5 Things Anchors Can Do
To Build A Stronger Relationship With Producers
5 Things Anchors
Can Do To Build A
Stronger Relationship With Producers
I’ve rolled my eyes at a producer more than once.
I’ve sighed when they’ve asked me to write a third version of my VO/SOT, and I’ve complained about producers when I have read a script on-air and their information was wrong.
There have even been days when I have said I don’t understand why some producers think their job is so difficult.
I’ve also produced my own newscasts. I’ve been the producer who is screwed for time when a reporter package comes in heavy, and I’ve been the producer who times out a block incorrectly and is left with a minute at the end of the show.
Producing isn’t easy. Reporting isn’t easy. Anchoring isn’t easy.
In my opinion, one of the most important relationships in a newsroom is a producer and the anchor of their newscast.
The producer and anchor need to be on the same page.
As an anchor, I need to trust that my producer can write me up breaking news during the show and it will be correct. I also need to trust that the producer is doing everything he or she can to help make sure the show looks smooth on-air, even if it is a mess behind-the-scenes.
So, if you’re an anchor, here are a few easy-to-do tips that will help you build a better bond with your producer, which will ultimately lead to a solid newscast:
1. Read your Scripts
If you’re not reading your scripts before the newscast, you have no right to complain when things are wrong.
Also, make sure you’re reading through you scripts not once, but twice. You should be reading them once maybe an hour before the newscast, and a second time 10 minutes before the show is about to start. Doing this will help you catch any grammatical errors, while also helping you as an anchor read more smoothly on air.
You need to read every script, and make sure the information is correct. Mistakes happen, so catch them!
2. Write stories
There is no reason an anchor shouldn’t be writing VO/SOTs.
I get it, you may think writing scripts is a job only for reporters and producers, but that’s just simply not true. Jump in and help your producer. Find out what needs to be done, and do it.
Not only should you be writing some of the stories, you should also rewrite anything that’s not written in your voice. Every anchor has a different style, make sure your producer knows yours.
3. Help with the little things.
Put in supers. Format scripts. I know some producers may not want you to do this, but for others, it is a big help.
You may even be able to help by finding local stories for reporters to cover, or search for a good national PKG to go in their National Block.
Whatever you think could be helpful to your producer, do it, but don’t forget to ask your producer what would be most helpful for them.
4. Get to the set early.
Don’t show up 30 seconds before the newscast starts. Get on set 5 minutes early to get your mic and IFB on.
This way, you and your producer can talk about any last minute changes. Showing up 5 minutes before the show can lead to mistakes and errors during the newscast, no matter how many years you’ve been anchoring. Trust me, showing up early makes a difference for everyone.
5. Be a team.
When things go well, celebrate! When things don’t work, figure out what you can change.
Work with each other to come up with new ideas and help each other grow. You both want to have a great newscast, so do whatever needs to be done to make that happen.
I’ve been in a situation where the anchor IS the producer. Getting to the chair late because she’s still editing scripts, etc. Can’t make a call on heavy/late because the producer is reading on air
What about inexperienced producers who don’t know how to balance reads and write in past tense and think they are above reproach?