Playing Nice

It only took me about two minutes to determine that the anchors in LA hated each other.

My friend was amazed. “Really? How can you tell so quickly?”

“He never looks at her. She rarely looks at him. When she does, she looks uncomfortable. There’s no smiling or even pretense at getting along. They’re reading their copy—trying to out-do the other. My guess: he’s smarter than her with no personality. She’s all personality and not terribly bright. They each have something the other is lacking and that’s why they were thrown together.”

Putting on Your Game Face

Good anchors know how to fake it much better than these two. I’ve worked in newsrooms where anchor teams have hated each other for decades, but most viewers at home would never know it. They understand that in the TV news game- perception is reality. If you want good ratings, and by extension job security, you’ll play nice with your co-anchor.

It’s also an important lesson for you to remember when you’re being interviewed. Even if you don’t like the person who’s asking the questions, be respectful and cordial. It’s also crucial that you keep your cool–no matter what you’re asked. Remember, when you look angry, most people won’t know that you were goaded into that reaction. They won’t see the insipid or insulting question being asked. They’ll often only see your response.

So put on your game face. Listen to the question. Never react negatively. Don’t even allow yourself to think– what a so & so. (Your disgust will show on your face.) Instead, pretend that you really like the reporter and you’re genuinely interested in helping him understand your point. And when the interview is over, shake his hand and thank him for the opportunity to share your expertise with him and his viewers.

If he’s smart, your professionalism may just confound him. He’ll wonder if you’re really that bright and controlled or just impervious to his baiting. And if he’s not the brightest bulb, he’ll think you’re a really nice person and will look forward to interviewing you again.

Either way, you win.


Coaching You To Be On Message…. On-Air, In-Person and Online.”