CBS news anchor Kristine Johnson on what goes on behind the scenes


TV news behind the scenes

Kristine Johnson, WCBS-TV news anchor, on what sometimes goes wrong: “A lipstick or powder smudge shows. Drink with a straw. Things spill. Once, no straw and I ended up with a big spot. Also, clothes must fit. When a schloompy thing looked too big I stuck a paper clip on the back. Accidents happen.

“You get all dolled up — hair, makeup, tight clothes. Cameras add weight so you pin, tuck, use wardrobe tape, add a clip, which when you turn sometimes gets noticed. I don’t dress trendy. Too distracting. No fashion model, I try to look as plain as possible.

“I read scripts before going on-air so I don’t mispronounce towns or things. If I have a pronunciation question I ask someone or call the town’s main number. Its message machine often gives correct pronunciation.”

So how did she start?

“Providence. Station WPRI-TV Channel 12. Answering phones, checking facts, filing messages. Promoted, I then ran the prompters, made sure the pace was correct for the anchors. Manually write corrections. Also I ran for coffee and did errands.”

I said we had to have a cup of coffee together.

Kristine: “Better to have prosecco.”

Drag-in’ on & on

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” is no drag because, as RuPaul says, “Contestants feel safe letting it all hang out in spandex, sequins, sass and ass. This atmosphere’s where they’re free to tell their own stories. Young people hear our contestants’ experiences. They learn how to navigate these treacherous waters. Learn from them how to fight and continue to be courageous.” Clear the runway. Stuff the bra. Season 15 is on the way soon. 

‘Lasso’ role model

“Ted Lasso” star Hannah Waddingham who plays soccer team owner Rebecca Welton and bosses around Jason Sudeikis and Juno Temple:

“People — even men — have said, ‘Thank you. Rebecca is me.’ They say, ‘You’re a prime example of who might be a CEO. And you also have to know that behind closed doors it’s a house of cards.’ Also, you have to stack those cards back up even to walk out the door. Who could ever predict a show like this would go into the zeitgeist and create such a ripple?”

“Ted Lasso” star Hannah Waddingham said her character has been an inspiration some fans.
“Ted Lasso” star Hannah Waddingham said her character has been an inspiration some fans.
Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images

This Apple TV+ comedy’s a multi-Emmy contender again. Sprawled out at home, feet on a sofa, dog on my side, 2nd Ave Deli pastrami sandwich — pickles on the side — we’ll find out Sept. 12.

Wicked whiners

Maine’s newsfolk and Internet burblers are knocking me for writing snarky about them. Please. My fault their stomachs overlap their kneecaps? Or local wardrobe’s not exactly being copied in the South of France? The state’s friendly. Shampoo’s not locked up in a Walgreens cage as in NYC. Also their big animal’s a moose. With us it’s city officials. In some ways we’re alike. I loved Maine . . . almost.

Sign on gate of a new Long Island factory: “Men wanted to work on nuclear-fissionable isotope counters and three-phase photosynthesizer upgrades. No experience necessary.”

Only in New York, kids, only in New York. 


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