Question: Michael, give us the dish: What has happened to the Watercooler staff? It seemed like there was a bitter battle between Rochell Thomas and Rebecca Peterson to write about Thursdays, and then Rebecca suddenly left. Rebecca even mentioned Rochell in her farewell column, but it didn't exactly sound friendly. What's the deal? And don't try to put a spin on it — the truth is out there. — Winnie
Ausiello: Here's the sitch about the great Watercooler Controversy of 2004, according to the section's exec producer/spin doctor, Angel Cohn: "There is absolutely no competitiveness between our Watercooler writers. They are a tight-knit team, almost like a little family. Rochell and Rebecca amicably agreed to swap nights, after which Rebecca decided to part ways with TV Guide. Now, way off the record (please don't run this part), I recall that Rochell skipped Rebecca's going-away party, claiming it was her Watercooler night or something. And I recently overheard Rochell complaining about how much Monday-night TV sucks. I'm just sayin'." Thanks for the scoop, Angel! That last part was particularly juicy. If publicists were just half as candid as you, my job would be so much easier.