Everyday as viewers we can choose to watch any one of around ten or so mainstream news programmes. How do they compete for our custom?
It would be reassuring to think that it is through the quality of the content, depth of coverage and incisivness of the reporting.All of these are important and must be delivered at a reasonable (rational) level but for most of us do not determine our choice.
Our choice is largely our emotional response to the personality of the programme and that in turn is our response to the people fronting the news. Do we connect with the almost parental reassurance of Sir Trevor,the cool elegance of Fiona Bruce., the directness of Huw Edwards or the intimacy of Natasha Kaplinski?
At Five, clearly, the decison to pay one million pounds for their ‘anchor’ shows their understanding of pitching. It’s the way you say it that matters and the anchor is not just someone who fronts but someone who connects with the audience.