Don’t joke about “anchor monsters” with Bloomberg anchor David Westin. He gets it now.
When Westin was president of ABC News, he admits he didn’t really see things from the perspective of his high profile anchors, including Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson. “I didn’t appreciate the extent to which when you’re out there and it’s your face, your voice, going out, when someone makes a mistake, the prompter’s wrong, they write the wrong things in there, nobody says, ‘Oh, the control room did something wrong; nobody says that producer made a mistake.’ It’s you.”
In an interview with NPR, Westin says his experience anchoring Bloomberg’s morning newscast, Bloomberg GO, has convinced him to apologize to Sawyer and Gibson. “I thought [at the time] they’re just being finicky, or they’re awfully sensitive, or they’re temperamental, they’re talent…now I realize, oh I see why they were so upset by that, I see why that was so frustrating to them, I understand why they lost their temper.”
It was Gibson who suggested Westin to Bloomberg Media chief executive Justin Smith as a potential anchor, and Sawyer has become a mentor. “I think sometimes when you’re new — and I certainly did this a lot — you think you have to stop and have a little thought or two or paragraph or six before you turn,” Sawyer tells NPR. “I’ve said to him, speed is your friend.”