Jodi Turk-Goldberg’s kitchen was buzzing bright and early on April 30, as more than 50 women from the neighborhood gathered in her south Merrick home by 8 a.m. They snapped photos and chatted excitedly as they sipped coffee, all while a camera crew moved across the room.
Members of Merrick Moms — a group of mothers who share local news and lifestyle tips via a website and Facebook group — were waiting to board a bus to New York City, where they would experience a live studio taping of ABC’s “The Chew.” Network camera crews went along for the ride to document the group’s audience experience, and they were featured in a May 7 segment of the popular daytime television program.
Turk-Goldberg is the creator of MerrickMoms.com and administrator for the Facebook group. The website serves as a place where local parents can learn about special events and read blogs by their neighbors; on the Facebook group, members share personal experiences and discuss Merrick happenings.
The Facebook group was formed after Hurricane Sandy devastated the area, when local residents needed a place to share storm-recovery information, Turk-Goldberg said. It has since evolved, as members have become advocates for local issues, particularly education.
Bridgette Maney, a spokeswoman for “The Chew,” said that ABC producers felt the Merrick Moms group represents the show’s audience well. She noted that one of the show’s executive producers, Mark Schneider, also grew up in the community.
Schneider's experiences being raised in Merrick were featured in a MerrickMoms.com blog post, “From Kennedy to The Chew… How Mark from Merrick Made it in Daytime TV.” In addition to his connection to the neighboorhood, Schneider knows Turk-Goldberg — a media executive who has produced national shows and worked with TV Talent from Phil Donahue and Nancy Grace to Ernie Anastos and Bill O’Reilly.
“He knew of this group and what they do,” Maney said of Schneider. “A lot of the folks who are watching ‘The Chew’ at home are moms themselves who may have similar groups. Since we knew that they were big fans of the show as well, we thought they would be a perfect fit for a feature.”