Go ahead. Google my image. I have, as we like to say, “a face for radio.” I’m bald and I’m 54 years old. Yet I’m on television.
Now there are some provisions here. I’m the play-by-play voice of the Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA, so I’m normally just on camera at the start of the telecast, at halftime and occasionally after the game. Plus having been on television for more than 30 years, I have some credibility in the marketplace. In other words, I’m accepted for who I am. But if I had to apply for a job as a sports director in another market, well, I doubt I’d get hired for my looks.
Do you have doubts about your looks? I won’t kid you—news directors are always on the lookout for that certain somebody who’s attractive. But that doesn’t mean that the less attractive among us can’t get a television job. Short of serious plastic surgery to alter your features, there’s still plenty you can do to make the best of what you have. Style your hair and wear clothes that emphasize your best attributes. And most of all, develop the broadcasting skills you need to help you stand apart from the crowd. Be authoritative and conversational. And use the same conversational tone in your writing, making it both personal and unique.
Many times, the pretty face will win out over the better performer/journalist/writer. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find your way into a television career utilizing your best attributes, whatever they are.
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