TV Anchormen (Anchorwomen) Standing And Reading The News

I just realized after watching the Mary Tyler Moore Show, Ted Baxter always stands and read the news from the copy Murray writes him.

I assume this must’ve been the way it was done back in the 70s, though I can’t recall an instance of news anchors in Chicago standing up and reading the news for the whole 30 minutes. I was alive in the 70s but didn’t really start watching the news regularly until about 1975 or 1976

Do any of you recall instances of anchormen or anchorwomen standing up the whole show and reading the show? If so what TV station was it?

No, not unless they had a good reason to stand.

As soon as I read the title I thought of Ted Baxter.

Ted was pretty full of himself, he may have felt that his voice sounded better when he was standing.

I think Rob Johnson in Chicago does the news standing up. Don’t recall which station it is, though.

It seems like the network news anchors experimented with this at one time.

I could swear Tom Brokaw used to start the broadcast standing, then move to the desk after the first commercial break.

Yes, all the network anchors in recent years have tried every possible variation, from standing to sitting behind a desk to sitting on an open chair. Well, not every variation. They haven’t done it crouching or squatting or hanging from a trapeze.

Standing has become pretty common, though.

It’s budget cuts. You know how much chairs cost?

Funny to think that meetings are held in swank offices by highly paid people in expensive clothes, where matters like this are contemplated and the decisions are handed down. “Then it’s decided. Tom will stand until the first commercial break, then he moves to the desk. Should be a ratings bonanza!”

John Chancellor of “NBC Nightly News” in the 1970s stood up while reading the teleprompter. I remember him expressly his gratitude on air when NBC bought him a chair.

Remember Ted also did the sports for a bit and he would stride purposely to stand in front of the sports logo for that bit.

Watching KTVO (Kirksville, MO/Ottumwa, IA) back in the early 70s, I think … I recall their news broadcasts had the anchor standing behind a clear plexiglas podium. With a box behind them and to the side that rotated with various graphics and whatnot for the stories. All with a perfectly black and seemingly endless background. It was really kinda creepy now that I recall it.

I also remember their early weather radar reports. A dark screen with dots for the area cities, with the sweep going around and smears of brightness that supposedly represented … rain, or snow, or atomic fireflies, or something. Kids today with their Doppler and their color-coded precipitation and their up-to-the-second forecasts just don’t know how good they have it.

Anyway, that’s about the time frame of Mary Tyler Moore, and I was in the Midwest just a state south of WJM-TV, so maybe it was just something of the time, of the place?

Meanwhile, KFXA in Cedar Rapids has their anchors stand during their nine o’clock news. Although that’s not so terribly weird (except for the female anchor’s somewhat avant-garde wardrobe choices), what is freakishly bizarre is the computerized backdrop that they use, which apparently is supposed to make it look like they’re standing in downtown CR, but just looks … wrong.

(I could write a book on the sensationalistic, crappy news practices of KFXA and KGAN … yes, the Fox and CBS affiliates share the news departments in Cedar Rapids … but that’s a different topic. But yeah, they still stand up round these parts.)

One of my local TV stations had an anchor who stood at a podium. He was overweight, balding and had a gravely voice, a good and well respected man who unfortunately would never be allowed on the air today.