David Schuman

 

Fast Facts

Name: David Schuman
Market: Milwaukee
Current Station: WDJT
Current Title: Reporter
Preferred Title: Reporter
Experience: 6 Years

Agent Name: Mort Meisner
Agent Phone: (248) 545-2222
Agency: Mort Meisner Associates

 

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What Makes for the Best News Talent Placement Agency?

If you’re looking to find the best news talent placement agency, there are many from which to choose.

But there are precious few who will truly put you first.

If you’re an experienced news personality, you need more than just an agent. You need a trusted partner – someone you know is honest and to-the-point, while demonstrating mutual respect for you.

That’s why it’s important you spend a fair amount of time finding the right placement agency.

Having someone like this in your corner is the key to getting placed where you wish to be geographically and in the appropriate size market.

So what should you look for?

How To Tell You Are Working with the Best News Talent Placement Agency

We can’t reiterate enough that not all talent placement agencies are created equal.

You want to work with an agent who has spent many years – even decades – working in the industry. It’s even more beneficial if he or she has actual experience running a newsroom.

Whatever the case, a highly professional talent agent will do the following:

  1. Connect You with the Right People

This is the first point on our list because we can’t over stress the importance of finding an agent who has connections. And they need to be the RIGHT connections.

As we mentioned above, acquiring an agent with experience running a newsroom is a huge plus. Having that experience means that he or she has built connections with a vast network of professionals in multiple markets and in all levels of the industry.

These connections make a huge different. An agent with such connections who maintains contact with these professionals knows exactly where there is movement in the market… even before the word gets out.

And because there’s this relationship, prospective employers will trust your agent. That way, you can be assured that your DVD will actually be viewed.

  1. Require an Interview

If you encounter an agent who is willing to sign you on without ever bothering to meet you, that’s a red flag.

A solid agent needs to talk with you to determine your strengths, as well as get a real feel for you.

The other purpose of the interview is to gain a complete understanding of what you’re looking for in your career. This will help him or her to place you in the most ideal location and market.

An agent who requests a DVD, resumé, and photo (for on-air talent) is one who is willing to do a thorough job.

  1. Offer a Contract with Clear Terms

Once an agent has determined that you and he/she are a good match, they will offer a contract. But it’s important that you pay close attention to the contract.

An honest and respectable agent will be very clear on what they offer and why they expect in return. They will ask that you commit to the agency and its placement process.

The contract should be well-written, easy to understand, and clearly lay out the benefits for both you and the agency. This demonstrates the agency has a foundation built on mutual trust and commitment.

  1. Commit to Your Development

A truly amazing agent knows that when he or she sends your DVD to a prospective employer, it’s essentially the first impression you’re going to make. So it has to be highly polished and professional.

Therefore, upon viewing your DVD, the agent should be willing to analyze your performance and offer practical suggestions that will further your development.

From there, they should be more than willing to work with you to further work on your DVD so that it is strong enough to handle the tough competition.

Look for an agent who has connections with talent coaches, as this offers a huge advantage when it comes to development.

  1. Be In It for the Long Run

When you’re looking for an agent, be sure to clarify what will happen once you find employment.

Even once you’ve “settled” into a job, it’s crucial to remember that your career is dynamic and ever changing. So the best news talent agents will request you send a DVD every month so that you can continue to work together on your career development process.

It may seem like a lot of work. But it’s this diligence that will help you advance in your career and take you where you want to go.

Make the Right Choice

When seeking the best news talent placement agency, it’s in your best interest to demand all of the above requirements from your agent.

You can also cut right to the chase and contact us today to talk to an agent who fulfills all of the above requirements.

And get your broadcasting career on the fast track to success.

