Since 2009, WNBC has given viewers a behind-the-scenes pass to their studios and newsroom with The Debrief.
The program is a high-energy, no-script combination week-in-review and look-ahead with the reporters locked in on those specific stories.
But, what makes the show work best is its host—David Ushery.
He is tailored perfectly for the “no time to waste” mentality that the show offers. It is easy to see that Ushery enjoys “winging it” without a teleprompter.
“Timing is so important with this, because the whole idea behind The Debrief is actually the pacing of it,” Ushery tells FishbowlNY. “…Our reporter who covered [a particular story] is just going to give you the nuts and bolts—here’s what you need to know,” Ushery says, snapping his fingers. “And then we’re going to move on.”
To that end, on one recent episode, Ushery guided viewers through seven different short bursts of interviews with colleagues or guests in the first 14-minute segment.
“I think it’s new for us in local news. If you look at some of the other national shows they’ve done movement around the newsroom and a different way of storytelling.” Ushery says. “But I think in local it’s kind of a new arena for the market.” (In October, WPIX started doing nightly newscasts without a desk in the newsroom.)