King uses her experience to train aspiring comms students in broadcast performance during her last semester teaching at BYU
The BYU broadcast performance class, Comms 327R, is designed to give specialized attention for students interested in practicing for future on air work, anchoring careers or trying out for BYU’s Newsline. This class offers lab time where students have the chance to practice what they have been learning under the guidance of long-time KUTV Salt Lake City anchor Michelle King. With 35+ years of work in the industry under her belt, King has spent her time mentoring small groups of students in the broadcast lab.
“The students in this class are here because they want to practice their skills,” said King. “Anchoring might seem easy to people watching at home, but there is a lot to remember. You have to focus on the right camera, keep a good tone in your voice, and be conversational in your reading with your co-anchor, all while trying to read the teleprompter effortlessly. It’s more difficult than it looks.”
King’s experience in the field shines as she directs students’ performances. She helps students with reading speed, body placement, tone of voice, and the confrontation of problems that seem out of their control. “Everyone in the class is helping each other out,” King said. “They are either the floor director, an anchor, teleprompting or giving feedback to the anchors. Every student gets the opportunity to support their classmates and see the production from every angle. They learn by watching and doing.”
After every student performance, King offers advice and often asks students how they would handle a situation out in the field.
Amy Hamilton, a student in King’s class, said, “At first I was intimidated to take the class, because I’m still in the beginning stages of the program, but after the first week, I knew I was in a good spot. Working with Michelle has been such an honor. Not only has she taught me the principles of anchoring and being on television, but she’s incorporated the gospel into her discussions. From her example, I’m a lot more confident in merging a career path with family. She does it all, and it’s been such a privilege to learn from her. BYU will be sad to see her go.”
King said of her experience at BYU, “The time spent in the broadcasting lab makes me nostalgic for the time that I spent as an undergraduate at BYU. We even had a teleprompter back then. I am sad that this experience has come to a close because working here at BYU has really felt like home. I love watching the progress of students and seeing how confident they are by the time they finish this class in December.”
“The faculty and students have become close friends while I have worked here,” King said. “Students have reached out to me when they graduate and get jobs, and I hope that continues.”
Photos courtesy of Alyssa Lyman