At a Hotel, on a Tour, Not on Vacation, Day 1

Today's cuppa: Chai spice black tea, chased with lots of Beverly Hilton coffee.

Strike in the SAG? Of the many actors asked today at the summer edition of the Television Critics Association Press Tour whether a strike was likely, none seemed to think it would happen (although Ed Asner, talking during a session for Hallmark Channel movies, seemed to regret that reality).

Day one of Press Tour began for me at breakfast with Matt Frei, anchor of "BBC World News America," which airs on BBC America, and his American executive producer Rome Hartman, formerly of CBS.

Frei and Hartman revealed that former "Nightline" anchor Ted Koppel has joined the program as a contributing analyst, covering the Democratic and Republican conventions and other news, starting later this week -- a topic discussed later in the day during the press conference; click here for more details.

Though British, Frei proved anything but stuffy and reserved, but instead was lively, witty and engaging. A syndicated feature story will follow, but for right now, here are some brief audio excerpts.

On the British electoral process:

On how to do international news without shelling out heaps of cash

On the eloquence of an average American (a particularly fun one):

Tomorrow morning includes a press conference with the cast of AMC's "Mad Men," which launches its new season on July 27. Just because I like you, I won't make you wait until then to hear a couple of snippets from my interview with star Robert Morse, who won a 1961 Tony Award for his starring role in "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," set at a corporation and in an era eerily similar to those of "Mad Men."

We talked in the set for the Japanese-themed office of his character, Bertram Cooper, head of Sterling Cooper, the early '60s Manhattan ad agency at the core of the series.

On his audition and an unexpected encounter:

On coming full circle from "How..." to "Mad Men," and a bit of a song:

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