This post was originally published on this site
If Barry Nash’s research is to be believed, what audiences want from their TV anchors is a moving target. It all depends on when you ask and then how you allow them to answer.
Nash, a talent coach and consultant, has worked with CNN, NBC and Telemundo stations, among numerous others. He has also spent years honing research on what viewers want from anchors, evolving a methodology that gives them wide latitude to answer that question and then employs advanced linguistic algorithms to analyze their comments.
That analysis finds that what viewers want changes as the emotional needs of the community change. Pre-pandemic, for instance, personality was cited as the most important trait in an anchor. A sense of community led the traits in the worst days of the pandemic and during Black Lives Matter protests.
In this Talking TV conversation, Nash argues why open-ended questions to viewers can yield qualitative insights for news talent. He addresses criticisms of the consultant/coach’s role in the newsroom and shares the most effective approach to coaching anchors in a collaborative way.
Episode transcript below, edited for clarity.
Michael Depp: What do viewers want from their news anchors? Do they want a big personality? Relatability? Trustworthiness? Do they know what they really want?
Barry Nash says he has some answers to that question, and he says it’s all in the way it’s asked. Nash is a talent coach. His company has worked with NBC and Telemundo stations, CNN, CBS Sports and many other groups.