manager Dennis Arnold. But the future could bring nationwide fame for everyone involved with the show.

Floyd said he hopes the co-star’s personalities will help attract a network to buy and syndicated the show. In one upcoming show Whiddon dons buck teeth and does and Austin Powers impression. “It’s like Lucy and Desi do crafts,” Floyd said.
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The Palm Beach Post
October 3, 1999
By Heather Graulich, Palm Beach Staff Writer


MAR-A-LAGO: What you didn’t see on Pax TV


It’s A Snap! Or maybe it isn’t.
A new home and garden television show based in South Florida tried to make a splash with its debut on Pax TV, only to be told that its two-part episode, filmed at the exclusive Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, violated the town’s rules against videotaping private property for broadcast.

That’s showbiz says It’s a Snap producer Nadine Floyd of The Media Lab, a Broward County-based video production company. After airing the first episode – and tour\ting the second installment – on Sept. 24, Floyd was contacted by town officials and agreed to pull the second episode that was to air on Oct 1. She replaced it with a tour of a home owned by Tom and Ginny Miller in Fort Lauderdale, “It’s a wonderful episode, and I can’t air it,” says Floyd of the second Mar-a-Lago show.

But we can – with the narrative, at least. On page 4I you’ll find a few highlights of the video “tour” of Mar-a-Lago, as told to It’s A Snap co-host Scott Whiddon by Mar-a-Lago house butler and historian Tony Senecal, who told of the home’s history since it was owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post.

The Library:
The library is now the library bar. As far as being comfortable, that is my favorite room in the house. The paneling was from an old estate outside of London. Mrs. Post purchased the paneling and had it sent over here and fit to the room. …Over here is a painting by Tony Bennett. Mr. Bennett will come down here for two or three weeks a year and just paint every day.”

The Monkey Loggia:
“The reason I like this room so much – the wrought-iron work is one thing – but the tile is absolutely amazing. This is all part of a collection of tile a woman from Palm Beach had been collecting since the early 1800s. Mrs. Post bought the collection, all 36,000 tiles. You’ll see it everywhere in the house.”

The Spanish Room:
“The reason I like it so much are the basket balconies – one off of the bedroom and one off of the bathroom – with an incredible view of the ocean. And the fireplace which everyone enjoys … It’s a mosaic of broken tiles.”

The Nursery:
“It was also called the Sleeping Beauty Suite. The castle is there at the beehive fireplace. And the Beauty, as she slept, the wild roses grew all around the room. Now these roses are not an appliqué, this is actually plaster that is built up and then carved back. It’s a very tedious process. (And) all the furniture’s built to scale for a child. …in the bathroom, Mrs. Post had two rows of tiles, child height installed – they’re all nursery rhymes and (Post’s daughter) Dina Merrill will tell you this is where her governess taught her to read.

The Patio:
“You might say she also imported the stones in the patio, because they came from Long Island. (Husband) E.F. Hutton had a hunting reserve there, and she fell in love with the beach stones at the hunting reserve and literally brought them down here by the traincar load.”

The Ballroom:
“The ballroom was built in 1961-1962 so Mrs. Post would have a place to square dance, which was one of her favorite forms of recreation. She was very good at it. I’m not sure that everyone shared the same enthusiasm for the square dancing, but they knew that if they didn’t attend that, you probably wouldn’t get invited to anything else.”

Why Trump wanted to make Mar-a-Lago into a club:
“The biggest reason is to perpetuate the property. Mr. Trump is a realist. He never wanted to imagine this house becoming a white elephant.”
The rest of the show features Whiddon and co-host Janie Casoria showing viewers how to make wood-paneled look cheaply in their own homes. Floyd says that part of the show will probably be salvaged for a future episode, because in every show of It’s A Snap, Whiddon (president of Causeway Lumber) and Casoria (a former real estate agent-turned-decorative artist) tackle an inexpensive craft project.

Floyd has purchased air time on Pax TV for 13 episodes of It’s A Snap to air at 11 a.m. Fridays in Palm Beach County. In the next episode, Whiddon and a Casoria visit Miami Beach and work on a mural project.

But the “Lost tape” of Mar-a-Lago will stay that way, says Floyd. “I don’t want to fight city hall.”

