Do Male Anchors Help Out More Than Female Anchors, and Another Possible Buyer Could Be Breaking Up That Old Broadcast Group of Mine.

An interesting post by a former TV news producer raises a question. That comment suggested that when it comes to getting help on a newscast (writing scripts) male anchors tended to be more cooperative than females anchors. It’s an interesting observation and I’d be curious as to what producers have to say about it. Are male anchors more willing to help when the producer is female or does the gender of the producer really matter? Do female anchors help out more if they’re working with a male producer? I know I tried to help out whenever I could but I tended as an anchor to focus on the scripts I would read since I usually wrote in a particular style that somebody else might not want to read. It sometimes became obvious when script READS were changed at the last minute and a script might not have sounded the way it was supposed to especially if it was being read COLD.
I’d be curious if producers or former producers have an opinion on the amount of help they get or used to get from anchors.
And I don’t have this independently confirmed but is Allbritton Communications seriously looking at the NYTimes owned KFSM? That’s what is being suggested by a comment on the previous blog posting. A-C has stations in Tulsa and Little Rock and this would be a nice feather in their corporate cap. If anyone has any details, please share.
P.S.: I got home from being out of town over the weekend and found that my DSL line is down and that my only way to get on line is by lap-top and a dial-up connection. I find I like neither one. I hope to be back up to full speed by tomorrow.

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6 Comments on “Do Male Anchors Help Out More Than Female Anchors, and Another Possible Buyer Could Be Breaking Up That Old Broadcast Group of Mine.”

  1. Doug Johnson Says:

    Not that I disagree with the earlier poster who brought up this topic (after all, she’s a sensible person and was a very good producer) — but I will say that it kinda depends on the anchors in question.

    Since coming to this top 10 market (first local, then cable network), I’ve seen managers eager to have every word written for their anchors. Some anchors (male and female) will get involved in the process, talk to the producers and writers, and even get into a few scripts themselves. I’ve also seen some who act as if the words magically appear out of the ether and pop up on the prompter.

    I guess I’m saying I’ve seen lazy and hard-working anchors of both genders. It might come down to ego and sense of entitlement. The few times I anchored (before Joe kicked me out of the morning anchor chair for good), I always liked to write as much as I could, since I felt more familiar with the material when I did.

  2. AMNewsBoy Says:

    In my experience, I’ve had more male anchors working on writing/re-writing than gal anchors… I just think that’s the way it’s worked out, and not an indicator of any kind of trend.

    Having said that… while I (as a producer) appreciate anchors changing scripts to reflect their reading style, I’ve worked with some who have gone way overboard. One in particular liked to change things to include his own brand of obscure witty humor that, truthfully, just didn’t work.

    I’ve also had to deal with a fellow producer who liked to change scripts for no other reason than to do so. When all was said and done, the stories either made less sense, or the relevance of the story was lost and gone forever. (The producer’s type of writing works wonderfully in the evening shows, not so much in the AM.)

    In general, I’m very protective of my writing… I’ve learned to be more open about it, but still cringe when changes are made that just don’t make sense.

  3. jamey Says:

    I always preferred to re-write any scripts that I was going to read. Of course, there were some days I didn’t get to it. I must have read more scripts cold on football Saturdays than any other time.
    But I learned the hard way why it’s important.

    Reading cold a health story one day in Huntsville, I read the prompter and said

    “Prostate cancer is more common in men than women.”

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Amnewsboy, get over it. If the anchor wants to change your copy that’s up to him or her. You may be right that the changes are stupid, but its not your call. It only matters if the people with the meters think its stupid. In that case, you’ll have a new anchor changing your copy soon enough.

    Maybe you write good copy, but its coming out of the anchor’s mouth. And that’s a fact of life in this business.

  5. AMNewsBoy Says:

    anon, I agree with you up to a point… yes, it has to tailored to the anchor because they’re the one reading it. But, at the same time, a good show is a team effort. The anchor may be the face of the show, but I think downplaying the role of the producer in the whole affair is a little harsh.

    I think I ought to clarify that just because I don’t like/agree with something, doesn’t mean I openly gripe about it or actively fight it. Otherwise, we’d end up going nowhere fast.

    I hope this isn’t the start of a flame war; I’ll happily agree to disagree.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    You’re right, amnewsboy. I didn’t mean to sound so harsh, but then I’m an anchor. 😉


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