Today, after countless satellite interviews, I finally lost my studio interview cherry to Kerri-Lee Halkett, a bright and friendly anchor at Fox Philly (Fox 29) in Philadelphia. I found it hard to be nervous after having walked the plank with an IFB in my ear so many times. It was also a treat to actually be able to see the face of the woman who interviews me almost every week.
Kerri-Lee told me afterward that she’s starting to get used to how we play together when we do our interviews. It was odd to hear that. It’s usually the kind of thing I’ve said to other people. I have always meant it, but it was still odd to hear.
I’m also profoundly jealous of Kerri-Lee, because she gets a TelePrompTer — although I was reading along as she worked on Real News before our segment, and I noticed she tends to flesh out the script with impromptu additions that prove she actually follows and understands the news. That kind of versatility and quick-draw intelligence is what you want in an anchor.
It helps flesh things out when, oh, website editors show up during your hard newscast and start yammering about simplifying your kitchen by using cast iron skillets like your grandma did.
Anyway, it was fun. Thinking back on the time I was sweating cast iron bullets before my very first TV appearance, on CNN many years ago, I never thought I would ever be able to say that. And meeting my interviewer will make it much more fun the next time we speak via satellite. For both of us, I imagine.