Saturday, May 28, 2011

Check out what's new at

The Terry Anzur Coaching Blog is moving to a new and better format. From now on, you can read all of my posts at You can still access the old posts here, but the new and improved website will allow me to post news updates more frequently. And, best of
all, it's your one-stop shopping for all of the services offered by Terry Anzur Coaching Services:
-station or web site talent coaching packages;
-media training for individual s in journalism and public relations;
-journalism best practices for emerging democracies.
Here's something else that's new: a company logo! It was designed on in a competition involving graphic artists from all over the world. The winning design, by an artist in Colombia, South America, managed to capture the theme of power performance and star quality in global media.

Many thanks to my former USC student, J.R.Raphael, for the web design. He is also profiled in my book, "Power Performance: Multimedia Storytelling for Journalism and Public Relations." The student has truly become the teacher; he's a contributing editor to PC World, an authority on all things Droid and founder of a very entertaining site called

Another bonus: the new site will link you to a 20% discount code for the book until July 30.
See you on the new! As always, I welcome your comments.

For those interested in my travel adventures, there's a new blog:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Power Performance in Tornado Country

The NBC Nightly News of May 24 featured Brian Williams against a backdrop of tornado destruction in Joplin, MO. This wasn't just a star turn by an accomplished broadcast storyteller. Williams was returning to his roots, the community where he paid his dues as a novice TV reporter.

Brian talked about his early career when I interviewed him for my book, "Power Performance: Multimedia Storytelling for Journalism and Public Relations." He could barely live on his poverty-level paycheck, and worried that no one would ever hire him at the next level. If you'd like to read his story and others, check out the link: and use the code VB237 for a 20 percent discount.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

At the Cronkite Awards for Political Journalism

Along with my former student Teresa Jun, I was one of the official screeners for the Cronkite Awards for Excellence in Political Journalism. I had a chance to view coverage of the 2010 midterm elections from TV stations around the country. I also got to meet some of the winners when the awards were handed out at USC on April 26. Gwen Ifill of the PBS Newshour got a big laugh when she told the audience about her encounter with a college student who claimed to get his political news from comedian Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. Gwen quipped: "Jon Stewart watches me!"
Another standout among the winners was Christina Boomer, a one-woman band in Phoenix who managed to twitter while asking the Arizona governor a tough question and shooting video of the answer. No wonder she got an award for individual achievement!

Teresa, by the way, is the accomplished weekend anchor of KOLD-TV in Tucson Arizona. She was tested earlier this year when she anchored coverage of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Of course, her talent and journalism skills were obvious and I'm proud to have played a small part in her development.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Multimedia Writing in Las Vegas

They still call it the Broadcast Education Association, but professors at this convention are looking forward to the future of video for web sites and mobile devices. Kim Fox of the American University in Cairo organized a panel on Teaching and Assessing Media Writing and I was honored to be among the speakers.Kim, a former NPR journalist, has been able to incorporate the historic events of the Egyptian revolution into her courses by encouraging students to conduct interviews and blog about their own beliefs. Curtis Holsopple, a Mennonite teaching at the historically black Virginia State University, talked about the need to teach basic writing skills for all platforms. Trevor Hall from Boise State confirmed my belief that fancy writing programs dreamed up by textbook publishers only confuse and annoy the students. The skills taught in my book, Power Performance, can be practiced on any basic word processing program or on any newsroom software students might use in class or on the job. Sunny Skye Hughes from the University of Maine managed to keep us all on schedule while taking video and pictures of the proceedings.
We had a great exchange of ideas with those who attended. For teachers who couldn't be there, you can get a free examination copy of the book by emailing your course details to Rachel Herbert at You can buy the book at a discount on by putting in the code VB237.
Being in Las Vegas for the day gave me a chance to revisit the many things I don't like about this city. I totally agree with my son that it's better to save your money and visit the real Eiffel Tower or Venice canals. Intrigued by the ads for the new Cosmopolitan, I dropped by to see bars dripping in crystal chandeliers. I guess the theme of that place is bad taste. There are some beautiful spots like the spring garden at the Bellagio, but a day of shopping revealed an overpriced assortment of evening gowns and tshirts. My favorite attraction, Quark's Bar outside the Star Trek exhibit at the Hilton, is gone. The hotel seems shabby and lifeless without the roaming Klingons and Ferengis.I also stopped by the NAB show, which has evolved into a technology fest without the presence of RTDNA, which has moved its convention to New Orleans in September. You have to love the latest version of a live truck -- downsized into a Smart car.
Beam me up, Scotty. I'm done here.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

