Pitch Perfect

“My producer keeps telling me that my pitch is too high.” “I don’t like the sound of my voice – I think it sounds too high.” “Will smoking and drinking whiskey help me get a deeper voice?” Elevated pitch, or a voice that is “too high”, is a common complaint for both male and female clients.  […]

Voice of Experience

When security put the United States Capitol Building on lockdown late one July afternoon, NBC Washington’s Scott McFarlane was on the Live Desk. Little about the situation was known, and the station had no reporters or photographers in the vicinity of the trouble. Calmly and steadily, the veteran reporter began with what he had — a […]

Connection Magic

“What’s the secret to connecting with an audience?” When Harvard Business Review put this question to Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller fame), his answer was as profound and applicable to delivering the news as it is to doing his Vegas magic act. Here’s a part of what he said: If someone is talking about […]

Sound Advice

Research is showing that viewers in all dayparts are listening more and watching less, so the way you use your voice may be more important than ever. Close your eyes and listen to this presentation by CNN’s Tom Foreman. It’s as notable for the way he speaks as it is for the way he moves and gestures. […]

Looking Good!

It’s still not unusual for clients to ask us, “Shouldn’t viewers be more focused on what I have to say than how I look? If my content is significant, why does my appearance matter?” We understand the frustration. Most of the anchors and reporters we work with did not pursue a career in journalism to spend […]

Chemistry and the Paced-Up Newscast

Fast-paced, high story count newscasts can be chemistry-killers — especially if anchors assume that less time on-screen together automatically means less time for connection and relationship.  The good news:  It ain’t necessarily so. As we noted when we shared this clip over the holidays, we were originally attracted to it as an example of the […]

Women Talk Mornings

When you’re committed to understanding what viewers value, there is no substitute for asking the viewers themselves. In this excerpt from a focus group of 25-54 year old women in a Top 10 market, they talk about the kind of performance and personality they prefer when they watch morning news. As you watch and listen, remember that […]

The Power of Wow

As much as we were moved by the On the Road piece featured here, what really put us in the holiday spirit was CBS anchor Scott Pelley’s reaction at the end. Technically, Pelley simply shows us he’s watching by referencing a monitor and then reacting honestly as he turns back to the camera. Simple as the […]

The Secret to Greatness

We were originally going to share this clip as an example of the way great teams interact and work together even when they are not necessarily see together. (See the subsequent post, “Chemistry and the Paced-Up Newscast”). It is that, but a simple backstory made us aware that it is also an example of something that is […]