Great interviewing advice: "The windup is not as necessary as you might think. It is, in the end, the pitch that makes the difference."
Charlie Rose is one of journalism's great interviewers, and on Wednesday he offered some rare insights into his technique — including two daily naps.
The host of "Charlie Rose," co-anchor of "CBS This Morning" and co-host of "Person to Person" spoke at the Television Critics Association summer press tour about his new PBS Friday show, "Charlie Rose: The Week."
Asked about his toughest interviews, he named former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
"You weren't sure that he was listening, and whatever the question was, he would answer another question," Rose said. There was also a language barrier.
How does Rose get through such situations?
"The thing I always try to tell myself is be in the moment and be engaged," he said.
Then he offered some of the best interviewing advice your writer has ever heard:
"What you have to do is really, then, ask the question in the most precise and short way you can. … The windup is not as necessary as you might think. It is, in the end, the pitch that makes the difference."
He also said curiosity and preparation are both important, but that curiosity "rides on the back" of preparation.
He also talked about time management — and when he sleeps. The host of four shows says that when you're committed to something, you do it.
"If you want to get something done, give it to a busy person," he said.
Rose said he tries to take two naps a day, and walked reporters through his schedule. He goes to sleep each night by 11, wakes up at 5, arrives at CBS at 6, does "CBS This Morning" from 7 to 9, and plans the next day's show after that.
At 10:30, he exercises and takes his first nap. Then it's on to his other shows.
Rose also talked — briefly — about his appearance in the second-to-last episode of "Breaking Bad." He's a great guest, because he wouldn't reveal a thing — including whether he plays himself.
Watch Charlie Rose talk to the creator and stars of "Breaking Bad":