R.I.P. Flip

One of the best products EVER is the Flip camera. It slips easily into a purse or a briefcase and with the touch of a button, it's ready to record an hour or two of video, depending on the model, and it can even be in high def. Then, the flip-out USB port and self-contained software make it a snap to edit, make a simple movie and instantly post it to the internet to share with friends.
I especially like the battery powered models. If I'm on the road, I don't have to hunt for an electrical outlet and a USB port to recharge; just slip in fresh batteries and I'm good to go.
My coaching clients love the Flip. For private clients who are learning to be comfortable on camera, the Flip is much less threatening than massive TV gear. I can instantly show their progress from the beginning of the session to the end. It's a good ice breaker in group sessions when I have everyone introduce themselves to the Flip camera, and it's a sneaky way for me to record a name and a face for each participant. I've sometimes joked that I could finance entire foreign trips with a suitcase full of Flip cameras. I brought one as a gift to the Maldives and the entire country wanted one! I could have sold lots of them for double the price. Unfortunately, we couldn't get Cisco to ship overseas. I also got the cold shoulder from Cisco when I tried to work out a deal for a mass purchase for my students.
Which brings me to one of the dumbest business decisions EVER. Cisco is plugging the plug on the Flip. Read the press release here:
The irony is that if you go to Cisco's site, there's endless preaching about the importance of online video. Sure, the Flip isn't perfect. The built-in microphone is cheesy and I was really excited when they came out with a model that allows for a port to plug in a real microphone. I bought a brand new Flip Ultra HD in anticipation of the microphones being available. I'm still waiting!
I can't even imagine life without Flip. I bought one for my brother for Christmas, and I can count on getting a video of every time my neice gets a base hit in a softball game. I've used mine to record and share the musical talents of my son and all of his friends. Even stupid pet tricks.
According to Cisco, the Flip can't compete with the video capabilities of smartphones and tablets. So I guess at my next coaching session, I'm supposed to hold up a phone and tell my clients to speak into it? Here's hoping that some company with an understanding of this useful product will take it over and support Flip fans everywhere.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

High School Journalism Stars at USC

Speaking at high school journalism day always restores my faith in our profession, no matter how much the technology may change. The University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism holds this event twice a year, with support from the MCormick Foundation. When I spoke to high school students in the early 1990s I was an anchor at KCBS-TV and most of them wanted to know about the typical career path in TV News: get your college degree, go to a small town and work your way up to the network level. Some things haven't changed. Most of the students still want to be on TV and most say they are interested in entertainment or sports, rather than hard news. However, the career path has changed. They must learn to be proficient in all media platforms. They might have more success as online journalism entrepreneurs.
My co-presenters were KTLA news photographer Phil Ige and Owen Michael, the online producer for KABC-TV. Phil is such a rock star in front of an audience that I wonder why he doesn't do more reporting in front of the camera. He entertained the students with the story of how he broke into the business when hard news broke out near Mt. San Antonio College, and he shot dramatic video of a police standoff that was picked up by the local stations. He also showed video of a San Diego reporter who was attacked in the field during an investigative report. He reminded the students that safety is job one: "No story is worth your life."Owen's style was a bit more reserved, but it was fascinating to hear him break down the web site elements of a big story that was unfolding as we spoke: the massive earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan.
Putting it all together was Annenberg special event organizer Diane Guthman. The technical support from USC's Jim Yoder made the presentation flow smoothly. Thanks!
My message to these students is to get busy NOW. There are plenty of stories to be told in their own schools and communities, so why wait? They have all the tools they need to upload their work to CNN iReport or YouTube. My focus is on video storytelling for broadcast and the internet, and it was a chance to shamelessly plug my book, "Power Performance: Multimedia Storytelling for Journalism and Public Relations."Students often hear that the future of journalism is grim, with low pay and uncertain career prospects. I hope we reminded them that this business can be fun!Shameless plug: the book is available for pre-order at Enter the discount code VB237 to get the 20% discount price of $31.96. Teachers can go to the site to request a free review copy of the book. is selling the hardcover library edition for a LOT more money.

