My favorite anchor blog

Although late to the game, many anchors at television stations are beginning to blog. While each has its own flavor, most are of the “behind-the-scenes” genre. Some anchors “get it” more than others and use the Web to build a personal brand in the market.

I try to encourage anchors to just be themselves, and nobody I’ve encountered does that better than Sherri Talley of our client in Shreveport, KTBS-TV.

Sherri TalleySherri is loved and respected in the market; there’s no doubt about that. But the “real” Sherri is something far beyond what people see on TV, and her blog reflects that. Not only is Sherri involved in life to a degree beyond most, but she’s one of the funniest, wittiest people on the planet, and that’s front-and-center in her blog.

“I like this on so many levels,” she told me. “First, it’s a creative extension of myself. As much as there is still out there for me to learn about blogging, there’s also room for me to invent/create along the way.”

She says there’s a real similarity to anchoring and blogging, because they’re both very intimate. “I talk on the air as if I’m speaking to one person and do the same when I’m blogging,” she said. “That way I’m not announcing to an audience nor blogging for masses, but just having a conversation…ha…one where I hope someone responds.”

It's good enough for Hazel & JimmyA while back, she found an old oil painting from the mid 20th Century of two babies. The thing is pretty ugly, because back then, painters would “touch up” photographs to make the babies look more adult. She bought the picture and made a cut-out copy of the two babies. She’s named them “Hazel and Jimmy” and they play a role in her blog, often showing up in the background of photos. She makes no reference to them other than in the cut line of her blog: “, it’s good enough for Hazel & Jimmy.” Readers are in on the joke, and it gives the blog an automatic edge, for people are always waiting for the next reference to the two babies.

Sherri is unique in that she has an inherent self-effacing ability to see the humor in what she does and to take people behind-the-scenes in colorful and compelling ways. Readers are fully engaged, and most entries include a regular group of commenters, which gives the site a community feel. Sherri’s not trying to “be” anybody other than herself.

“I actually almost resigned several months ago to take a marketing job,” she told me “because I didn’t see much of a future in the direction of television anchoring and reporting in the traditional sense. When I realized our station had such a progressive approach to internet development, I asked to get involved. Now, I’m more passionate about my work. I feel more engaged than ever with viewers.”

Sherri’s blogging and her insatiable thirst for knowledge have elevated her status with the web team at the station, and she now plays a leadership role in newsroom online efforts.

Her advice to other bloggers, especially anchors? Be positive, invest yourself and have fun. “Some bloggers get frustrated because they can’t think of a topic. Just like everyone and every situation has a story, there’s always a topic.”

So do yourself a favor and drop by her site. Read the entries and the comments, and I think you’ll agree that if it’s good enough for Hazel & Jimmy, it might just be good enough for you.

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