What communicators can learn from the funniest news bio you’ll ever read

What communicators can learn from the funniest news bio you’ll ever read

Communicators can learn a lot from this TV sportscaster's online bio.

Online bios for TV news anchors and reporters (and for many other folks) tend to be fairly matter-of-fact and dry. They go something like this:

Joe Smith joined KDUM in 2003 as the weekend news anchor and became weeknight news anchor in 2008. He lives in Springfield with his wife, Jane, and their three children. A native of Wyoming, Joe is a 1996 graduate of North-South-East-West University and spends his free time volunteering at the Springfield Animal Shelter.

Yawn. Joe Smith comes off sounding pretty dull.

The online bio for Drew Soicher, sports director at Denver’s NBC affiliate, KUSA, is anything but dull. In fact, it could be the most outrageous, most uproarious bio you’ll ever read on a TV station’s website. It’s also one of the longest TV station bios you’ll likely ever see.

The bio opens by referring to Soicher as “unconventional” and “unpredictable.” Well, the bio backs up those descriptions.

The second paragraph boldly states that Soicher joined KUSA in January 2000 “after being unceremoniously fired for no good reason at all by KPIX-TV in San Francisco.” What other TV anchor or reporter’s bio mentions being canned by a previous employer? Probably none.

For the record, KPIX said it dumped Soicher as sports director in 1999 because his “nontraditional approach” to sportscasting wasn’t a fit for the CBS affiliate, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The rest of Soicher’s bio contains a treasure chest full of equally brilliant gems, such as:

  • Soicher launched his sports broadcasting career in his family’s basement as the color commentator for the Nerf Basketball Association, Electric Football League and Strat-O-Matic Baseball Club.
  • Soicher and his brother, fellow sportscaster Marc Soicher, “carefully crafted their induction speeches for the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame. It wasn’t until many years later that they learned no such place exists.”
  • He “kind of” worked in Lansing, Michigan; Detroit; Fresno, California; Seattle; Los Angeles; Tampa, Florida; and San Francisco “before stumbling into Denver.”
  • Soicher is “a zero-time National Emmy Award winner.”
  • He is “widely recognized as the world’s foremost authority” on bobbleheads. According to the Denver Business Journal, Soicher owns more than 2,000 of the figures.
  • “A medical miracle, Soicher is the only person on Earth with one kidney and five wisdom teeth. His nose was so badly disfigured that it took three rhinoplasty surgeries to repair.”

Those nuggets are only some of the golden tidbits in Soicher’s bio. Not everyone regards him as a golden boy in TV sports, however.

In 2009, Bleacher Report writer Rich Kurtzman called Soicher “unlovable.”

“Soicher is the worst local news sports anchor [in Denver], and his fake good-natured attitude and smile make him unbearable to watch,” Kurtzman proclaimed.

How is Soicher unbearable? Denver sports podcaster Colin Daniels explained in 2012 that the Twittersphere heaps loads of criticism on Soicher for his “cutesy” segments on KUSA, such as his “Drew’s Clues” quizzes on the air and on Twitter.

Whatever your opinion of Soicher, his online bio is pretty damn entertaining, and some folks in Denver think he’s pretty entertaining on the air.

“While fans and detractors are equally voluble about his charms and deficiencies as a sportscaster, suffice to say he keeps it interesting for those of us who are non-sports enthusiasts,” the Denver Post’s TV critic, Joanne Ostrow, wrote in 2010.

You don’t have to be a sports enthusiast to appreciate the humor in what could have been just another run-of-the-mill bio for a TV anchor or reporter.

So, how can you jazz up your online bio without practically dumping a comedy routine into it? Here are three tips.

1. Be genuine. Sure, people want to read about you. That’s why they’ve visited your profile. But they probably don’t want to read the same robotic-sounding online bios they’ve seen time and time again. Try to inject some personality into your bio. In other words, be yourself. You’re more than a bland bio, aren’t you?

2. Punch it up. Choose active verbs, powerful adjectives and other lively language in writing (or rewriting) your bio. Make your bio jump off the computer screen and demand to be read. In some of my own online bios, I refer to myself as “Lover of laughter, lover of words.” That grabs your attention, doesn’t it? (I hope it does!)

3. Let your guard down. Part of the problem with online bios for people at news outlets and plenty of other organizations is that they read like résumés. Certainly, you need to include your work history, but that’s not all that people want to know about you. Outside work, what have you accomplished? What are you passionate about? Who is your hero? What makes you tick?

To check out the full bio for Drew Soicher, visit the KUSA website.

Have any other tips for writing a powerful online bio? Share them in the comments below!

John Egan is editor in chief at SpareFoot, an Austin, Texas-based startup that operates the country’s largest online marketplace for self-storage units.

Photo: Screenshot of Drew Soicher's bio

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