Monday, June 20, 2005
An Anchor Who Is Never Heavy: "They call him the anti-anchor here in the Fox News building, the sometimes smirking man from Holly Springs, Miss., whom nobody would confuse with Bob Schieffer or Brian Williams. Smith presides over a breathless, mile-a-minute, graphics-laden, video-saturated program that careens from war to missing women to what Smith calls 'goofy things.'
The 41-year-old college dropout not only hogs the airtime, he uses slang-filled, stripped-down language that he likens to storytelling on Mississippi front porches. Smith's "smart-aleck" style helps to "puncture the pomposity" of news, says media analyst Andrew Tyndall. As for the pace of the program, Tyndall says, "The only place I've seen an equivalent velocity would be on the tabloid entertainment shows."
This has brought box office success. The show is drawing nearly 1.4 million viewers, up 62 percent from 2001 and beating CNN and MSNBC combined.