`Chick' hatches career
By Tom Jicha
Posted June 14 2004
Tina Malave used to be one of "The Chicks at 6" on Y-100's raucous morning drive radio show. She's resurfacing as one of the chicks on 6. Malave is the host of Next Action Star, which premieres tonight on WTVJ-Ch. 6 in Miami-Fort Lauderdale (and WPTV-Ch. 5 in Palm Beach).
The NBC summer reality show -- American Idol for Arnold Schwarzenegger wannabes -- is the highest-profile gig Malave has landed since leaving South Florida five years ago to take on Hollywood. It was a gutsy move. In South Florida, she was busier than the National Hurricane Center, a career she built through pluck and drive. She started as a producer for the short-lived WFOR-Ch. 4 magazine The Scene but quickly wound up in front of the camera as an entertainment and fashion reporter. The show didn't last long, but she had made a name for herself. Before long she was doing the same kind of reports for Geraldo, Hard Copy, Maury Povich, E!'s The Gossip Show and Fashion Emergency and eventually Deco Drive on WSVN-Ch. 7. "I was kind of everybody's Miami correspondent," she said.
Business was a pleasure. "It was great going to the front of the line at all the clubs," she said. The downside was, she had to get up at 4 a.m. for the radio show. Still she often told herself, "I am never leaving here."
Her change of heart came when she realized the limited ceiling away from the major media centers of New York and Los Angeles for someone with her aspirations.
The same determination and tactics that fueled her career in Miami worked again out West. She took any small job, as long as it was a step toward the big time. She took a shot at co-hosting a talk show, That's Life, which Fox test-marketed without success in a few cities. In a small-world coincidence, another of the hosts was Beau Griffin, a former rival from Power 96.
Although Malave had developed a preference for being in front of the camera, the necessity to support herself led her to return to producing on the syndicated series The Other Half.
The feast-or-famine nature of the business is underlined by the fact that following one of her down periods, she's involved in three shows this summer: Next Action Star, Stakeout for Court TV and Savvy on WE.
Her role on Next Action Star is limited. She doesn't even appear on opening night, which is turned over to the coast-to-coast initial casting process.
She makes her debut Tuesday, welcoming the finalists to the posh Los Angeles home they will live in while competing for roles in a made-for-NBC adventure flick. Her assignment is to set up each scene, explaining to the contestants what is about to happen and what is expected of them. "They wanted someone who could be personable, self-deprecating and friendly with the contestants," she said. "Basically, I'm an authoritative den mother."
Another way to put it is, one of the "Chicks at 6" is now a mother hen.