Jonathan Cheban: PR King
by LAUREN M. MURPHY
You've seen him making cameos on E!’s wildly popular series Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but this fall Jonathan Cheban can be seen on the same network on his own show, The Spin Crowd. A heavyweight in the public relations world since he opened his firm, Command PR, 11 years ago, Cheban and business partner Simon Huck (who joined the firm seven years ago) have been the go-to guys when it comes to representing high-profile clients and getting the word out on celeb-soaked events. With a reality show about seemingly every industry on TV these days, Cheban and Huck—along with good friend and executive producer of the show Kim Kardashian—thought it was time the world saw what it’s like to work in the frenetic and fast-paced PR world.
“I’ve seen shows about funeral homes, bounty hunters, hospitals, cops and fishermen, and they’ve all been given the opportunity to give insight on their jobs and the reality of their careers,” says Cheban. “Why not tell the story of what people care most about—the magazines, websites and press they surround themselves with every day?” The idea started as a half-hour special called The Spindustry, which aired last February and performed so well E! decided to move forward with an entire season. Cheban couldn’t have been happier with the news, even though it meant putting the good, bad and ugly side of his company on display for the world to see. “Once you commit to it you’re apprehensive for the first couple of days of filming and then you just have to let go. I’m not someone who can hold back,” says Cheban. “After a few days you forget the cameras are even there. We give it really raw.”
With offices in both New York and LA and filming of The Spin Crowd done primarily in LA, Cheban often finds himself on the West Coast and has no complaints about that. “It’s a lot easier when we get hired for things here that involve celebrities,” he says. “All the celebs are already in town, so it’s not a matter of who’s around but who fits the event.”
While running Command PR remains a focus for Cheban, he is looking to launch a men’s lifestyle brand in the very near future and is definitely hoping for a second season of The Spin Crowd. “I really love filming and letting people see how things are done,” he says. “I hope viewers are loving it as much as I do.” How could we not? The Spin Crowd airs Sundays at 10:30 PM on E!
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF E! NETWORK
Cover shoot: September 2014 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.