Was the practice of newsanchors not wearing matching pants or skirts widespread?

I haven’t really seen what I’ve heard as a cultural cliche—that anchormen or women will, instead of the appropriate bottom half of their suit, wear shorts or something like that. Is this sort of thing done, and has it ever been popular among newsreaders?

I don’t know how widely done it is but I can confirm Michael Wilbon of the ESPN show Pardon the Interuption wears shorts during the program.

Hey, studio lights can get hot.

I’ve heard of weather reporters working barefoot as they walk in front of the Chromakey, so they can feel loose wires before they trip on them.

I’ve never seen anyone working barefoot in any of my studios, but it’s not uncommon for anchors to get dressed only 30 minutes before air, and if they know there won’t be any shots of them below the waist to just stick to jeans, shorts, whatever.

My mom reads the news for a local TV station. On the air she usually wears only jeans with a top half of the suit. It’s not a drastic mismatch like you see on some comedic representations of anchors, but it does look funny. At least at her station, it’s not just reading the news. They are busy doing all kinds of stuff so they have to be somewhat comfortable.

An anecdote: When the bomb went off at the Atlanta Olympics, at least one reporter appeared on camera during the aftermath wearing a suit jacket, white shirt, tie - and Bermuda shorts. Clearly, he’d been behind a desk earlier in the evening and hadn’t expected to be doing on-the-spot reporting. I remember the image because the absurdity of his outfit made me chuckle despite the seriousness of the incident.

One of the local L.A. anchormen, Paul Moyer, who was in Atlanta in 1996 (works for the NBC affiliate so everybody was over there), showed up on the air in shorts.

He apologized for it, but he explained that it wasn’t any great secret and since it was a big news story, changing into long pants was less important than covering the story. I think the explosion went off shortly after the L.A. crew went off the air.

And they were in Atlanta in the summertime.

I happened to pass a news crew doing a remote broadcast just the other day. The reporter was wearing a suit jacket and tie, along with shorts and sandals.

So, yeah, it happens.

That may well have been the man, and of course I had no problem with the reasons for his attire.

What was amusing was the breakdown of the usual perfectly coiffed illusion, and getting an unexpected answer to a long running staple of observational humor that’s on the same level as “what does a Scotsman wear under his kilt?”

I figure the real question is, why is that illusion so important to maintain, that reporters are compelled to wear a suit and tie to cover outdoor sports in Atlanta at the height of summer?

Yeah - you only need to sort out the top half (assuming a “behind-desk” studio format) so there’s no point worrying about what you wear on the bottom half. Whatever is most comfortable, really.

Often there is just a rack of jackets (either belonging to the station, or to an individual presenter) and they’ll just slip one on before the bulletin.

All this said, many more modern news set ups - pioneered partly by the UK’s Channel Five which had the anchor sort of sitting on top of the desk - do have a full body shot, so you’d have to make the effort to find proper bottom-half clothes and shoes.

This made me remember news anchor Bill Tush, who was on TBS, Atlanta, in the early days, late seventies.TBS was then a nebulous newcomer, low dog on the broadcast totem pole.

Tush, in closing his regular newscast, gave the usual rundown, and then looked right into the camera and said " By the way, I’m not wearing any pants."

Seems tame now, especially after later SNL news parodies but, to a teenage me, it was amazing to see a break down in the serious facade. It was jaw dropping. Later, early eighties, Bill had a comedy show on TBS. http://www.billtush.com/about.html The no pants comment was on a regular news program, though, not a humor show, circa 1978.

That broadcast is a distinct memory for me, but don’t find it in a bit of search. Anyone else remember those fly-by-the-pants (or not) early TBS broadcasts?

I had this epiphany when I was about 11. Some anchor or analyst on ESPN was shown from the side and I saw him wearing jeans that didn’t go with his suit. Boy that was strange for a little kid.

There’s a bit like this in the Kentucky Fried Movie:

“I’m not wearing any pants… film at eleven.”

How common is the practice in other professions where nothng below the chest will be visible to the public? One of my friends is a judge, and she often wears shorts underneath her robe.