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Alex & Jake signing off

Jake Lansburgh, left, and Alex Beinstein, hosts of the GrassRoots TV show "Meet the Press with Alex & Jake," interview Aspen High students Caitlin Doyle and Olivia Fanizza on Wednesday. The girls will take over as the hosts of the show in August. (Mark Fox/The Aspen Times)
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After nearly 60 episodes on GrassRoots TV, Aspen High seniors Jake Lansburgh and Alex Beinstein are calling it quits on “Meet the Press With Alex & Jake.”On the show they founded, they’ve interviewed the likes of former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. At the same time, they’ve focused the show locally – on Aspen High teachers, the mayor of Aspen and other community members. Lansburgh and Beinstein, who are heading to college in the fall, taped the final show Wednesday; it will air the week of May 22. For the second half of the show, they will introduce the two new hosts, who answered a call they put out at the high school. “Not only were they the best candidates, they were the only candidates,” Lansburgh said.Caitlin Doyle and Olivia Fanizza looked around the studio, at the lights and cameras, and seemed just a little nervous, while the old hats were nonchalant.

Now it’s in the hands of the new hosts, who have it for the next two years. Doyle and Fanizza said they have some ideas for changing “Meet the Press.” One possibility is they may take a topic, like religion, and dedicate three or four shows in a row to it. “We’re going to keep the politics,” Doyle said, responding to a statement that they would focus on arts and community events more. “If we were to bring in a businessman or economist, we wouldn’t know what to say to them.”After some light chitchat during the last taping, Lansburgh and Beinstein doled out some serious advice. “When you have teachers on, that’s when you want to act really good,” Lansburgh said.Then Lansburgh and Beinstein said their thank-yous for the past two years of shows. They included classmate Justin Faurer, who has stood behind the camera or soundboard for nearly every taping.

“When you’re around these interesting people, it’s easy,” Faurer said after the last episode. He brought cookies to most tapings and said he remembered most guests by what type of cookie they ate.”What a privilege it is to be able to go on TV and say whatever you want,” Beinstein said.”Alex, it’s been a pleasure, my friend,” Lansburgh said.The two of them have a couple of really tough months ahead. They’re headed off to a backpacking trip in Europe, starting in London, then to Amsterdam, Netherlands; Berlin; Munich, Germany; and wherever their hearts lead.



They said the show has definitely helped them out. It will look good on resumes. But they took it a step further by interviewing some college admissions officers from various schools they were looking at.It paid off for Lansburgh, who is going to George Washington University. And Beinstein didn’t fare too badly, either: He’s off to the University of Chicago. Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is jstonington@aspentimes.com


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