Dan Gross: He's tat 'Master' with 100G

Local tattoo artist Shane O'Neill wins Spike TV contest: "I wasn't surprised but I wasn't expecting it either."
Local tattoo artist Shane O'Neill wins Spike TV contest: "I wasn't surprised but I wasn't expecting it either." (FERNANDO LEON / PICTUREGROUP)
Posted: March 07, 2012

LOCAL TATTOO ARTIST Shane O'Neill is Spike TV's "Ink Master." O'Neill, 39, won $100,000 and a profile in Inked magazine on the show's finale last night.

O'Neill, who operates Infamous Tattoo Co. locations in Willow Grove and in Middletown, Del., told the People's Paper's Lauren McCutcheon that he had a feeling all season that he would win.

"I was winning the most challenges. At the very end, I wasn't surprised, but I wasn't expecting it either," O'Neill said.

He added that before the show he was booked for months but that since he appeared on "Ink Master," hosted by Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro, "The amount of people who want appointments has gone through the roof."

O'Neill declined to comment on whether he would raise his rates, now about $200 an hour. "I have some friends who charge $400 an hour, which is ridiculous. I came from a normal family, blue-collar set-up. I know how hard it is to make money. I'm not pulling miracles off here; I'm just doing tattoos."

On location

An NBC pilot called "Do No Harm" shot along Summit Street in Chestnut Hill yesterday and will be shooting around town for a few more weeks. It stars "Cosby Show" actress Phylicia Rashad, Steven Pasquale and Alana De La Garza. According to IMDB.com, here's the plot: "A brilliant neurosurgeon has to battle his own alter-ego so that he can live a normal life." Heavy.

Pizzi is out

Reporter Justin Pizzi is out at NBC10 after the station chose not to renew his contract, which is up at the end of March.

We reported last month that Pizzi, who spent seven years at the station, was suspended for a week for prematurely tweeting about Joe Paterno's death.

We heard that he was disciplined again last week over a Twitter post about the alleged Jennifer Lopez nipple slip at the Oscars. (For the record, we are professionally trained to observe these things, and that so-called J. Lo slip doesn't count.)

No comment from NBC10 about either social-media transgression, but we can tell you from experience that there is an ongoing push from news organizations, including Philadelphia Media Network, encouraging employees to post on social media, and then attempting to monitor and sometimes punish their behavior. But, good news, though, for those following us on Twitter @PhillyGossip: We would certainly never curse a reader on Twitter. Anymore.

Pizzi declined comment about his split from the station, but tweeted, "After seven years at NBC10, new adventures await! I've worked with a lot of wonderful people at WCAU, many I'm fortunate to call friends."

Friends of Pizzi say the St. Joe's Prep and Syracuse grad, who recently earned an MBA from Drexel, is pursuing career options in and out of TV.

An NBC10 spokeswoman confirmed that Pizzi's contract was up at the end of March and that the station decided not to renew it. "We wish Justin the best," she said.

Let's twist again

Chubby Checker and the Trampps will help Jerry Blavat celebrate the first anniversary of his Wednesday SugarHouse dance party from 5 to 7 tonight. Author Rich Podolsky, who wrote The Man with the Golden Ear, about record producer Don Kirshner, will also celebrate with the Geator. Blavat is just back from the Seminole Hard Rock hotel-casino in Hollywood, Fla., where he and Frankie Valli hosted the Philly/South Jersey Boardwalk Get Together.

Charitably minded

St. Matthew CYO hoops coaches Tom Shickling and Tyler McHugh tend bar at Casper's (3510 Cottman) from 6 to 9 tonight to raise travel costs for the team's trip to Erie this weekend for the state CYO championship. For info, call 215-681-6904.

Visit PhillyGossip.com for Dan's latest updates or follow @PhillyGossip on Twitter. Have a tip? Call 215-854-5963, or email grossd@phillynews.com. For recent columns, visit philly.com/DanGross.

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