Monday, August 20

Acting Big, Looking Small: Anchor Kim Wagner

Morning anchor Kim Wagner at Las Vegas NBC-affiliate KVBC News 3 lost her cool a few days ago and the whole world is talking about it after the local clip made it on to YouTube. Wagner, on live television, degrades a camera operator.

“I have a big problem. Whenever I’m out in the community,” Wagner comments, after crossing in front of the shot to adjust the camera's angle. “People say I’m so small.”

The show quickly erodes into accusations that the camera crew is responsible for how "big" she looks on television. She then likens herself to looking like She-Ra, Princess of Power, a reference to a character that is part of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

Even when morning traffic and weatherman John Fredericks attempts to lighten the moment, offering “we have the best crew in the world,” Wagner cannot let it go. She chimes in again to say: “We love Tyra (the camera operator), she’s just a little pissed at us right now.” Fredericks even asks if that is the word for the day (meaning the last word).

As mentioned before, messages that leave lasting impressions usually come from one of four places: what we say about ourselves; what others say about themselves (newscasters in this case); what others say about us; and what we say about others. Although Wagner says plenty about herself, noting that she has a complex about her size, the most revealing segment of this program is what she says about others and what those comments reveal about her.

After watching the clip, Wagner seems to be miss this concept. What she says doesn't say anything about "Tyra" and everything about Wagner. No, Wagner does not come across or look like She-Ra, Princess of Power, as much as she becomes a dead ringer for Skeletor, the arch nemesis of He-Man.

Although coincidental, this fits perfectly within the context of a discussion about maintaining an expert image. I mention there that experts do not have to be overly cautious about what they say, but they do need to be accurate, consistent (in presenting their own image), and sensitive to the values of others.

Wagner not only fails in demonstrating that she cares about her team (crew or cast), but she also comes across as being vain, egotistical, and mean-spirited, a complete contrast to how she wants to be perceived in public.

Worse, what would have once amounted to being a completely forgettable local blooper is now making its way around the world. Lesson for today: don’t act too big on camera (or online for that matter) or you may look smaller than you ever intended.



Sweet Tea on 8/20/07, 12:04 PM said...

Maybe she was having a " bad hair" day. You just never know what or who may end up on Youtube.
Oh, not you, Rich. Thanks.

Rich on 8/20/07, 12:31 PM said...

Hey JS,

Oh, I hope not me. ;) And if I do, I hope it's me launching something viral and fun as opposed to my talk show I was on with Corey Feldman (the other one, talking about literacy wasn't too bad though).

Glad you enjoyed the piece. If anything, it reminds us to be nice to people for exactly the reason you stated. Hopefully, we don't have to "act" nice ... rather, maybe it can be, um, natural.


kystorms on 8/20/07, 1:15 PM said...

Its that age old adage, treat others as you would like to be treated, and as my mom always says, watch your P's and Q's in public! My mom would say to me, "remember that how you act in public is a direct reflection of me", and I have never been able to forget those words!

Geoff_Livingston on 8/20/07, 1:27 PM said...

Uh, too bad it was online. Unfortunately, this tends to be more common then you'd think.


Rich on 8/20/07, 1:28 PM said...

Hey Lisa,

That's an interesting perspective and I kind of like it in that it touches on why so much of communication can be likened to common sense and wisdom from our elders. I wonder sometimes how much of this wisdom is being passed through to youth today.

I suppose if I am to be fair to Wagner, I might add that she could have shared her gripe off camera. Sometimes I have to wonder how much transparency we really need. Somehow I feel like I know too much about Wagner now.

All my best,

Rich on 8/20/07, 1:32 PM said...

Hey Geoff,

I think you are right. It has become very common, especially with folks running around the Internet. It's not bad to point our the public gaffe, but it's how we do it that can reinforce or distract from how people perceive us.

If Kim Wagner were Donald Trump, it might have worked. But that's not how she sells herself.


Anonymous said...

its unfortunate that they removed the video. must have something to hide. familiarity breeds contempt

Anonymous said...

Kim, I love your new hair color. Beautiful new spring look. Love watching you and Dana in the morning.
Best, Francine

Anonymous said...

I have a crush on Kim. I think she's too pretty for her husband, Dana.

Anonymous said...

Kim Wagner is egotiscal for sure-about what i have no idea. Her husband is totally hen pecked like Bruce jenner. All she does is talk about herself-her hair (LOL) ets-and she makes sure her husband gets on the camera first so she can make her "grand" appearance. Get her off the air as they did with Heidi on Fox 5 news.

Anonymous said...

I notice she (they) have not been on camera lately. I won't miss her if she is gone. However, that very strange "national news desk" that was on this morning was enough to make me change the channel. Vanity, thy name is Kim Wagner.


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