Here I would like to give you a flavour of a day in the life of a sports anchor for a major international news network. I recently spent the day with Amandaat the CNN studios, from early morning make up and meetings, all the way through to the live evening show.
I’m sure it will come as no surprise that there is very little glamour involved in the day to day of sports news. Yes, there are the red carpet events
and jetting to meet F1 drivers and other celebrity athletes - but there is much more to it than that and this is what I wanted to find out.
There are a couple of small televised slots during the day as well as the main evening sports show that Amanda hosts. These are a given and the rest of
the day is completely fluid with meetings, research and script writing being punctuated by these fixed slots.
One of the things that stood out for me was the extent and instantaneousness of news and the sheer volume from all around the globe on every sport. Amanda
and the team are constantly talking about stories, how they could fit into the main show and which stories may build or could become feature length stories.
There is no let up in the thirst for the latest information, stories and debate about which takes precedent.
Amanda has to balance her time between the latest news, building a story, potentially interviewing people live or via video link and her deadlines to
write the script. There is a point where a line needs to be drawn as well as to how these stories balance with the ‘other’ news in the world. This was
very interesting to me - that she is not in a little sports bubble but that she is sensitive to the world news and how sport has to report sensitively
It was very interesting spending the day with Amanda, observing how she worked and conducted herself in getting everything done. There are cameramen,
runners, makeup artists and a cast of support staff and crew who are there to ensure that when Amanda is on the TV screen she looks great, sounds great
and that the show goes without a hitch.
Despite all of this Amanda is very aware of her roots and there is no diva mentality in her as she speaks to people with respect and appreciation for
their role in delivering the show. She has a gentle and genuine way with all levels of staff and people who are interviewed that puts them at ease and
makes them feel important and that she is in that moment completely with them. It is great to watch how relaxed, calm and effortless she makes it all seem,
as millions around the world watch the live show.
The show finishes and the first thing Amanda does is thank all of the crew individually for their help before walking back to start planning the next
day. A consummate professional who has not lost touch with all the people who support the show and delivers each time - whilst having a calmness that oozes
out of every pore. But don’t mistake this for not being focused…Amanda is steely focused - watch this space you will be seeing more of this talented
08.00-10.30 internal meetings and general planning for long term programs
10.30-12.00 make up, script writing for mid-day show, video link interviews for evening show, constant conversations about the evening shows news
12.00-12.15 mid-day show
12.15-4.30 script writing, planning for future feature programmes, meeting deadlines for evening show, interviewing people via video link, pre-show
make up, in studio mic up, lights, etc.
17.00 live show
Post show Amanda will stay until she has everything buttoned down for the next day and the rest of the week, especially if she is going to be out
at all as she was this week.
On top of this there are major events that will take her away from home for weeks at a time, as Sochi just has and then the Football World Cup will
This is an extremely busy woman who is balancing Sports news with real world news in a sensitive way, whilst still being a mother and travelling at
the same time. It’s a truly amazing feat to observe and she deserves all the credit she has had and will get in the future.