Fortune GFX

A new talk show about business we (really) hope you like

Dec 18, 2014

One of the fun things about journalism these days is all you need to do is stand still and change will run right into you. Our industry is being disrupted, nimble upstarts are appearing from all corners, and big giants are reinventing themselves. Of course, it’s not just our industry—it’s happening all over the place. And while that’s not always easy, it does have its upsides.

When I got into journalism, the field was pretty much made up of writers and editors. Now, having iterated bit by bit over the last 7 years, I’m an editor, yes, but also a conference programmer, on-stage moderator, video interviewer, event planner, television pundit, and once-a-week blogger (though my editor may raise an eyebrow at that claim of frequency). In fact, besides the people I work with, one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about Fortune is that every year I’ve been here I’ve been able to do one new thing that’s brand new, uses a completely different muscle, and challenges me in a new and different way.

This year is no exception. First, we launched a new conference, Fortune Most Powerful Women: Next Gen. An extension of our popular Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, Next Gen is focused on women executives 45 and younger. While the execution of our flagship MPW Summit is by now a smooth process, thanks to an extraordinary team and 16 years under our belt, the Next Gen Summit was the first time most of us had created an entirely new event from scratch. It was a year in the making and required countless hours every week, but nothing matched the excitement and energy just before we took the stage a few weeks ago to a sold-out audience. (Many of the women in the room told us they felt energized by being part of something new, too.)

And now comes the next big new thing I’ve been having fun with: this Friday -- as in tomorrow -- I will be hosting Fortune’s first-ever live, 30-minute video show. Streamed live on Fortune.com at 3pm EST on December 19, we’ll be recapping the year in business and looking ahead to predictions for 2015, complete with roundtable discussions with some of my colleagues (look for Fortune Editor Alan Murray, Assistant Managing Editor Brian O’Keefe and tech editor Andrew Nusca to name a few), and we'll have interviews with special guests, including Shark Tank's Robert Herjavec. Think of it as a Sunday talk show about business.

It’s a bit nerve-wracking, to be honest, because I’ve never actually done this before. I’ve been a guest lots and lots of times on shows like MSNBC’s Morning Joe, CBS This Morning, Squawk Box and other places. But guesting is easy—because the host does all the work. All you have to do when you’re a guest is opine. Now, I’m responsible for setting the tone, staying on pace and pulling it all together, all the things I’ve marveled that other show hosts do effortlessly when I’m sitting on their set. I’ve actually been playing host on a shorter show, Fortune.com’s 5 Things, for a good chunk of this year. But it’s a minute and a half, and taped. This is 30 minutes. Live!

Lucky for me, I am in the safe and competent hands of a super talented team, led by our ace senior producer Mason Cohn, who have been hard at work conceiving the show and thinking about things that are entirely foreign to me: shot angles, backdrops, how to “throw” to interstitials to make the transitions between segments seamless, the whole deal. It was pretty fun for an old school print type to be brainstorming last week about which kinds of chairs to use, what angle would create the richest shot and where to do the “cold open.” One of the main reasons I am not that nervous about having a Cindy Brady moment at some point –-millennials, Google the reference if you don’t get it-- is simply because they are so completely calm, cool and confident. (And also because I’ve learned that a teleprompter can be a girl’s best friend.)

So, without revealing too much about the content of Friday’s show, I urge you to tune in. It’s new and exciting and it will highlight how much we are reinventing at Fortune.

And please think good thoughts that once that red light goes on I don’t turn into Cindy Brady.

Can't tune in at 3 pm EST? No problem. It will be archived on Fortune.com.

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