Update: the student reviews are in, and the presentation was a hit! Sample comments:
"Terry was my favorite speaker because she had... experience and knew what she was talking about."
"She was relatable for me, being a woman in journalism."
And you have to love the student who wrote: "Terry was by far the most interesting. I enjoyed her presence. I look forward to reading her book."
Students also got the message from Phil's video on the dangers of investigative reporting. They liked Phil's energy and Owen's insights, as well as my video examples showing the difference between a dude with a cellphone camera and a real reporter.
I wish them all the best as they begin their brilliant careers!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What We Can Learn From "The King's Speech"

With all of the Oscar buzz about "The King's Speech," I thought I take advantage of this teaching moment to make a few important points about talent coaching for on-air news anchors and reporters, and for anyone who needs to appear in front of a camera for online video.

First, there are a lot of bad talent coaches out there. At the beginning of the movie, Prince Albert is asked to put glass marbles in his mouth by a speech therapist who fails to get results with a "one-size-fits-all" coaching exercise. Geoffrey Rush's character, Lionel Logue, takes the time to address the specific, individual issues that are holding back his royal client's communication skills.

Another disaster occurs when the prince's father, King George, tries to improve the stammering son's performance by standing over him and commanding, "Relax!" It doesn't help your performance when the person who signs your paycheck demands that you "be conversational" without any further guidance.

Of course, stammering is a serious impediment that may require treatment by an expert in speech therapy. Most people who advance to the level of professional news anchoring and reporting don't stammer. But they often need the help of a talent coach to eliminate other types of static that is interfering with their performance. Some of our most celebrated broadcasters, such as NBC's Tom Brokaw and ABC's Barbara Walters, have noticeable speech defects. Yet, they are effective communicators. On the other hand, it's possible to have perfect diction and fail to connect with the audience.

What works? Logue insists on "trust and total equality, here in the safety of my consultation room." Talent coaching takes place in a safety zone where clients can experiment with changes in their performance that they could never risk on a live program. No, I don't ask my clients to swear at the top of their lungs, but we do breathing exercises, arm flapping and a few other things to break down the phony anchor facade and encourage an authentic performance. What happens in coaching stays in coaching. Or, as Logue puts it, "with complete privacy."

In addition to teaching skills, it's also important for the talent coach to have significant experience in front of the camera. As a Shakespearean actor, Logue knew how to project the image of a king. He understood how to size up a grand stage and prepare his client to take commeand. But, at the moment when the new king faced the challenge of preparing his country for World War II, Logue's advice was simple: "Say it to me as a friend."

Just as the stammering monarch in the movie had to deal with the new technology of radio, those of us who make our living in journalism and public relations must learn to use multimedia to reach our intended audience. Whether you are a veteran or a beginner, it helps to have a talent coach to bring out your true multimedia voice.

Get started on your coaching package at

A version of this post has also appeared on a highly recommended web site for news professionals:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Power Women in Whittier

Empowering women through multimedia journalism and public relations doesn't always mean traveling halfway around the world. The Soroptimist Club of Whittier invited me to speak at their Feb. 15 meeting, and it was a dynamic group of women in business who are passionate about improving the lives of women and girls everywhere. They were a great audience for my talk about storytelling and political reform in the Maldives and how the techniques of multimedia storytelling can be just as important for anyone with a message to send or a product to sell. Preparing for the speech gave me a chance to get acquainted with the many good works of the Soroptimists, especially in the area of combatting human trafficking around the world. When the members join hands in solidarity and recite their pledge, I have no doubt that these powerful women will make a difference.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Eyes (don't) Have It

Michele Bachmann is a rising star in American politics but she made a rookie talent mistake when she delivered the Tea Party response to President Obama's State of the Union address.
Check out the video on Notice that Bachmann is not looking into her camera and not talking to the camera as if it were a person. I'm told that she looked at a second camera that was recording her speech for a Tea Party group, instead of the main camera that was broadcasting her live performance. Notice how the lack of eye contact makes the overall impression kind of creepy. Bottom line: Viewers will judge your credibility by your eye contact. Be sure you adjust your studio conditions to give you a comfortable line of sight with the viewers and, obviously, know which camera is on!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Best dressed for the anchor desk... and the story

A website called Styleite has come out with its list of “Best Dressed Newscasters of 2010.” Here’s the link:
What does it take to make their list? Wearing lots of black seems to be the calling card of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Diane Sawyer. The listmakers have an odd obsession with Mika Brzezinski’s shoes, despite the fact that newscasters’ feet are rarely seen on TV.
CNN’s Fredericka Whitfield is praised for a “bold piece of statement jewelry.” Since when are newscasters supposed to be making statements with their jewelry? The people who made this list don’t seem too familiar with the number-one rule for effective on-camera appearance: Notice the person, not the outfit. While I am NOT a hair and makeup teacher, I do mention appearance issues when they interfere with delivering your message on camera. Other guidelines are:

Stick to solid, bold colors.
Avoid all white or all black.
Avoid shiny fabrics, ruffles, prints and patterns.

