Reporter's Notebook

The art and science of the interview

Posts Tagged ‘Randy Newman

The Segue

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This is a quickie.

CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose was talking about a women named Cassandra Blackwell who had created a Tumbler account called “Beyoncify my Boyfriend”  Ms. Blackwell, as a way to deal with a breakup, had photoshopped Beyonce’s face on her ex-boyfriend’s face in all of her photos with him.  The site has gone viral.  It was a cute story.  All of the anchors had smiles on their faces.

But next, Mr. Rose had to go to a story about the shooting down of Malaysia Flight 17 in Ukraine.  And because the previous story had been funny, it took a few seconds for him to have the voice and facial expression appropriate for that story.

The transition from happy to sad and vice versa is always a tough one for TV (and radio) hosts.  Blooper tapes show plenty of anchors still giggling as they try to tell a following story of tragedy.  For Randy Newman fans, the verse from his hit “Dirty Laundry” pops into mind.

“See the bubbleheaded bleach blond.  She comes on at five.  She can tell you about the plane crash with a gleam in her eye.”

But all of us should know by now that is an ugly caricature.  TV has trained us to read every facial twitch and micro-expression.  And social media makes inappropriate anything from authority figures not considered absolutely homogenized behavior.  But anchors are people and it’s not even a mistake when a funny story lasts too long in their mind.  More likely, it’s the producer who needs to take care to not put such diametrically opposed stories back to back.  It’s a reminder that a newscast is a team sport.  And to carry the metaphor a little further, sure, the athlete needs to rely on their training to not do something that loses points, but sometimes, the coach has to give players transition time between hits to recover.

Which, by the way, in the news business, is called a segue.

Written by Interviewer

July 31, 2014 at 23:31

It’s a Jungle Out There

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People are always ready to tell you that you don’t know what you’re talking about or what you’re doing. And while it’s true that sometimes, you can’t see the forest for the trees, nobody knows your situation better than you and in the end, you are the main one who has to make your choices and live with them.

People get passionate about the spillover, though. Maybe they’re really, really invested in your decision and your choice changes something in their life that they don’t want changed. Or maybe it’s a credibility issue; if you break away from their opinion or expertise, they lose their authority somehow, so their goal is to shoot holes in yours. But even the “experts” can be wrong, and the people who have the gut feeling can be right. I found this on the Wikipedia about the Monk TV show while researching the last post.

“During the first season of Monk, the series used a jazzy instrumental intro to the show by songwriter Jeff Beal, performed by guitarist Grant Geissman. The theme won the 2003 Emmy Award for Best Main Title Music. When season two began, the series received a new theme song, entitled “It’s a Jungle Out There”, by Randy Newman. Reaction to the new theme was mixed. A review of season two in the New York Daily News included a wish that producers would revert to the original theme. Shalhoub expressed his support for the new theme in USA Today, saying its ‘dark and mournful sound,…[its] tongue-in-cheek, darkly humorous side…. completely fits the tone of the show.’ Newman was awarded the 2004 Emmy Award for Best Main Title Music for “It’s a Jungle Out There”.”

Sometimes, the only opinion that matters is the person down in the arena who is actually fighting the lion.

Written by Interviewer

May 21, 2013 at 00:07