Valley TV personalities are just like us — some of them now even more so, thanks to the clarity of high-definition television.
“I think we’re all in the same boat and feeling like, ‘Oh, no, here it comes. What are we going to look like?’ ” says morning news anchor Scott Pasmore of KTVK-TV (Channel 3), which on Thursday will become the second Valley station to offer its newscasts in high-def.
In November, KPNX (Channel 12) was the first to offer the digital HDTV format, which amplifies every wrinkle, pimple and pore.
“We all watch high-definition channels now, and it’s just so clear and just remarkable to watch,” Pasmore says. “I think we’re all very excited about it, but at the same time we’re all jokingly a little scared to see what we look like.”
Tram Mai, co-anchor of KPNX’s morning show, agrees. “I know how detailed (highdef) can be,” she says. “It’s the typical concerns you would have: how you would look on TV, how your clothes would look.
“When they pop us up on the monitors, I notice that it looks more crisp. You can see the colors of my eyes, and your pupils. And you can see some flyaways with your hair.”
Both stations have brought in makeup consultants to help the on-air people look their best.
“We have these little air compressors that spray it on real thick,” Pasmore says. “It’s basically what models use — just little air compressors that you can hook up to a vat of makeup. It’s kind of like spraying your house with paint basically. I don’t know about everybody else but I don’t have the best skin in the world, so for personal reasons I’m going to spray it on as thick as I can.”
TV personalities aren’t the only ones getting makeovers. KTVK and KPNX have also revamped their studios. Backdrops are more vivid, and lighting is more intense.
“When you go HD, it seems like the lighting is more of a spotlight,” Mai says.
To watch high-def programming, viewers need a high-definition TV and a high-definition service provider. According to Cox Communications, about 20 percent of its Valley cable TV customers watch HDTV programming, which includes most prime-time shows on major networks.
Among other Valley stations, KNXV (Channel 15) is expected to offer high-def newscasts later this year. KPHO (Channel 5) and KSAZ (Channel 10) declined to comment on their plans.
In the meantime, Pasmore says he has watched rival KPNX to see how high-def has affected its news personalities.
“I think they look great,” he says. “Everybody looks really good. I just hope that’s the case for me personally.”
KTVK’s high-definition newscasts debut 4:30 p.m. Thursday on Channel 3.