What makes a good on-air guest?

What qualities do good TV network guests share? We asked NBCU News Group anchors, reporters about what they appreciate in expert guests. Watch the video above or read the transcript below for more perspectives on good news guests.


“Answering honestly and candidly, and not relying on talking points. And that involves just being a good listener. I mean, I think that’s sort of expected if you’re going to go on television, you should be expected to do that.”
Carl Quintanilla, CNBC anchor

“Someone who has good energy, not necessarily is sort of frenetic and huge, but just as passionate about whatever the topic is that they’re discussing.”
Aaron Gilchrist, NBC News NOW anchor and NBC News correspondent

“Someone who speaks in almost two to three sentence maximum answers because then you allow the interviewer to really get the most out of your expertise and ask more questions and really get the most out of your time.”
Morgan Radford, NBC News NOW anchor and NBC News correspondent

“The most important thing in booking a good guest and finding a good guest is bringing somebody who tells us something about a big story. Somebody who has a perspective that we might not understand otherwise.”
Becky Quick, CNBC anchor

“Somebody who has unique expertise on a certain subject or somebody who has a particularly interesting personal experience or personal story.”
Katy Tur, MSNBC anchor and NBC News correspondent

“Someone who can make the complicated easy to understand, and always showing a deep sense of humanity and sensitivity.”
José Díaz-Balart, MSNBC and NBC Nightly News anchor