Diana Cannizzaro

Fast Facts

Name: Diana Cannizzaro
Market: N/A
Current Station: N/A
Current Title: N/A
Preferred Title: Sports Reporter/Anchor
Experience: 3 Years

Agent Name: Mort Meisner
Agent Phone: (248) 545-2222
Agency: Mort Meisner Associates

 

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Jamie Ostroff

 

 

Fast Facts

Name: Jamie Ostroff
Market: Shreveport, LA
Current Station: KTBS
Current Title: Anchor/Reporter
Preferred Title: Anchor/Reporter
Experience: 8 Years

Agent Name: Mort Meisner
Agent Phone: (248) 545-2222
Agency: Mort Meisner Associates

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Vi Nguyen

Fast Facts

Name: Vi Nguyen
Market: Chicago, Market #3
Current Station: WBBM
Current Title: N/A
Preferred Title: Reporter/MMJ
Experience: 8 Years

Agent Name: Mort Meisner
Agent Phone: (248) 545-2222
Agency: Mort Meisner Associates

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Katherine Hessel

Fast Facts

Name: Katherine Hessel
Market: St. Louis, Market #21
Current Station: KTVI
Current Title: N/A
Preferred Title: Anchor/Reporter
Experience: 6 Years

Agent Name: Mort Meisner
Agent Phone: (248) 545-2222
Agency: Mort Meisner Associates

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Jessica Vallejo

Fast Facts

Name: Jessica Vallejo
Market: New York, New York
Current Station: N/A
Current Title: N/A
Preferred Title: Reporter
Experience: 3 Years

Agent Name: Mort Meisner
Agent Phone: (248) 545-2222
Agency: Mort Meisner Associates

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The Importance of Relationships in News Talent Placement

How well connected is your news talent agent?

In other words, how many people in the broadcast industry know your agent not just by name, but by his or her stellar reputation?

If you’re unsure, then it’s time to consider a new agent.

Because if your current agent doesn’t know the people and the players that fuel the broadcast industry, then he or she clearly doesn’t understand the importance of relationships in news talent placement.

And without those connections, your career could be placed permanently on hold.

The Importance of Relationships in News Talent Placement

Placing talent is something of an art. The key to successful placement of talent comes down to putting the right person in the right place at the right time.

A seasoned agent understands this.

But a seasoned agent with experience in the industry has a distinct advantage.

That’s because the art of placing talent is complemented and strengthened by the art of creating meaningful relationships.

And an agent who has worked for several decades in broadcast news has developed these relationships that allow him or her to make connections that others simply cannot.

So it’s not only about knowing the right people in the right markets, but it’s also about being KNOWN by the right people in the right markets.

This is what makes the difference when it comes to placement.

News Broadcast Is a Fast-Paced Industry

An agent with past experience in the newsroom is far more likely to represent a diverse group of news personnel – including on-air talent, producers, and managers.

This is the result of knowing good talent when they see it, as well as understanding how to make the most of it.

But even more importantly, they know the people at the top because they spent years creating relationships and friendships with them before they reached those positions.

Can your agent say that he or she has dozens of people who are now news directors, vice presidents of news, executive producers and managing editors who once worked for them while they ran news stations?

And that because of this, he or she is able to reach out to these highly successful people and – based on the relationship/friendship – they will actually take the call?

It’s an exceedingly rare agent that has these credentials.

Even so, if you’re working with an agent who can’t make these claims, you’re far less likely to keep advancing in your career.

The truth is, any agent can send your demo link to a news executive.

But when your agent knows two of the four news directors in a major city because he or she has special relationships with them, for example, you can be assured that your demos will actually be seen.

To put it another way, a relationship will not guarantee you a job. But it will guarantee that the right people will see your work.

Furthermore, your connection with that highly respected agent will also put your further ahead in the running.

Is It Time to Seek New Representation?

Now that you understand the importance of relationships in news talent placement, you’ll want to be sure that your agent has the right connections.

If your career has been at a plateau for some time, then you may want to consider a new agent – one with decades of news station experience who has a multitude of connections and knows every in and out of the business.

Contact us today to get in touch with just such an agent.

And get the placement you deserve.

Why Coaching for News Anchors Is Important

If you’re a news anchor, then you likely fall into one of three talent categories for TV broadcasters – average, above average or elite.

There is a fourth category – below average. Getting to the level of anchor is typically not reserved for below average talent.

Neither is it reserved for elite talent though.

In fact, the vast majority of news anchors are planted in the average category.

