Leslie Scrivener of the Toronto Star profiles Canadian native Ali Velshi, the main business reporter on CNN.
Scrivener writes, “Velshi doesn’t have the square-jawed appeal of the late Peter Jennings of ABC World News Tonight, nor the boyish good looks of CNN American Morning anchor John Roberts â€“ both, like him, Canadians who rose to the top in U.S broadcasting. ‘I have no angles on my face,’ Velshi laments. ‘I look like a boiled egg.’
“But with his rich baritone voice, his personable style and his distinctive, friendly appearance, he has on-air charisma. ‘It’s called ‘Q,” explains Amanda Lang, co-anchor of the business/politics show SqueezePlay on Canada’s Business News Network. ‘It’s likeability, a measure of how popular someone is with an audience. Oprah has off-the-charts Q. It’s not about how beautiful you are, it’s about viewers liking you, and he’s always had it.’
“Velshi’s style is intimate, and it’s the people side of the story he likes. ‘Call back, I like talking to you,’ he recently told John, calling from California. His Canadian sensibility shows in his defence of public health care and a minimum wage: ‘People who oppose the minimum wage should go out and work for it, for a change,’ he said on his radio show.”
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