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Overcoming Fear, Risk, Adversity, and Change...
I remember the first time I flew to Atlanta to visit CNN while still a testicular cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy in my hometown of Tulsa. I was auditioning at CNN Headline News, watching my hair falll out and struggling to keep the remaining strands in place during...yes, DURING three rounds of chemotherapy, and hoping that CNN would like my perseverence in facing my physical challenges and let me work for them. I believed strongly that I would live...and apparently that belief may have rubbed off on them. It must have. They hired me. Then, just three weeks after I joined CNN, I was in the anchor chair covering the liftoff of the Space Shuttle Challenger when it exploded 90 seconds after takeof, leaving all of us in the newsroom, and millions in the TV audience watching aghast. And that's one of many stories I want to tell you in person.
I've been fortunate to run across a number of wonderful people in this world. A few years ago I did a one-hour interview with CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite. Then there's a good friend of mine and three-time cancer survivor, former CNN Headline News anchor Don Harrison. Don saved the reputation of CNN Headline News by refusing to read an unverified report on-the-air that President George H. W. Bush had died unexpectedly at the dinner table in Tokyo in 1990. Fortunately, though sick, the President was very much alive. And so was Don's career.
I've been speaking all over this country for over 20 years, and the speech I give today as a former anchor during the early days of CNN is far different than the one I gave the first time in 1992. I want you to conquer those dream killers--Fear, Risk, Adversity, and Change, in the workplace and in life. But the road you take to do that could be far different than mine. And if you look inside yourself, you'll see qualities that you may not have known were there. Qualities that matter: Honesty. Integrity. Belief in Yourself. And Conquering Fear no matter how large the shadow looms over you.
Actor and Director Woody Allen has given us some great quotes: "I'm not afraid of death. I just don't want to be there when it happens." Yes, we can laugh, but the reality is that the fear of losing our lives is a big one. There was nothing more tragic in America than the horror and aftermath of the World Trade Center tragedy. Then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani walked through a haze of smoke and ash and crowds of desperate New Yorkers, and later revealed that his bout with prostate cancer the previous year changed him much more than 9-11. He said the cancer showed him the lack of control we have over death and removed some of the fear of death. In place of fear, he found courage. It was his father who told him years before that "you must manage fear to accomplish what you want to accomplish. It's finding areas in times of emergency where you've got to become deliberately calm even as everyone is yelling and screaming around you. Somebody's got to be able to figure a way out of the jam. And you'll be able to do that."
Giuliani remembered that as his dad was dying in a hospital bed, he asked him, "Were you ever afraid?" His dad responded, "Sure, there were times when I was afraid. But it isn't about being afraid, it's about overcoming it."
And Fear goes hand-in-hand with Risk, Adversity and Change. If we don't take risks, at least those with even a small chance of succeeding, we'll never be able to face Adversity or Change. Risk had come to my boss, Ted Turner, before, He took all the money from his sign company and bought large satellite dishes and cheap TV programming in 1975 to start TBS just as the country was undergoing a massive expansion in underground cable lines and satellite technology. Five years later he put CNN on the air when very few people thought there was enough news to fill 24 hours. He took the risks, and succeeded wildly. In a way, he also won against those dream killers of Adversity and Change in one fell swoop. I was there at CNN to see those changes, thanks to overcoming adversity with testicular cancer, and being forced to overcome Fear, Risk, Adversity, and Change all at once. And that's what I want to be my gift to you. If one door closes, I would suggest kicking down the next one. And if that doesn't work, kick down the next one. What a life awaits all of us if we dust ourselves off...and as Frank Sinatra put it, "Get Back In The Race!". I might have been able to work if I had settled on ending my TV broadcast career, but I knew there was so much more I could do if I was up for competing with the best, and faced Adversity by refusing to cower,to feel sorry for myself, andsimply give up my dream.
I've spoken or emceed before over 200 conventions, from New York to San Francisco to Seoul, South Korea, and just as importantly Rock Hill, North Carolina, and Binghamton, New York. And every one of them have been a chance for me to grow...and hopefully for you, as well. I look forward to meeting you in person in the near future.
