To be starstruck is a TV broadcaster’s most dangerous enemy. It can hinder his professional development, his strive toward self-improvement. What’s frightful is that it is TV companies that might foster TV broadcasters becoming starstruck.
We often see how TV stations invite to different “TV programs” novice “stars” who have appeared on the screen for a few months to sing, dance, cook food or be filmed on the program Cheyin Spasum (“they weren’t waiting”).
It so happens that even watching this or that program, we can’t place who this “star” who is garnering so much attention is. There are also other ways of making a mere mortal into a star. For example, recently I was amazed when ATV, taken with self-promotion, was presenting its newly made TV commentators, showing their photos and praising to no end their competencies, skills and mastery which they yet have to prove over the years.
I remembered that suffering from the same starstruck “illness” at one time was AR TV when, much like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it had embedded stars with their broadcasters’ names in the sidewalk outside its main entrance.
Many who had high earnings in the country then rebelled against such treatment of stars who only just recently emerged. Yes, so some, indeed, acquitted themselves with this assessment given “in advance” — till today successfully presenting their programs at other TV companies, but some “stars” faded, were lost, and never again appeared on air.
What’s funny is that the current “TV wunderkinds” have been so imbibed with the idea that they’re superstars that they’ve begun to believe it — not even realizing that no one would notice if tomorrow they don’t appear on air.
Of course you can’t deny that we have good TV broadcasters who can engage the audience and when listening to them, you don’t want to change the channel. I can even list some names: Artak Aleksanyan, Armen Dulyan, Aram Abrahamyan, Artak Herikyan, and from the sport commentators — Eduard Kalantaryan, Karen Giloyan, Senik Kara-Poghosyan and so on.
Of course I don’t want them starting tomorrow to begin singing and dancing on air, and perhaps they might not even like it that much — singing and dancing, or being labelled a “star.” So probably the new TV commentators need this more — to assert themselves or to raise their ratings.
In the end, she whose program has established itself and who can gather a large audience can be called a good TV broadcaster.
Recently they also made into a TV star well-known photojournalist Gagik Shamshyan, whose speech is full of jargon and common street vernacular. That Shamshyan is a skilled photojournalist is indisputable, but why they’ve forced him on air and are trying to turn him into a TV star is incomprehensible. At the end of the day, let each do his own work.
Of course I should confess that under conditions of substantial restriction on freedom of speech it’s difficult for Armenian TV broadcasters to compete with their US or Western counterparts, whose remarks on air can be very influential on the public.
But let us hope that there will come a time when on the list of the wealthiest people in media we will find also the names of millionaire TV broadcasters, as is, for example, Oprah Winfrey.
The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.