Q+A: Tanya Rivero
by Michael Sones | @IFmsones
Tanya Rivero anchors Lunch Break, the noon show on the digital platform Wall Street Journal Live. I recently spoke with Tanya about her new gig, the transition from television to digital, and what it takes to be a successful anchor.
Talk about your current gig a little bit. You started in April- how has the first month been so far?
Tanya Rivero: It’s been great, I love it so far. It’s a great group of people and the show is a lot of fun! It’s a nice mix of hard news, health, culture, lifestyle and finance. Everything that I enjoy reporting on. It really has been great.
This is your first time anchoring on a digital channel. Has it been an easy transition from television?
Rivero: I think that with Wall Street Journal Live, the audience is expected and is understood to be highly educated and accomplished. So there isn’t as much of an attempt to speak past the audience. A lot of the stories on the show are geared towards the audience and not necessarily to the broadest possible audience, which is usually what broadcast news aims for. So we’re allowed to be a little more intelligent and go into a little more depth in certain fields. It’s interesting and I really enjoy speaking to this audience. For me it was a very natural transition.
You grew up in New York and have worked here for your entire career. That has to be pretty nice…
Rivero: It is! But I have nothing to compare it to because like you said, I started my career in New York and have been here the whole time. I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I’m a die hard New Yorker and I love this job! There are so many stories here- on the local level, on the national level and on the international level. So I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to have my entire career here. Plus my family lives here and my husband’s family lives here, so there are a lot of reasons to be in New York beyond just the job.
What do you believe separates a great anchor from the rest?
Rivero: I think it’s the ability to really listen, especially when you’re doing a live interview. You can come in prepared but sometimes you might have a preconceived notion as to where the conversation will go or what your questions will be. I think you really have to listen and respond to the answers and not just worry about your next question. And I think real love for breaking news and the adrenaline that kicks in- you need all of that to be a good anchor. I also think approachability is important. You need a persona that people can relate to and find approachable. I think all of that is what makes the difference.