This is due, in great part, to the fact that most of them don’t recognize the importance of coaching for news anchors. They think they’ve made it, so why bother?

Well, there are plenty of reasons to bother.

The Benefits of Coaching for News Anchors

If you’re content to settle for a solid C+ and have no desire to get into a larger market in a city where you want to be, then no need to read any further.

Even if you’re already in a large market or at a network, don’t be too quick to assume that the following also doesn’t apply to you. Your “status” does not guarantee you’re an above average talent.

Not yet, at least.

The broadcasting world – like many others – is heavily populated by mediocrity. There are precious few souls who are consistently delivering for their stations or networks.

There are even fewer who perform so exceptionally both on camera and off that they make everyone else on the show better.

The latter is what station managers, news talent agents and networks want to see. And for up-and-coming anchors who’ve already demonstrated strong ability, the difference between being an average anchor and an elite one comes down to coaching.

A talent coach has the experience and skillset to turn news anchors into truly valuable television personalities.

What to Expect When Interacting with a Coach

We aren’t going to sugarcoat it.

While you’re likely to get a few compliments, getting that first VERY honest assessment from a talent coach can be brutal. Just remember that he or she is only looking at your on-camera skills. It’s not an assault on your character or who you are. (Even if it feels that way.)

The objective of a talent coach is to make you a better on-camera performer. That means that the journey from average to, at the very least, above average is going to require you to make some changes.

There are three primary areas of focus for talent coaches: vocal skills, on-camera appearance and perceived audience appeal.

1. Vocal Skills

Newscasters of the past were trained to read with a slow and steady cadence that sounded very much like they were reading from a script. Which they were.

Audiences today much prefer a more conversational tone. Mastering this is easier for some than for others.

In fact, you may believe that you’re already speaking in a conversational way. But in reality, the way you’re speaking sounds forced or fake.

Another thing to consider is how fast and/or how loud you’re speaking. And if you have a regional dialect, is it sneaking out during your broadcast? Again, you may not even be aware of it.

A talent coach will notice it right away. Then he or she will work with you to ensure that you’re speaking with the correct inflection, speed, and volume, while helping you eliminate any quirky vernacular.

All of this leads to a more polished vocal delivery.

2. Physical Appearance

You’re a news anchor, so you already know that how you look is very important. That’s just one of the facts of this business.

So of course your talent coach will need to discuss your on-camera appearance with you. This could go any number of directions.

For instance, if a certain color doesn’t go well with your skin tone, you’ll be advised to avoid it. Or if you’re wearing the wrong clothes for the market you’re serving (for example, thinking that what you wore in Chicago will go over just as well in Salt Lake City), you’ll be made aware of that too.

If your ties are distracting, or your earrings are too dangly, you’ll hear about it. And you may be asked to find wardrobe or image consultants to assist you with your choices.

Then there are the more sensitive areas, such as weight. If you’ve gained or lost weight, your coach might suggest different clothes to hide this fact. They may also suggest certain lifestyle changes.

Remember, these are not attacks. They’re a part of maintaining a certain image. And you can be sure the big names at the networks are getting the same evaluations and advice. That’s why they always look so great.

Your talent coach might even have results from focus groups to back up these opinions – so that will give you some insight into how the viewers see you.

Which brings us to our last area of focus:

3. Your Audience Appeal

What is that “thing” that makes you unique as an anchorperson; that special something that goes beyond how you sound or look?

Maybe you have charisma. Or a breezy sense of humor. If so, congratulations. If these come across naturally, your audience will identify with you and this will increase your appeal.

On the other hand, if you’re feeling insecure because you’re not a natural charmer or class clown, that will come across too. Particularly if you’re putting up a front.

Your coach should come armed with market research that indicates how well received you are by audiences. And you might not like what you hear.

So if you’re always putting on a show, don’t be surprised if your coach tells you that you come across as arrogant or awkward. In your attempts to sound smart or clever, you may end up tripping over your words. And trying to be funny when you’re truly not could be interpreted as rude or mean-spirited.

It’s easy to get defensive in this situation because this, more than the other two factors, feels like an attack on who you are. Once again, it is not.

