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Why Your TV Appearance Got Canceled at the Last Minute – and What to do About It

Why Your TV Appearance Got Canceled at the Last Minute – and What to do About It

You booked a TV appearance. Awesome! You’re reviewing the producer notes over and over again to prepare yourself. You’ve planned your key messages, you look your best, and now all that’s left to do is wait for the cue. But then, minutes before your scheduled segment, you get word that it’s canceled. 

So now what? You might wonder why your TV interview was canceled, and you may even be angry that you spent time preparing for it – all seemingly for nothing. As a former TV producer, I’m here to tell you why this happens – and how to handle it, to ensure you will get asked back for another interview shortly. 

Why did my TV news appearance get canceled? 

Cancellations happen because TV can be unpredictable. Maybe your segment got pushed for breaking news – this happens a lot. 

Or maybe one of the segments ahead of yours ran long, and they had to cancel you for timing purposes (this also happens all the time). 

Perhaps an executive producer decided that the topic you were scheduled to speak about is no longer relevant, or conflicts with another guest or advertiser for the TV network. This one can be especially frustrating, but it does happen from time to time. 

So what can you do about it? Here are few ways to handle the situation:

-Go with grace. It can be tempting to want to let the booker or producer know you’re upset by the cut. Maybe you had to get a babysitter, maybe you spent a bunch of money on a new outfit, maybe you spent an extra hour on your hair and makeup – all, seemingly for nothing. 

It’s certainly frustrating. But, try handling it with a smile or kind word, plus a reminder that you’d love to get booked again when the time is right. Your kindness will go a long way. At the end of the day, you’ve made a new connection in the TV world, even if the segment didn’t pan out this time. 

-Follow up with alternative interview ideas. As a former TV producer, I will tell you that I want to go out of my way to re-book guests after we had to cut them last minute. 

After a few days, send the booker or producer a brief follow-up email, and include 2-3 timely topics you could talk about. Let them know you’d love to make yourself available for a segment. Even if they don’t get back to you right away, they’ll likely think of you next time they’re needing to “fill time” on TV. 

-Don’t vent your feelings on social media. If you’ve already posted about your upcoming appearance, you may feel like posting an update about how you got canceled at the last minute. Or maybe you’re just upset at how it turned out, and want to post how you’re feeling. But that’s the fast track to getting yourself banned from the future guest-list. 

If anything, post a simple update about the cancellation without placing blame or sounding mad. Remember that it’s never a waste of time to make new connections and practice your messaging points. This was just a practice round! 

Looking to land more TV appearances? Want to nail down interview-friendly messaging? Schedule a discovery call with us to see how we can help you maximize your publicity efforts. 

Vicky Lynch
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