"She's not afraid to be confrontational," Carroll said of Williams. "She's direct. That's going to help in distinguishing her." Thus the "little go-round with Omarosa," as he called it, only helped the cause. "In New York, it was all over the place," Carroll said.
The producers still seem to be trying to find exactly the right sales pitch for her as a personality on TV, which due to the involvement of high-dollar advertisers requires hosts to be more politic than on talk radio. Ira Bernstein, co-president of Debmar, groaned when I mentioned a show last week that featured a gag photo involving a giant phallus (don't ask) and took issue with my characterization of Williams as "polarizing."
"You've got to walk a fine line," admitted Mort Marcus, a veteran TV syndication executive who runs Debmar with Bernstein. "We want the show to be fun and energetic and controversial but tasteful."
The host says amen to that. "I want celebrities and their publicists to understand," she said, that " 'The Wendy Williams Show' is a wonderful place to come and promote your product." She points out that her interview with Vivica A. Fox was "lovely," despite the fact that she asked the actress about an Internet sex tape that purports to feature her.
"I only know how to be me. I'm not a polished journalist. I don't conduct my interviews that way. I am at times a very awkward woman," she said. "Listen, I am sophisticated. At times." She giggled. "But I'm also a clumsy mess."
Maybe, but she's more like a force of nature. Later this week, she's parachuting into Los Angeles for a quick visit, after announcing to her husband, Kevin (who's also her manager): "We need to go out to L.A. just to check the temperature of the Wendy."
So don't be surprised if she turns up at the Ivy or some other celebrity-choked spot. She'll be hard to miss.
"I'll stand out from everybody else," she said. " 'Who is that woman with all that damn wig hair?' "
The Channel Island column runs every Monday in Calendar. Contact Scott Collins at scott.collins @latimes.com