Telum Talks To... Anchor Catherine Lu

Telum Talks To... Anchor Catherine Lu

Telum has invited Anchor Catherine Lu to share about her experience of transitioning from a TV news anchor to an online programme host, and how she utilises tech and design mindset to produce online programmes.

Hi Catherine. Tell us a little bit about what you are currently up to... 
I am now hosting three different programmes, namely, Moonlight Economy at The Storm Media, I See Dreamer at UFO Network, and Cross Culture Call at The News Lens. Moonlight Economy is a financial-style information talk show, which is inspired by the programme Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. In each episode, we will bring in financial news and financial management concepts by chatting in a bar.

I See Dreamer is an educational programme for popularisation of science and technology. “I see” is taken from the homophonic sound of IC circuit board, and the programme focuses on discussing the industries on which Taiwan is based, including 5G, AI, semiconductors, future transportation, and medical care. In each episode, we will interview entrepreneurs or business leaders in a field. As for Cross Culture Call, it is a brand-new type of online programme. We will chat with celebrities around the world through video, bringing out new knowledge and ideas. I act as both the Host and Producer of Cross Culture Call, so I care more about the feedback from the market and the audience. I am a snowflake (laughter).

Who or what inspires you?
In my career, I was greatly inspired by Kristie Lu Stout, a CNN journalist and anchor, who I interviewed in Hong Kong. I hope one day I can have the same outstanding achievements as her.

You stepped down from a traditional TV anchor in 2016 and moved to the live show. What made you decide to make the transition?
I worked as an evening news anchor for EBC Financial News in 2016 and broadcast the news for four years. At that time, EBC’s overall strategy was to develop digital transformation, so I moved from broadcasting the evening news to hosting the programme entirely online. Then at the end of the year, I started the live show Technology Knocks on Yahoo TV, and created a partnership with my former employer, EBC News, and only went back to broadcast news in case of important US presidential election votes counting and international issues.

Properly speaking, I didn’t take it as profession switching. I think I just communicate with different audiences with different media and language habits. I keep thinking that the boundary line between tradition and innovation is not absolute, but compound. I was always looking for new opportunities for attempts and learning, and it just so happens that the whole industry gave me a new try at that time.

What are the different requirements for hosts from TV stations and online programmes?
I think hosting online live or recorded programmes are completely different from hosting TV programmes in terms of the tone, the tempo, the interaction with audiences and guests, and even in details like when to speak and when to pause. It made me feel like being a toddler all over again - I even wrote an article to share my thoughts about this change. Overall, online live or recorded programmes are closer to equal communication and dialogue, and much closer to the audience. You have to be more sensitive to the audience’s preferences, data and keywords. The design of the whole production process also becomes more important. Watching TV is a step to turning on the TV, but whether you are producing something on Douyin, YouTube, Podcast, Facebook or Instagram, it is very important to know in what context and by whom you want the production to be found. I often mention that if you have a video earning 10 million views, what do you want it to be? Only after you find the answer, can you consciously define your target audience, imagine and confirm their demands, and then design interaction and sharing mechanisms centering to those demands. I didn’t have such kind of design thinking when I was a TV news anchor.

You have interviewed celebrities in different fields at home and abroad. Have you had any particularly memorable experiences?
My most challenging interview was with Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google. We discussed when and in what form the Google search engine would return to China. The most enjoyable interview was with the famous director Ang Lee, who made me feel like going back to my student days and meeting a very gentle and patient teacher. I am a movie fan, so it was like a dream come true for me to be able to discuss movie content with him in great detail.

You have joined forces with The News Lens to launch the new programme Cross Culture Call since February, to remotely interview world celebrities in the form of mobile video. Do you think the changes brought about by COVID-19 will change media in the long term?
If you turn on the TV today, you will see that CNN, BBC, NBC talk shows and other global mainstream media are using video for programmes. I believe there will be more applications in video, and more technology aids or better visual effects will be developed. Anderson Cooper is our predecessor in this field, and we make reference to his programme Anderson Cooper Full Circle. But it is not just the video content that sets Cross Culture Call apart. We rarely have the opportunity to invite international celebrities for close interviews in Taiwan. So that is our goal, enabling audiences in Taiwan to see the private life of these international superstars and scholars.

Technology, finance and business are all your main areas of concern. What impact do you think this outbreak will have on the development trends in these three areas?
I believe that analysts, experts and scholars of various countries have made a lot comments on wealth accumulation and reshuffle of the international supply chain. I would like to mention how technology can play a greater role in the epidemic or pandemic. In the case of Taiwan, the mask map is a demonstration of the power of science and technology. Working at home is now adopted worldwide. In terms of video tools, remote cloud office applications, privacy security and camera IP applications, etc., Taiwan is very specialised, has superior abilities and presents excellent products. We have gained advantages in epidemic prevention, and now comes the time to show Taiwan’s technological power to the world. I am looking forward to seeing how Taiwan is featured on this global outbreak.

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Telum media database

  • Catherine Lu
  • The News Lens
    28 contacts
    2 media requests
  • The Storm Media
    18 contacts
  • UFO NETWORK
    1 contacts
  • The News Lens Cross Culture Call
    1 contacts
  • The Storm Media Moonlight Economy
    1 contacts
  • UFO NETWORK I See Dreamer
    1 contacts

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