Sunday, May 15, 2005

Second APPRENTICE Winner Kelly Perdew Works in Small, Windowless Office Next to the Assistant to Donald Trump´s Wife

As the winner of the second APPRENTICE, Kelly Perdew should be in line for a top job in the Trump organization. But you´d never know that from his office, reports Associate Editor Ramin Setoodeh in the May 23 issue of NEWSWEEK (on newsstands Monday, May 16). Perdew´s desk is in a small, windowless space next to the assistant to Donald Trump´s wife, Melania (Perdew has no assistant). The walls are bare, except for a dry-erase board and a U.S. map, stuck with pins marking the distributors he´s signed to buy his boss´s new line of bottled water, Trump Ice.

Spend some time with winners of the first two seasons of APPRENTICE and the reality of this reality show becomes clear - the apprentices´ $250,000-a-year gigs are less about climbing the corporate ladder, and more about using their APPRENTICE celebrity to promote Trump, reports Setoodeh. "It's a little bit too much to ask someone to be the president of an $800 million building when they haven´t had that kind of experience," says Trump.

Perdew´s calendar is filled with many distractions -- speeches to entrepreneurs about Trump and THE APPRENTICE, deadlines for writing a book about how the military teaches business skills, and acting in an ad for the Department of Defense. Bill Rancic, the first season´s winner who was ostensibly put in charge of the $800 million "Chicago: Trump Tower" project, seems to spend as much of his time reliving his TV star turn, too, reports Setoodeh. He´ll warm up a crowd of real-estate brokers or potential buyers by talking about THE APPRENTICE then the marketing team takes over to talk specifics.

The full article is available at