Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes CBS passed away on Friday, Nov 4, 2011 at 92.
[ Note: This post is from November 6, 2011. It was updated on March 25, 2021 with a video to allow our dear readers to get a sense of the iconic broadcaster Andy Rooney. In case you never saw him on live television]
Affectionately called America’s “grouch-in-chief” and a “curmudgeon” Andy had a lot of contribution to the success of CBS 60 minutes over the years with his signature ending piece on “a few minutes with Andy Rooney”. He was able to put an interesting spin to almost anything from why you have cotton in medicine bottles to his famous essay on doors. Here is what bloggers,speakers and writers can learn from Andy Rooney:
- Understand your audience – and where they are coming from. Andy understood, perhaps intuitively, where his audience was coming from.
- What’s interesting in your topic to your target audience. This again is a huge skill and I guess you can improve this skill as you go along.
- Start with what your audience is already thinking about the topic and then extend their thinking.
It needs a huge amount of humility to be able to resonate with your audience for so many years as Andy Rooney. For unless Andy Rooney reflected on the audience and its changing nature there is absolutely no explanation how he could transition from the radio in 1940’s to television writing in the 1960’s, a TV broadcaster from 1978 holding his audience in the Internet and social media world of 2011.
Andy Rooney excelled in exactly understanding where his audience was coming from, found an interesting (to the audience) angle on a topic and presented it in his classic grouchy style but always adding some new thinking to his audience’s existing thinking. This is perhaps what is meant by connecting with your audience. RIP Andy Rooney.