“Forget the Barbie and Ken anchors on CNN (http://www.cnn.com), Fox News (http://www.foxnews.com) and the broadcast networks who bring us blood and gore headlines day after day. The news is ugly, and so are our anchors,” said Mike Melish, executive producer of the Hallandale Beach-based “Ugly News”. “Just like rubbernecking a bad accident, you just can’t help but look at our news team.”
Melish says that he came up with the idea for “Ugly News” after watching news shows on Fox, CNN (http://www.examiner.com/
According to Melish, the worst offender in terms of featuring a bevy of beautiful anchors was Fox News (http://www.examiner.com/
“I think Fox News has managed to divert its male viewers’ collective attention from ugly news to beautiful women,” said Melish. “Who cares about a nuclear Iran when half the Fox audience are ready to explode by virtue of watching the anchors.”
Liz Mundy, in an article for the Atlantic, wrote that the female anchors of Fox News wear significantly more makeup than any other network’s anchors. For Melish, the makeup is nothing more than a feeble attempt by Fox to mask and lessen the impact of the ugly news being reported.
“On ‘Ugly News’ makeup is strictly forbidden,” says Melish. “We’re proud of our ugliness and wear it as a badge of honor. We'll never allow our staff to follow the makeup-oriented news shows on CNN, Fox, ABC (http://www.examiner.com/
Melish, ever the philosopher, proffered “Did you ever notice that the producers of the beautiful newscasts are some of the ugliest people you’ll ever see?”
Media analyst Susan Campari thinks Melish is on to something with his “Ugly News.”
“I think that in our contrarian, pop-oriented culture people like rooting for the underdog, with whom they often relate,” Compari said. “The average man and woman sitting at home watching the news are not prom queens and kings. They’re just John and Jane Doe Americans. When it comes to picking a favorite news anchor, it’s a question of reliability and trust, not good looks. That’s why Walter Cronkite was beloved by millions of Americans.”
“Ugly News” is being test marketed online and will rollout to select broadcast and cable channels in March 2013. If initial reaction is any indication, “Ugly News” is a beautiful twist in a staid broadcast industry that’s always trying to reinvent itself.
“I really think this show is going to catch on big time,” said Campari. “One thing’s for sure when this show catches on - Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC will try to counterpunch and things could get Ugly … News.”