What a perfect television family they seem to be; They all get along so beautifully; each respects the others on the team. They fit together and compliment each other so well; don’t you envy working with people you respect that way? Ads for their programs show the entire team; not only one star celebrity.
REALLY? Do your believe that hype? Do you buy those carefully controlled, groomed, color coordinated images? Do you think TV pairings are as cordial and supportive as the producers want you to believe they are? Turn on a morning news show on any leading channel. The anchors and supportive team members smile at each other, make little chit chat between stories, and ad lib during down time.
I cringe every time a reporter approaches a victim of an unspeakable disaster, crime or other newsworthy story, as they shove a microphone into the person’s face asking, “What were you thinking at the time?”
The interviews: are they supposed to be informative to us, or to spotlight how much the anchor already knows about the subject? They all seem to love putting their own words into the guests’ mouths to improve the meanings of their words. Are anchors insinuating that we should all going back to second grade?
Have you ever noticed how the news team have to show the audience how much fun they’re having together? They laugh so whole heartedly, loudly and all at once, that we cannot hear or understand anything being said. They appear to be each others’ best supporters and biggest fans. But are they? Sometimes years after the show goes off air the truth about those relationships comes to light.
Harry Reasoner hosted a news program years ago. Suddenly he was told that a co-anchor would be assigned to co-host his show. The new person on scene was Barbara Walters. Years after the program was discontinued the story was revealed about the hateful attitude Reasoner had toward being forced to have a coanchor. He resented sharing the credits and spotlight with her.
Bryant Gumbel hosted the Today Show, and after a while stories came forth about his despotic demeanor towards everyone working there.
…And more recently on the recent Today show, one day Ann Curry is the adored co anchor and the next day, without warning, she is sent floating out to sea on an iceberg. In her place comes a “trophy anchor.” The younger, glib new woman who has ambition written all over her face. Watch your step, Matt Lauer!
Look carefully; try to feel the chemistry. Some laugh at colleague’s jokes. But most of them are picking through ongoing conversations for a chance to break in with their own lines. They crave that all important, attention. It’s embarrassing when one makes a “clever” comment and nobody else thinks it is clever, funny, or worthy of notice.
Television anchors will bulldoze over a colleague in order to have their sage insights heard. You can recognize the Alpha person: just look at whom the others look at to speak first; the one receiving the bows and kowtows.
Who among them do you think really delivers news, and who touts their own screen images? Who among them can speak unscripted with knowledge of domestic or foreign incidents? Is there anyone of the caliber of Walter Cronkite, called “The most trusted man in America?” Who among them could you trust, and who is TV’s “news candy?”