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The Sun Sentinel
October 1, 1999
By Charlyne Varkonyi Schaub, Home and Garden Editor


New TV show demonstrated how home can look rich on a budget


Janie Casoria and Scott Whiddon can look at an interior designer’s work and calculate how to translate it into the kind of decorating someone living in a starter town house could afford .

The designing duo has packaged this ability in It’s a Snap, a do-it-yourself show that premiered on PAX-TV last week with a visit to Mar-a-Lago, the Palm Beach estate built for cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. The 17-acre estate is now home to Donald Trump’s private club.

But after the airing of the first episode, further filming on the island was banned by the Town of Palm Beach. Trump, no stranger to run-ins with Palm Beach officials, was cited for violation of an ordinance that prohibits filmmaking, videotaping and movie producing for any commercial purpose in the residential district of the island.

John and Nadine Floyd of Media Lab, producers in Fort Lauderdale decided to pull the second Mar-a-Lago episode after Trump was cited on Monday. “If we air the second show, Mr. Trump will be in violation,” Nadine Floyd said. “I feel so bad for Mr. Trump. (His staff) was all so nice to us. We don’t want to be responsible for getting him into more trouble.”

Upscale on the cheap

Each episode of the 30-minute show begins with a tour of an upscale residence or building. Then Casoria, a Fort Lauderdale real estate agent and crafts maven, and Whiddon, president of Causeway Lumber, give step-by-step instructions on how to create an inexpensive knockoff in the workshop. The show ends with what they call a “Magical Memory,” a quick and easy craft project. In the first installment, the co-hosts showed how to mimic the 16-foot-tall angel doors in Mar-a-Lago’s palatial two-story living room. Whiddon explained how to miter moldings to put together a series of frames on an average home’s doors, and Casoria showed how to create plaster-of-paris angels that are screwed into the door in the middle of each frame.

The “Banned” episode included a workshop segment on re-creating the look of Mar-a-Lago’s library by using a wooden door as paneling and giving the illusion of books with wallpaper imprinted with a pattern of faux books. Floyd said she will attempt to salvage the idea and package it with a visit to another library.

Another show, which was to feature socialite Nancy Walsh’s Palm Beach estate, will not be videotaped. This week’s substituted episode features the home of Tom and Ginny Miller in the Rio Vista section of Fort Lauderdale. Casoria and Whiddon show how to create two camouflage ideas with mosaics and a special ceiling treatment, Floyd said.
Future shows on the docket include a visit to porcelain bird queen Helen Boehm’s apartment in West Palm Beach and the Weston home of former Miami Dolphin turned restaurateur John Offerdahl and his wife Lynn.

He said/She said

The idea for the show germinated when the Floyds realized they knew two people who could work together in a ‘he said/she said” show format. Whiddon had hired the Floyds to edit his commercial videos, and Nadine knew Casoria because they were both involved with the Broward Alliance Film and Television Commission.

“John told me he had a friend who was good at arts and crafts and a few days later we all had lunch at the Tower Club in Fort Lauderdale,” Whiddon said. “We didn’t know that the idea would take until about four months ago. We started filming three months ago.”

The Floyds took their idea to PAX TV, the self-described “family” network based in West Palm Beach. “We are very pleased to have the program on PAX,” said Charles Hansen, general manager and vice president of WPXP-CH.67 in West Palm Beach. “It is indicative of the family-friendly programming that’s part of our philosophy.”

One Sink Medium Rare

Casoria and Whiddon play off each other well, and some of the banter can be amusing, such as Casoria’s anecdote about transforming a chest of drawers into a vanity. After cutting a hole in the vanity for the sink, she painted the cheapest sink she could find and put it into the oven to bake. “My poor husband came home and said, ‘What do I smell for dinner?’,” she said with her characteristic laugh. “I told him: “It’s a sink. I got to take it out. Its done.”

Although promoters bill It’s A Snap as a combination of Martha Stewart Living and Tool Time, this locally produced show is more like HGTV’s Carol Duvall Show with a sprinkling of Saturday Night Live. The projects come off far more arts-and craftsy than high-end design, and the scripts could benefit from some professional tweaking.

In the first episode, Whiddon’s puns were painful. He said we have a “real royal flush” lined up and it was their “chance to play our Trump card.” And taste is sometimes lacking. For example, in the banned episode, Casoria leaves the ladies’ room of Mar-a-Lago with toilet paper dragging from her shoe.. It’s doubtful that lifestyle Martha Stewart would ever say that’s a good thing.

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