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Updated 11:00 AM May 17, 2005




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Regent Brandon appears on TVs "The Apprentice"

He didn’t get to say “You’re fired,” but Regent David Brandon, chairman of Domino’s Pizza Inc., got a chance to weigh in on who should stay and who should go on the May 5 episode of NBC-TV’s “The Apprentice.”

Brandon joined three other top corporate executives to help Donald Trump interview and evaluate candidates battling to become the next apprentice.

After conducting interviews of the three remaining contestants on the May 5 episode of TVs gThe Apprentice,h U-M Regent David Brandon, chairman & CEO, Dominofs Pizza, Inc., joins other top executives to advise Donald Trump. From left: Brandon; Darlene Daggett, president, U.S. commerce, QVC, Inc.; Howard Lorber, chairman, Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate; and Greg Brenneman, chairman & CEO, Burger King Corp. (Photo courtesy NBC "The Apprentice")

“You’ve had a number of different roles. Do you have a short attention span?” Brandon asked apprentice Craig, a 37-year-old firefighter and shoeshine business owner from Conley, Ga.

After the interviews, Trump assembled the executives in his Trump Towers boardroom. “You’ve all been amazing business leaders,” Trump said, and then asked for their evaluations.

Brandon was first, telling Trump that Craig was “hard to pin down. There wasn’t a lot of substance.” When the executives agreed that Craig offered the fewest specifics on past accomplishments, Trump fired him.

That leaves candidates Kendra, 26, a Boynton Beach, Fla., real estate marketer, and Tana, 37, an entrepreneur from West Des Moines, Iowa. “Tana is a very capable future leader,” Brandon told Trump on the show.

Domino’s Pizza earlier had a major role on the show March 31 in an episode where contestants created their own style of Domino’s pizza to sell. Trump also has done two commercials for the company.

“It’s the single biggest public relations success we’ve had at Domino’s in many years,” Brandon said May 6. “There are 13 to 15 million watching ‘The Apprentice’ each week; it’s just a phenomenally visible television show. It has created excitement among franchisees, among team members and among customers, and furthermore it was fun.”

Brandon was called to New York one day in early November for the taping, along with the other three executives. Each candidate was interviewed for about a half hour.

During his New York visit, Brandon had his first chance to chat with Trump, whom he met casually years ago. “I had a chance to spend some time with him. My one comment on Donald is when the camera was off he was a very polite, very appreciative guy that was very social. I very much enjoyed chatting with and getting acquainted with him. Once the camera is on he comes off differently.”

Brandon speculated that Trump wants to show the public an all-business persona. “I believe he views the nature of the show as creating intensity, when in fact in real life that is certainly not the way he comes off,” Brandon said.

Similarly, he said only the toughest questions he and other executives put to the contestants were shown on TV.

Since the airing of the show, local media outlets including WDIV-TV and WJR radio have contacted Brandon, and friends from around the country have been calling. “I’m hearing from people I haven’t heard from in years,” he said.

So far, Brandon has received only positive reviews for his national TV appearance. “I don’t think anybody is going to call me up and say ‘You were terrible,’” he joked.

“The only person I’m really concerned about was my mother and she thought I was terrific,” Brandon said.

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