For women:
-an open V neckline is the most flattering.
-avoid chunky jewelry that draws attention away from your face.

Good examples from the Styleite list are CNN’s Betty Nguyen and FNC’s Megyn Kelly, although Kelly’s cleavage and bare arms would be too daring for some markets or time periods. Keep in mind that these are national news presenters who may receive help with their wardrobe in the form of a consultant, a clothing allowance or freebies from garment manufacturers.

I’d like to nominate a few people that I've already mentioned on this blog. Scroll down to read about Rochelle Ritchie, the multimedia journalist who let her chemically straightened hair go "natural" and New York anchor David Ushery, who stopped wearing a tie for his weekend newscasts. I suspect that these changes made each of these presenters seem more “casual, comfortable and connected” to their respective audiences. If I were a news director, I’d experiment with a casual Friday where newscasters could dress more like their counterparts in most other American workplaces. Find out what your audience thinks.

There’s an old saying about business attire: “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” It also applies to on-camera talent. If your goal is to be the friend who connects with viewers on multiple media platforms, you might want to embrace “business casual.” On the other hand, when I teach in developing countries where journalists are trying to establish their credibility, standard business attire is essential for both men and women. There’s also the angle of “dressing for the story.” You wouldn’t wear a t-shirt to a White House news conference or a coat and tie to a forest fire.

Who’s on YOUR best dressed list of news anchors and reporters? Send in your nominations and we’ll publish your feedback in a future post.

Note: the original version of this post first appeared in Professor Terry's Coaching Corner on

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Social Media Boot Camp: Video Rules

It's time to update your social media strategy to include video!
That message was loud and clear at a Social Media Boot Camp for CEOS, presented by a Splash Media. The Dallas-based firm provides one-stop shopping for firms who want to outsource their marketing through social networks. According to presenter John Larsen, search engines favor sites with videos. "People would rather watch the internet than read the internet," he declared.
About half of the 60 business owners in the room got that "deer in the headlights" look as they realized that they will have to appear in front of a camera. The Splash social media package includes the use of a five million dollar production facility in Dallas, with the goal of producing at least one video a month for the company's website. The on-camera talent is generally the CEO of the business. "This is not the amateur hour," Larson said.

So, in theory, everyone who is marketing a product on the web is going to need a talent coach like me! If you are going to spend upwards of $60,000 a year on social media marketing, doesn't it make sense to spend just a little more to make sure you deliver a power performance in front of the camera?
The free workshop included some awesome examples of power performance and storytelling, but my favorite was this one from a company called Blendtec. Check it out on their site,, or on YouTube, where it has gotten millions of hits. These guys will throw anything into a blender, including a brand new iPad!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Out of Time! Out of Breath! Out of Luck!

First, I have to say I'm a big fan of Martin Savidge. The first time I heard his voice on the air I thought it was  Bill Kurtis. They sound very much alike. Savidge can usually be counted on to deliver a polished and professional performance, as well as solid reporting. However, in this clip he violates one of my most basic rules for effective TV newscasting. Take a look.
Delivering a news story on live media is similar to flying an airplane. You have to be sure your cockpit is safety checked and ready to go, so that you don't crash and burn. You wouldn't want to fly with a pilot who waits until the last second to jump in front of the controls before taking off. And you don't want to get your news from someone who slides into the seat at the last minute.
Professor Terry's rule: be in the studio at least 5 minutes ahead of time. Pay attention to your audio check and test the level in your IFB. Try to get a look at yourself in a monitor to fix any appearance issues. Check the prompter distance, your chair height, and any last minute instructions from your producer if you have one. You are ready to fly!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Professor Terry's Coaching Corner

I've just started a new column for, a new website by the former editor of TVspy, Tom Petner. You can check out the site for the latest news about the broadcast and online news biz, as well as my talent coaching tips. Check it out!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Going Natural

Multimedia is changing audience expectations for on-camera talent. News presenters and program hosts are in contact with the viewers/users 24/7, on the mobile phone, on the computer, or on the TV. People no longer seek out big voices announcing the news from the mountaintop. On the internet, that "old school" delivery is often presented as a parody of credible speech. Today's news consumers prefer to spend time with an intelligent friend, someone they'd like to meet for a cup of coffee at Starbucks.  As a talent coach, I teach techniques for making delivery more "real." While I'm not a hair and makeup teacher, appearance issues are part of the package. The audience wants us to look "real."

