READING ABOUT FINANCE can be a little dry at times, so I occasionally turn to TV for relief, relaxation and a little entertainment. What am I drawn to? More than anything, it hinges on a person’s voice.
For instance, I like listening to Neil Cavuto on Fox Business Network. His interviews with business leaders are usually interesting and his demeanor holds my attention. He comes across as earnest.
My parents were transplanted New Englanders, so I never had a heavy Brooklyn accent, but just a hint of one, thanks to being raised there. I worked hard to lose it, but it still slips out when I’m tired. I guess you can take the girl out of Brooklyn but not Brooklyn out of the girl. I’m always glad when I tell people where I’m from and they say, “You don’t sound like you’re from Brooklyn,” as if I were expected to say “dees” for “these,” “dem” for “them,” and “doze” for “those.”
I still remember the late Marty Zweig, a regular panelist on Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser. He was an erudite investment advisor and financial analyst, and contributed many articles to Barron’s. He had a certain charm and an interesting personality, and hid his persona behind a humble, “regular Joe,” almost woebegone demeanor. I recall him saying he liked rock and roll, had a jukebox and enjoyed salsa dancing. He had a wry, dry sense of humor.
I find a pleasant, well-modulated and cultured voice can be so much more interesting and pleasant to listen to than someone who yaps away. It allows the listener to better take in the message that’s being conveyed. I once worked with someone whose voice can only be described as mellifluous. When he spoke, I was almost transfixed. It was like listening to a lovely tune and immediately put you at ease.
I’m not a big fan of CNBC, but I enjoyed listening to Sue Herera, one of the first women anchors to break into business news. She had a soft womanly quality to her voice and a lovely tone that came across as very natural and only enhanced her professionalism. I never saw her get flustered or emotional. When she laughed, it was so lusty and spontaneous, you just knew it was real. She was genuine. Unfortunately, Herera no longer regularly appears on CNBC.
Meanwhile, I don’t understand why so many TV guests—and even a few anchors and reporters—speak in a creaky, croaky, squeaky, choppy voice, and at the end of a sentence their voice goes up as if they’re asking a question. Do they practice speaking that way? It certainly isn’t natural. Maybe I’m behind the times, but I just don’t get it. Prof. Henry Higgins, where are you?
Uptalk and vocal fry are two of the most annoying habits that those on tv or podcasts can have.
I’m a linguist, and the phenomenon you referred to (raised voice at the end of a sentence) is called “uptalk.” It’s been typically associated with women and assumed that it signifies insecurity or lack of confidence. However, that’s now considered an oversimplified analysis. Sometimes women and even men use uptalk for the opposite reason—they’re trying not to sound intimidating, so the uptalk creates a more collaborative and less forceful tone to build rapport.
In my view watching investment / business news on TV is at best a waste of time and at worst likely to lead to poor decisions.
Richard…Consuelo Mack has a show called Wealthtrack on the PBS channels. She recently interviewed Charles D. Ellis, author of WINNING THE LOSING GAME and known for his investment philosophy of investing in index funds. Listening to smart and successful people doesn’t hurt. In the end we have to sort it all out for ourselves.
By the way, you can also see an interview with Jonathan Clements on Wealthtrack…we’ll worth the time spent!
Marjorie, what a great topic. I also miss Louis Rukeyser and Wall Street Week—wonderful show with topnotch guests.
And here’s an inimitable voice I miss: Walter Cronkite’s. His was measured, patient, and conveyed such wisdom. You could not help but trust the man. And my opinion isn’t changed by LBJ’s “Cronkite moment” apparently being a myth: W. Joseph Campbell: Recalling the mythical ‘Cronkite Moment’ – UC Press Blog
Hi Andrew…you can still see some of the old shows of Wall Street Week on YouTube when you’re feeling nostalgic and yes, many a mythical media moment out there.
My first conversation with my future wife was over the telephone. Her wonderful voice motivated me to meet the woman attached to it. Thanks, Marjorie, I like to tell that story at every opportunity.
Wow, I couldn’t agree more! The speaker’s voice makes such a difference. I too like to watch CNBC and loved Sue Herera. There are a few anchors on that show who have the squeaky voice – I just can’t watch/listen to them. The producers of that show would be much better off paying attention to how the anchors sound rather than how then ‘look’.
For business news I like to listen to Joe, Becky and Andrew on CNBC Squawk box in the morning on occasion. Joe is conservative, Becky is middle of the road, and Andrew is more progressive. Fox News is quite divisive in my humble experience.
Being a Vanguard low cost index fun bogleheads.org disciple (check it out), I stay the course with my 3 index funds and don’t trade on the business news.
Interesting topic! I had to think whose voice I admire the most and that would be Mike Rowe on The Story Behind The Story on tbn.org.
Mike Rowe is one of my favorite voices, literally and figuratively, in the broadcast world. HIs foundation–mikeroweWORKS–offers scholarships to people who want to pursue a career in the trades. His podcast–The Way I Heard It–offers up great food for thought on a variety of subjects. And that amazing voice of his has narrated too many television shows to list.
Glad to know there is a fellow listener. His “The Way I Heard It” is so informative. He is an all-around wonderful person doing great things for people.