WRITTEN BY CHARLES CALOIA
Thursday, February 6, Pat Kiernan, anchorman for Cablevision’s NY1 News Channel, made a visit to Richard Relkin’s Broadcast News Writing Class to discuss certain topics of interest among the students.
Kiernan has been an anchor with NY1 since 1997, having held other news-related positions in his native country of Canada. In addition to his work on hosting, he announces game shows featured on the Game Show Network (GSN) and CNBC.
Topics discussed at SFC included technical aspects of reporting, the emotional content of his stories throughout the years, routine as an anchor, and his newfound ventures in talk radio, among others.
For the technical aspects, Kiernan explained his team that is comprised of “one executive producer, two producers, writers who are my main men…we actually do this 30-minute newsreel, so space is pretty limited. It all goes by pretty quickly…”, said Kiernan.
On his routine, Kiernan said he thrives on daily or hourly deadlines. He draws from his experiences with a big oil company in his college days, stating, “No matter how everything was spaced out during the week, the only job was to push the papers…Some days you had a good newscast, some days you didn’t, but you start fresh every day.
In speaking of his most significant stories of his career, “It’s not supposed to surprise you…I was at the anchor desk during September 11th…a massive story touching those who didn’t even have anyone over there and would become global with the hunt for Osama bin Laden…We were there [covering] for three weeks without a commercial break…Hurricane Sandy came close…we were on for almost a week covering with no breaks.”
With a new show on WABC, Kiernan spoke of his new venture to the station, home to longtime vaunted conservative hosts Rush Limbagh and Shaun Hannity.
He spoke of his first exposure to the news through radio. He worked at a commercial radio station in Alberta during his last year of college.
Kiernan said, “One thing led to another, and another local station wanted to hire me fulltime after I had graduated…It was driven by a change in programming…[WABC] has had Limbagh and Hannity for three hours in the afternoon for years for those who enjoy a ‘far-right’ [staunch conservative] point of view. They’ve had a tremendous difficulty in advertising these programs recently, people can’t really relate to it, what they’ve wanted to do is to find a local, broad-reaching program.”
Kiernan has found the time to make cameos as himself in such feature films as Iron Man 3, as well as the time to wax his knowledge upon SFC’s promising media students.
This visit provided SFC students interested in the business with a glimpse on local stories and what a news anchor can bring to the nation at large.