An African-American reporter for WPTV in West Palm Beach has decided to let her chemically straightened hair "go natural" during sweeps. As reported on the Maynard Institute's web site, Journal-isms, she also produced a sweeps series on her transformation. Positive reaction so far has included this comment from former CBS morning anchor Rene Syler: "...our world is shaped by the images we see; young black girls need to see more women in high profile jobs sporting their natural hair." I suspect the new 'do makes Rochelle Ritchie more "real" to her viewers/users who can't afford the $9600 she claims to have spent on straightening procedures, not to mention the risk of exposure to the harsh chemicals involved in the procedure.
Here are the before and after pix; you decide.
The natural look has always been controversial. Back in the 70s, black women had a better chance of being hired if they didn't have a look that news directors (almost always white men) considered to be too "ethnic." In this case, the management of Rochelle's station actually encouraged her to be herself and share the experience with her audience. That's progress.
What we can all learn from this: in the multimedia world, the only look that is wrong is one that is fake or phony. The hair should be nothing more than a flattering and non-distracting frame for the face. I encourage on-air talent to work with their local resources to achieve this professional but approachable look. Now that we're all doing more with less, who has time to fuss with a fancy hairdo?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shoptalk: A History Lesson

The parent company of the website TVNewser has announced it is buying, which brings an end to a colorful sidebar in TV News history. Perhaps you could say it died with Don Fitzpatrick, the legendary consultant who founded the industry newsletter as Shoptalk, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and people still communicated mostly by phone and fax machine. News directors in the 1980s  received their daily dose of industry gossip by fax, and copies were furtively passed around to those "in the know." Shoptalk reflected the freewheeling atmosphere of TV newsrooms in those days and included juicy speculation about affairs in and out of the newsroom. Such antics led to threats of legal action, so the site tamed down as it became a daily email "must-read" for the  masses toiling in news cubicles with all the charm and color of an insurance office. Nowadays it offers little more than a roundup of stories about TV News, as it is covered by other media. A much better site is, edited by Tom Petner who almost managed to revive TVSpy before it slipped into irrelevance,  its "watercooler" chat board dominated by a few nobodies hurling lame insults mostly at each other. RIP Shoptalk. It was fun while it lasted.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hollywood's Take on Morning TV news

One of my most important jobs as a TV news talent coach is working with morning news teams for local stations across the US. It's a giant money pot for the stations. While the late news audience is shrinking, the morning TV news audience is growing. People who still have jobs get up earlier because they may face longer commutes and are doing more with less, while trying to get the kids off to school and make it to work on time. The TV set is on in the background of all this activity, and it's often the working parent's only connection to the weather, traffic and news in the world outside until they get to the office and can log in on the computer. They want to know what happened in the world while they were asleep, what to expect from local weather and traffic, and be smart about the topics their friends and co-workers will be discussing at the water cooler. This creates a huge challenge for the people who deliver the morning news, beginning as early as 4:30 am in some markets. No matter how sleep-deprived they are, the anchors have to bring their best game to the screen from the first minute of the program; weather and traffic have to be packed with credible information, but also fun to watch. The whole cast must function as the family that the viewers want to wake up with.  

Which brings me to "Morning Glory," the latest Hollywood take on what goes on behind the scenes of a morning TV news program. After watching the trailer, the performances of Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford seem entertaining, if not terribly realistic. In the real world, there aren't many people in front of the camera who are over 50, but it's worth the price of admission to hear Harrison growl, "I won't say the word fluffy."
Their new producer, played by Rachel McAdams, seems way too perky in the trailer to be typical of the "understaffed, overworked" people who toil on the overnights. And she has the time and energy to have a boyfriend! While I respect the work of J.J. Abrams on suspenseful action flicks, the teaser for this movie comes across as a fluffier version of the classic "Broadcast News."
 I recently completed an assignment to coach an actor for a starring role a reporter and I have played a reporter or anchor in several feature films and network TV series. Anyone interested in this topic of how journalists are portrayed on the big screen should visit Joe Saltzman's excellent database on The Image of the Journalist in Popular Culture at
For more information on coaching packages for your morning news talent or for an actor playing a reporter role, visit my website at

