Have you noticed a new tradition on the news every Friday? Suddenly male news anchors no longer wear ties…just because.
I will happily admit that I have my old-fashioned moments. I appreciate senses of decorum from years seemingly gone by. One example I can provide you is the long custom that male news anchors should wear ties.
There was a time when this would not be a question.
I remember reading Walter Cronkite’s account of covering the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. When word of the shooting began to spread, Cronkite and the CBS News team naturally wanted to get on the air right away. But back then, they did not keep a television camera hot in the newsroom. Those old cameras needed about 20 minutes to warm up so that engineers could calibrate them.
Cronkite had to rush to an audio booth to read voiceover bulletins until a camera was available. From there, he rushed back to his desk in the newsroom. He anchored coverage well past the official announcement of Kennedy’s death.
When a colleague, Charles Collingwood, showed up to relieve him for a while, Cronkite was shocked to realize his suit coat was still hanging over the back of the chair. He hadn’t realized he’d anchored in shirtsleeves.
But nowadays, the more casual the better.
Some newscasts — local and national — now have a “casual Fridays” fell. I know of one news team who not only doesn’t wear ties on Fridays, their male anchors even dress in blue jeans.
I realize this isn’t the end of the world. But I also think it’s a less professional look.
I don’t particularly care to see news anchors dressing down. I’d like to see them look professional. The effort they put into their appearance, to me, is part of their overall effort put into their job.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with expecting anchors to wear ties rather than v-neck t-shirts.