How The News Media Is Evolving in The Wake of Global Terrorism
In his dynamic keynote speech, former CNN anchor Bob Losure examines the recent terrorist attacks abroad including the Charlie Hebdo office massacre in Paris, the attack by two lonewolf terrorists on U.S. Soil in Garland, Texas, and the growing number of airline bomb threats here in America. Are radical Islamists forcing the national media including CNN, MSNBC, and The New York Times to re-think how far they want to go in covering Islamist terrorist actions? Is there a real fear the networks' own staffs will be attacked for standing up for freedom of the press? Bob probes those questions.
With terrorism literally a global, an increasingly a national issue right here in the U.S. in 2015, Bob examines how all the news networks are worried for the safety of their freelance reporters, producers and photographers working globally, who are being killed in ever-growing numbers in political assassinations.
As a journalist for over 30 years, Mr. Losure also speaks on the political bias of the all-news networks including CNN, Fox, and MSNBC, who are pushing conservative or liberal agendas that abandon long-held journalistic traditions and leave little room for “moderate” points-of-view for their audiences. Bob looks at why TV networks are increasingly focused on terrorism, torture, and rioting at the expense of all other stories, and with a significant bias toward stories that are New York or Washington D.C.-centric.
As the battle continues for TV news ratings dominance, Bob gives some steps for us to get relatively unbiased immediate news even before it airs on U.S. Television networks. Instead of relying on one or two networks for so-called “breaking news” that leaves us with a feeling of depression, fear, and hopelessness about the world around us, we can now pick out stories from hundreds of internet-based websites that give us the in-depth coverage we're looking for. Bob well remembers his first few weeks at CNN Headline News in Atlanta in 1986, anchoring the live coverage of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster that put CNN on the map to stay. In his speech, he lets his audience in on what it's like to do a one-hour interview with the legendary CBS newsman Walter Cronkite, and he speaks of his friendship with three-time cancer survivor and CNN anchor colleague Don Harrison, who saved CNN Headline News from mistakenly proclaiming that President George Herbert Walker Bush had died unexpectedly at the dinner table in Tokyo in 1990.
Bob recounts his “live” reporting from San Francisco's Marina District during the Loma Prieta earthquake, his reporting from atop the CNN Center in Atlanta on Nelson Mandela's U.S. visit, and Hurricane Hugo's devastation in South Carolina.
He talks about the life lessons he learned from Ted Turner, who's own courage in the face of financial disaster in the 1990s gave Bob some valuable lessons into never giving up, and striving daily to conquer fear, risk, adversity and change in our journey through life. On-Stage Convention and Tradeshow Interviews: World Crane and Transport Summit in Miami (2014); health executives with Google and American Express for the Medical Tourism Association Congress in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.(2012); Thrivent Financial National Sales Meeting at Minneapolis Convention Center featuring keynote speaker and artist Erik Wahl among 30 interviewees (2013); CBS journalist Walter Cronkite at the Outdoor Advertising Association Convention in Phoenix; national democratic campaign personality James Carville; former Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge.
Live On-Camera and Televised Webcasts: On-camera/on-stage interviews of ESPN's Dick Vitale and Whole Foods CEO John Mackey at ExpressPros “Leadership Simulcast” in Thousand Oaks, CA. (2014); live webcast interviews with 30 financial experts for Thrivent Financial Sales Executives Meeting at the Minneapolis Convention Center (2013 and 2012); studio audience of 215 Delta Airlines flight attendants along with CEO Richard Anderson on-stage at Delta Headquarters at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport (2010), launching BellSouth's long-distance service with live webcasts connecting Atlanta headquarters with studio audience in New Orleans.
News Conferences: Pulitzer-Prize-Winning author Carl Bernstein before members of the foreign press for JC Bamford Heavy Equipment at ConExpo in Las Vegas; four-member panel of New York travel experts and 62 foreign journalists at Delta Airlines news conference in New York (2013).
Product Launches: Introducing RadioShack's new phone/computer product lines with RadioShack execs in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood; OfficeMax National Sales Meeting and Tradeshow at Mandalay Bay; introducing DNN.TV Real Estate Network on-stage to real estate executives in San Diego, Las Vegas and Palm Springs; introducing Ideal Health MLM nutritional products on-stage at Universal Studios, Orlando. Corporate promotional videos, infomercials, and :30 spots for Newsmax Magazine, magicJack, Juvenon, BellSouth, and others.