Friday, October 29, 2010

Salute to Stan Chambers

The Radio Television News Association of Southern California is the latest organization to pay tribute to the legendary TV reporter Stan Chambers of KTLA. His career began in 1947 when there were only about 300 TVs in LA, and Stan was very generous with helping me research my screenplay on the Kathy Fiscus story, the first breaking news event covered on live TV news in 1949. Stan was one of the two live reporters on the scene for KTLA. He went on to cover virtually every significant event in Los Angeles from the Watts Riots to the Rodney King beating. Asked how he wanted to be remembered, Stan humbly said, "for being there, for being on the scene, for being part of the city." Stan officially retired in August, at the age of 86, but he is actively promoting a new CD and book at
The program included a panel with Stan surrounded by four current news executives. KNX-KFWB's Andy Ludlum correctly pointed out that Stan's longevity on the air is a feat that no longer can be duplicated. The always gracious Stan didn't offer any insight as to how today's reporters might manage to avoid a mass layoff, a nasty news director or the perception that an experienced reporter can't Twitter and Facebook as well as a younger person who might have the added benefit of looking better in HD.  Stan himself said it best, "It's the story that matters, not the reporter." Here's hoping he can inspire a whole new generation to get it first and get it right.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Making the Grade at UNDP

Terry Anzur Coaching Services has been selected for the UNDP's roster of media trainers, which means I'll be eligible to take on some new international projects over the next two years. Although I have no idea exactly where this new adventure will lead, I was excited to read this opinion piece by U2 lead singer Bono in the New York Times.
He does a pretty good job of explaining Millennium Development Goals and the role of transparency in attacking corruption around the world. Free and independent media play an essential role in making sure that funding intended to improve the lives of ordinary citizens actually reaches the people in need. I look forward to working with everyone at UNDP to realize these goals and am honored to have the opportunity.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bye-Bye to the TV News Tie

For the past year or so, I've been warning my male anchor clients to get ready to lose the tie. Now, it has finally happened. The New York Times reports that KNBC news anchor David Ushery is going tie-less on his weekend broadcast as a way of attracting viewers who have drifted away to other media. The Times goes on about how this transition will be difficult for men of a certain generation. Nonsense. Casual attire now is the prevailing custom in most US businesses and TV news was slow to change, at least on the male side. It's time.Here in Los Angeles, it's not unusual to see female news readers in attire that looks more like lingerie. Even Megyn Kelly, the "it" gal of the moment on the Fox News Channel, regularly bares her arms and a lot more. Even in the heartland or the deep south, figure-flattering knit tops have become a standard alternative to a business suit for female talent. However, the sleek, contemporary look for women appears completely mismatched when paired with a man in a suit that Don Draper might wear on Mad Men.
Then there's the temperature factor. When I was hosting on the network that eventually became MSNBC, our boss Roger Ailes, preferred a meat-locker temperature in the studio. He said the freezing air helped keep the guests from falling asleep under the toasty lights, it also kept Roger comfortable in his wool suit. (His interview program aired right after the show I did with Chris Matthews on America's Talking). Female hosts like me, who even had lights pointed at our exposed legs, just had to freeze and bear it. On KTLA, Hal Fishman kept the studio so cold that my predecessor, Jan Carl, had to keep a portable heater under the desk. During my tenure on KTLA News at Ten, I'd shiver through the show until I couldn't even feel my legs anymore, and then run to my car and turn the heater up. Allowing the men to lose the multi-layer business suit means that studios can be a more tolerable atmosphere for everyone.
So, guys, get ready to take the tie off. And get to the gym ASAP. Because soon you'll be losing the jacket, too. Put on a fitted polo shirt and let us see your guns. As we move into the delivery of news on mobile multimedia platforms, people want to see someone they'd meet at Starbucks for a coffee, not a guy in a throwback business suit announcing the headlines from the mountain top.
Judging from the picture at the top of this post, Mr. Ushery could still use some advice on appearance. The black-white contrast is a bit stark and not flattering to a person of color. The business suit may be about to go the way of the dinosaur, but there are still rules for what looks good on camera. You want to keep your credibility while becoming more casual, comfortable and connected to the viewrs.
To learn how to make your talent more effective when presenting the news in multimedia, please visit my web site,, register and schedule your coaching visit today!