Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Another Anderson Q & A

of TVNewscheck.com posted a Q & A with Anderson Cooper yesterday focusing on his talk show and how it will fit into his already busy schedule. Here's a sampling:

You know, if this was 2005, you’d be in Louisiana covering Katrina. I’m wondering, if the syndicated show was debuting at about the same time, could you have stayed there? What would you have done?

A month is a long time in television. And I stayed a month in the New Orleans/Mississippi Gulf Coast during and in the wake of Katrina. I stayed a month in Haiti after the earthquake. I stayed in Israel for a month during the fight against Hezbollah.

But I think we will have enough shows on tape to cover any assignment that I need to do for CNN. It’s important for me to still be able to go out into the field and to still be able to cover breaking stories and important stories. So I think we will work it out.

A lot of these stories are stories that also would be of interest to a daytime audience if we can tell it in the right way and some of the stories have resonance with a daytime audience. We will certainly incorporate them into a daytime show. I think we’ll make it work.

When you say it’s not a news show, it makes me curious. What’s a prototypical Anderson show? Who’s the guest on a prototypical Anderson show?

The commonality they all have is that they will have my personality throughout and my engagement and my interest throughout and the audience will be also an important part of every show.

I don’t think a lot of shows are really using the audience much anymore except to applaud in and out of commercial breaks. I want to be in the audience, I want to be talking to the audience and that also includes the audience at home via Skype and online, but I think there’s not going to be a prototypical show. We want it to be entertaining and informative. Those are the two things that we want our shows to be. Whether the topic is a provocative social issue, whether it’s a big celebrity interview, whether it’s an interesting pop culture phenomenon, we want it to be informative and entertaining.

I think it’s daunting your first show airs on Sept. 12, a day after the 9/11 commemoration. How do you set a tone after a day like that?

I don’t know. I honestly don’t. We have talked about it and we’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do on that first day.

We have a couple of different options and we’re waiting on some other things. There will be a week run up [of 9/11 stories] beforehand. So it’s a question of, do you continue to do things or is it a start of a new week and do you [change the topic]. I think it’s a decision we will make late in the game, just prior, to see what we think we’re going to do.

I’m amazed how people like you find time to take a breath, with this new show, your duties at CNN and prepping for shows. Do you have something like your own version of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People?

I am always hesitant to kind of talk too much about it because, you know, I go to Afghanistan and spend time with Marines who are out on patrol in Helmand Province and what they go through on any given day makes my quote unquote busy-ness pale in comparison. So based on a real job, I know I am extraordinarily lucky and I am happy to be this busy. But I definitely don’t have any tricks or anything. I have actually tried to stop multitasking because I actually now try to mono-task.

There’s so much information out there — especially in news — and I am constantly consuming information and making decisions about what’s going to be on what program. So now I think it’s very easy to multitask ourselves to the point where we’re no longer focused on where we’re at in any one moment.

So I try now to only do one activity at a time. If I am talking to you on the phone, I am not looking at my Blackberry. Now, I am just eating with friends or family or whatever. Mono-tasking seems the reverse of what I should be trying to do, but otherwise I think I would spin off and become a crazed television person. I want to actually try to still be a real person.

To read all three pages of the article just follow the link.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have printed an online ticket for Anderson show live taping- August 31.

It's so confusing, the calendar I'm looking at, tickets available for booking: August 31, Sept 8, 13, 15, 20, 27 and 28.

But the text part for book the ticket says, tickets are available on August 30, Sept 1, 6, 9, 12, 22, 23, 30.

Is this a mistake or someone is messing the website?