Breakout Sessions: Moderating four sessions for The Medical Tourism Congress in Ft. Lauderdale (2012); roundtable with Environmental Industries Association waste treatment experts and studio audience at Las Vegas Convention Center (2012); Outdoor Advertising Association of America in Chicago.
Fundraising Galas & Live and Silent Auction Hosting: Mercedes-Benz Concours d'Elegance Gala/Auction at Amelia Island, Florida (6 years); SHOPA Foundation Gala in Atlanta; Light-The-Night American Cancer Society Gala/Auction in Detroit; Cystic Fibrosis All-Sports Ball and Vacations-In-Paradise Auction in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Labor Day Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Telethon at KOTV Television in Tulsa.
Awards Ceremonies: The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy Awards in Cleveland; The United States Junior Chamber of Commerce 10 Outstanding Young Americans Awards in Washington, DC; The Junior Chamber International Awards Presentation on-stage in Pusan, South Korea; and the World Presidents Organization 'University' and awards ceremonies in New York City (2013).
Gameshow Hosting: For Novartis Pharmaceuticals Executives with a version of Jeopardy in Pasadena, CA.; and a version of Family Feud for BathFitter franchisees in Ft. Lauderdale (2013).
Debate Moderator: Oklahoma Gubernatorial and 1st District U.S. House races on C-Span2; global warming debate with Harvard and UC Berkeley professors for Young Presidents Organization (YPO) (2008) in Tucson, AZ.
On-Camera Corporate: Interviews at Georgia Public Broadcasting studios in Atlanta with Ancile Solutions' CEO and Alabama-based Infirmary Health's CIO (2014); anchoring a fictional 90-minute dramatization of a train collision in Pennsylvania for the rollout of 2015 national training videos for Norfolk Southern Railroad (2014).
Why Book Bob Losure?
Former CNN Anchor Bob Losure has reached a milestone of 200 keynote speaking and emcee appearances in 2016 and unveiled two new keynote speech presentations focusing on "Overcoming Fear, Risk, Adversity and Change" and "Conquering Cancer Is Just The Beginning." Bob overcame huge obstacles, enduring three operations and three rounds of chemotherapy, to fly to Atlanta to audition for the news anchor slot and get the job he coveted during the early days of CNN.
In one keynote, Bob focuses on how we can change our lives be overcoming fear and adversity to lead to what we truly want both in our home life and in our careers. His keynote on "Conquering Cancer Is Just The Beginning" tells his testicular cancer survival story and how it actually led him to leave Tulsa, Oklahoma and rise to the level of network anchor in Atlanta.
Among the highlights of Bob's appearances this year, hosting a one-hour session with political strategists James Carville and Mary Matalin at the Industrial Asset Management Council Convention in New Orleans. It marked Bob's 200th appearance as keynote speaker and emcee. In 2015 Bob appeared before Accelerent Inc.'s regional meeting in Kansas City, the Privacy XChange Forum CyberSecurity Conference in Scottsdale, and Komet Dental's National Convention in Rock Hill, North Carolina.
As a testicular cancer survivor, Bob has keynoted at numerous pretigious medical centers including M.D. Anderson in Houston, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Duke University Medical Center, Provena St. Joseph's Hospital in suburban Chicago, and Memorial Hermann Medical Center in Houston. The native Oklahoman recently keynoted on “CNN...Then and Now”, in Cincinnati before the CPCU Society chapter, sharing stories of his anchoring and reporting career from the time of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster through the first Persian Gulf War, the O.J. Simpson trial, and beyond. During his years anchoring at CNN in the eighties and nineties, Bob went on-location for CNN Newsource, anchoring coverage of Nelson Mandela's historic visit to Atlanta, Hurricane Hugo's devastation, and the Loma Prieta earthquake in San Francisco.
Mr. Losure's moderating and emcee skills are also highly regarded by major associations and corporations, including OfficeMax, RadioShack, Mercedes-Benz, and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America. His guests on-stage have included Forbes Magazine's Steve Forbes, CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite, inspirational speaker and artist Erik Wahl, and ABC Television's Shark Tank entrepreneur Barbara Corcoran.
Bob attended the University of Oklahoma and the Gaylord School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and has been inducted into the Communications Hall of Fame at his alma mater, The University of Tulsa. He's been awarded his fraternity's highest national alumni honor, The Order of West Range—given to only one other national journalist—former ABC broadcaster Ted Koppel.