This is how you handle work issues like a boss
This news anchor froze under pressure – in the best possible way.
“BBC News at Ten” host Huw Edwards was stuck on the air for four long minutes on Tuesday night after technical glitches delayed the start of his program.
In fact, Edwards didn’t know he was on the air for the first two minutes of the awkward silence, but he told Radio 4’s Media Show that he “sensed” he was on, so he took “the most conservative approach possible.”
And that approach was doing next to nothing. Edwards played it safe – and professional – with filling the dead air by folding his hands and sitting quietly at his desk. He took notes on his pad. And he mostly refused to make eye contact or to make a sound.
“New York 1” news anchor Pat Kiernan sympathized with Edwards’ plight, posting on Facebook that, “No anchor should end up here.”
No anchor should end up here. The BBC's Huw Edwards was on live TV for about four minutes doing … nothing.
But the audience loved it, and raved about his calm demeanor and stoic facial expressions on social media.
Watching Huw Edwards do nothing on BBC news is kinda absorbing, like a lava lamp
— Ian Ford (@ij_ford) June 20, 2017
This is the best news at 10 ever!!#bbcnews
I'm Huw Edwards and I'm gonna pull a few faces in silence for a while
— Basil 🌹🌹🌹 (@flipsache) June 20, 2017
And even more importantly, Edward’s editor praised his professional performance. BBC’s Paul Royall explained on Twitter that a technical system crash just seconds before the news program went live resulted in the director struggling to switch to a backup system, which led to the glitches. He noted that Edwards was “doing a great job.”
— Paul Royall (@paulroyall) June 20, 2017
And when the program finally started almost five minutes past 10, Edwards apologized for the “few technical problems” and went right into the evening’s headlines. But he Tweeted a pic of a beer can after the broadcast, joking, “I think I’m going to enjoy this little beauty after that Ten.”
— Huw Edwards (@huwbbc) June 20, 2017
Former CNN national correspondent and media coach Mark Bernheimer told Moneyish that Edwards handled the broadcasting bug like a pro.
“Anchors learn early in their careers to treat every mic as hot, and every camera as live,” said Bernheimer, founder of the MediaWorks Resource Group. “Mr. Edward’s professional comportment assured that he saved himself some embarrassment when his ‘off air’ activities ended up being broadcast. And his post-newscast tweet proved that the experience didn’t rob him of his sense of humor.”
“In the positive column, at least he didn’t resort to any personal grooming, angry shouting at the control room or inappropriate gestures during the technical difficulties,” agreed Bill McGowan, a former Emmy-winning journalist and founder of the Clarity Media Group.
That was the unfortunate case of an Australian news anchor who was recently canned for getting caught on camera zoning out and playing with her pen on the air.
— Media Watch (@ABCmediawatch) April 9, 2017
Or who could forget the “BBC Dad” whose live Skype interview went viral after his two children – one in a walker – careened into the room, and his wife had to run in and drag them out?
If Edwards has taught us anything, it’s that when something goes wrong at work – especially while you’re on camera – you should keep calm and carry on.
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