Do Anchors Wear Pants? (Don Ward)

By: Don Ward
By: Don Ward

Short answer: Yes. Longer answer: Yes, but only because we have to now. Here's why.



Remarkably this is a question I've been asked many, many times over the years.  The joke being that maybe we all sit at the desk with nothing but underwear under there. 

That's ridiculous..I hope. 

So my answer to the question isn't really a matter of pants or no pants, (let's put the presence of some pants down as a given) but rather which pants.  There really is a semi-interesting answer to that.

In this week's issue of Time magazine that very question was put to NBC News Anchor Brian Williams.  He replied that he chooses to wear them but he pointed a finger at some colleagues who might not.  (I'm pretty sure he was joking). 

The real truth is yes, we all do.  We all have, and they have to be real pants, the ones that match the suit.

There was a time, a glorious time, when the lower half could bask in the comfort of something more casual. Those times are gone my friends, long gone.  I freely admit that at various jobs, at various points in my career, I would often show up for an Anchor shift with the sharply pressed coat and shirt and tie on top, and jeans below.  Sometimes in the summer we'd even wear shorts!  Sports guys were particularly prone to that trick.  This was especially true on weekends when the bosses weren't around and when no important visitors were likely to stop by.  It wasn't just me.  Many other on-air types would top-dress.  ( I just made up that term.. I kind of like it)

It all changed 7 or 8 years ago. That's when TV stations started moving Anchors around. They started having us get out from behind the desk to deliver some of the stories.  We stand in front of large TV screens, or the chroma-key weather wall, or near maps or next to the sports guy to chat.  I like all of that, I think it makes the newscast more interesting.  It also makes the Anchor more visible...the entire half and bottom half, pants and all.

With that change of policy came a change of clothes, no more jeans or khakis with suit coats or sport coats. Sometimes reporters still do it if there's a chance they might be on a potentially dirty often qualifies for that.  Anchors though, we now wear the suit, the whole suit and nothing but the suit.   (Some sports guys may STILL occasionally'd have to ask them ....wink.)

Any of you who wear a suit to work know it's really not that bad.  You get used to it.  I've had more than 20 years to get used to it and I don't mind. It's the uniform of the job and I'm proud to wear it....all of it. 

It is still kind of a funny question. 

We'll talk again soon.

Don Ward




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