So rather than arguing these points, simply explain to the coach what you’re trying to achieve.

The truth is, if you’ve already made it to the level of anchor, then there probably is something special about you. You just haven’t figured out how to develop it and capitalize on it.

This is where a seasoned TV talent coach makes all the difference. He or she will work with you to develop a plan of action that will help you to better connect with your viewers and ultimately become a better broadcaster.

Aim for AT LEAST Better Than Average

Making it as a news anchor is no easy feat. You need a team behind you that believes in you and your abilities. You also need to believe in yourself.

If you’re currently looking for experienced news talent agents who can also connect you with top-of-the-line coaching for news anchors, contact us today.

And start reaching your full potential.

Finding the Most Experienced News Talent Agent

Are you an established news personality looking to forward your career?

Then you know it’s not easy.

You’ve done the work required to get this far, but you’re ready for a change.

You can go out there and start scouting for a new station in a new city or new market. You’ll get much further if you’re able to secure a successful news talent agent though.

But how do you go about doing that?

What Makes for a Successful News Talent Agent

There are plenty of folks out there calling themselves news talent agents. But do they have ALL of the qualifications necessary to be a truly successful agent?

Before you sign any contracts, you’ll want to thoroughly vet anyone you’re considering for this job.

Here are the things you should look for:

1.  Vast Knowledge of the Industry

Like anyone who wants to sell themselves, many agents talk the talk. But can they walk the walk?

Ideally, any agent you consider has years – if not decades – of experience working in the industry. Some of the most successful agents are people who ran news rooms for many years before becoming agents.

As a result, they know the industry inside and out and have access to relationships and privileged information that others simply don’t.

They also know where the jobs are and how to recognize talent and match it with the appropriate markets and positions.

So if at all possible, stick with an agent that has actual broadcasting experience.

2.  Familiarity with Unfamiliar Cities

You’ve been in the business awhile, so you know that advancing your career means you may have to criss-cross the country for a while as you continue building your career.

Perhaps you’re even hungry to explore different venues and markets.

Whatever the case, you want an agent who has more than just local contacts, but national and international contacts as well.

3.  Mentoring and Coaching

Despite the Hollywood image, a successful agent isn’t heartless, cutthroat and insensitive. They’re in the business of helping others.

Any agent worth his or her salt understands the tremendous effort that goes into a creative and editorial performance/presentation. As such, they are willing to give a valuable and honest critique of a client’s delivery, voice quality, communications skills and writing style.

Having access to and working with top talent coaches in the country is also a big plus.

4.  Awareness of Current Media Environment

An experienced talent agent is one who is not only seasoned, but also operates with current and up-to-date processes. He or she should also be up on how technology continues to change the face of broadcasting.

They will take to the time to discuss with you your desired trajectory and will be able to determine the appropriate career path for you in today’s ever-changing market.

After all, developing a game plan is just as important to a career as accumulated experience and skills.

5.  Personal Attention

An agent who’s highly experienced will likely have many clients. But that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve personal attention. A good agent will take the time to get to know you.

No matter what your level of experience.

So be sure to clarify with a potential agent the ways he or she stays in contact and the amount of time you can expect before a call or inquiry is returned. You want an agent who will be quick respond to your needs.

Remember – an agent with many clients is in that situation because he or she is adept and skilled. Especially if they’ve kept those clients for some time.

So it doesn’t hurt to find out what other talent is being represented and then reach out to them to ask about their satisfaction with that agent.

6.  Ability to Negotiate

Once you’re offered a new position, an agent’s job is far from done.

Your agent needs to be able to negotiate your contract and structure the deal. And you want someone who excels at this.

Again, finding an agent with experience on the other side of the news desk will give him or her an important edge in crafting contracts. And if he or she has legal counsel on retainer too, it shows that this is an agent that will protect your interests and get you the best financial package.

Do Not Settle for Less

It might sound like a lot to consider. But this is your career on the line.

Don’t just hand it to the first agent that comes along with an impressive smile and a business card to match.

Contact us today to get connected with a truly successful news talent agent; one of the absolute best in this highly competitive industry.

We promise you won’t regret it.