Downtown Julie Brown dances her way into Baltimore

August 28, 1992|By Stephanie Shapiro | Stephanie Shapiro,Staff Writer

On a visit to Chicago Wednesday to tout Revlon cosmetics, she tossed out the first ball at the White Sox-Blue Jays game, and picked up a souvenir jersey from Carlton Fisk.

Today, Downtown Julie Brown hits the Baltimore 'burbs, where she is hosting a dance party in a shoe department "with progressive attitude" at the Nordstrom in Towson Town Center that will open Sept. 11.

What to wear? The 32-year-old responds, "I don't know. It's steamy? Hot? I'll probably wear what I usually wear, basically nothing." (Don't believe it -- the former World Disco Champion never goes anywhere without something funky by Betsey Johnson.)

From the Super Bowl to Minnesota's new Mega Mall, as a veejay, deejay, TV correspondent and high-class huckster, the cheeky former host of Club MTV has turned "being there" into her life's work.

Jettisoned last April from MTV when the dance show Club MTV was canceled after five years, Downtown Julie Brown landed at Westwood One Radio Networks, where she counts down contemporary dance hits on the weekly series, "American Dance Traxx." (3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays on WOCQ-FM, 103.9 in Ocean City and Salisbury.)

But she's still smarting over her career move. MTV "took the show off the air without any reason," she says in a subdued, sleepy voice in a telephone interview from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Chicago. "Dance is bigger than ever. The reason they took it off was because a new circle of higher-ups came in. They wanted to have their day in the sun, and wanted to make it look like they were making a change. I think they got it all wrong. Maybe they killed Club MTV, but they didn't kill me."

Downtown Julie Brown is also a "contributing correspondent" for "Inside Edition," a syndicated television program produced by King World Production. The program airs at 12:30 a.m. in Baltimore on WMAR (Channel 2) through Sept. 6. Starting Sept. 7, the program will air at 4:30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays on WBAL (Channel 11).

On the scene at Super Bowls '91 and '92, and bound in Spandex, leather and, according to one report "a pair of strategically placed highway cones," Ms. Brown became infamous for conducting interviews in the arms and laps of various football players.

Some who took their pigskin seriously objected to her "personal approach" to journalism. Downtown Julie Brown responds: "I got into the business because of my personality. . . . People can strip your confidence away, but they can't strip who you are away."

Referring to other female journalists who have had difficult encounters with ballplayers, Ms. Brown says, "I would have no problem going into the locker room, let me tell you." And she scoffs at allegations of sexual harassment in the locker room. "Guys get naughty because people are so stuffy," she says.

So, as Downtown Julie Brown would say, "Shut up and dance!"

DANCE PARTY

What: Nordstrom "Block Party."

Where:Towson Town Center, use Nordstrom entrance.

When: 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Call: Baltimore County Office of Substance Abuse, (410) 887-3828.

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