The synthesized Serious News Program music swells, a globe graphic symbolizing an impending Serious World News Report spins, and attractive Serious News Anchor Victoria Sinclair comes into focus. She glides through the first news item concerning an American nuclear submarine hitting a Japanese fishing boat with the expected professional poise and newsy tone. Standard fare.
During her second story about the Mir space station, Sinclair begins unbuttoning her businesslike charcoal blouse. As she moves on to Yassir Arafat’s latest exploits, off comes the skirt, soon followed by the top, revealing decidedly un-businesslike matching red lace underwear.
As civil war rages in South Guinea, the newswoman brushes aside her long brunette hair to gently push a strap of her scarlet bra off one shoulder, then the other. Speaking voice maintaining an even cadence and no-nonsense tenor, Sinclair doffs the bra to punctuate the end of a piece on Mexico’s President Vicente Fox’s Yucatan power struggle. The Serious News Anchor then bends over and peels down her panties, not once breaking eye contact or missing a syllable of an item regarding New Zealand’s recent crime wave.
Now wearing only a microphone as an electronic necklace, Sinclair finishes today’s Serious World News Report in the all together, affecting the de rigueur upsweep in her voice and leading into a commercial break with a smile. “Up next, news from North America.”
Hands off the remote and whatever else you’re reaching for, buster—this isn’t a news channel you can subscribe to on cable TV. It’s NakedNews.com, an all-news, all-nude daily headlines program, streaming free-of-charge on the Internet (RealVideo, Windows Media Player or Quicktime required). Oh, and Toronto, Canada is NakedNews’ place of origin, in case our diligently overpaid new Porn Czar happens to be reading.
Since launching in December 1999, NakedNews.com has racked up—according to owners eGalaxy Inc., a Canuck Internet outfit—six million viewers at last dubious Web count. Besides Sinclair’s international headlines and impressive arsenal of lingerie, NN also features reports from stripping newsreaders Holly Weston (sports), Diane Foster (weather) and Carmen Russo (business).
Sinclair’s segment runs longest, but not just because Serious World News is more intensive, especially when factoring in thigh-high stockings on some days. “You need at least four minutes to be able to disrobe gracefully,” the 34-year-old former corporate marketer said in a recent interview, adding, “This is such an exciting and groundbreaking idea.”
Well, not exactly. This kind of news-with-boobs broadcast has popped up on Russian television, but NakedNews.com has the distinction of delivering the goods in English, the only language that matters to its primarily North American audience and, for some reason, a growing contingent in Asia, Mexico and the Middle East. Who wants to watch a gorgeous woman take off her clothes when you can’t understand a word she’s saying? OK, retracted, never mind.
“News is the primary focus,” Sinclair continued with, one assumes, a straight face. “People come to it because they’re getting news from us—we just happen to be nude. It’s a hook. It does bring people to the website, but they stay there because the content and delivery are superb.” Yes, and so are the … OK, retracted, never mind.
Sinclair’s boyfriend Elliott Shulman, along with a couple of partners, developed NakedNews.com, making her the site’s lead anchor. After answering ads placed in free Toronto weeklies (just like this one, but more, well, Canadian), the other three women who make up the NN news team had to audition in the buff for Sinclair and Shulman. In case you’re getting any “exciting and groundbreaking” ideas, City Weekly does not accept those kinds of ads. Not without a properly filled-out order form, anyway.
NakedNews.com is still looking for a few good women, as each webcast ends with an invitation from the united-in-skin news team for “fit, qualified” applicants. Sportscaster Weston, who’s pregnant and staying on the air for the duration (with the full support of NN and thousands of viewers), will require maternity leave in a few months, and there’s even talk of pairing a man co-anchor with Sinclair as well as a separate all-male version of NakedNews. Could lend a whole new meaning to the term “stiff anchorman.”
“Men, too? That would be an even worse idea,” said an amused but vexed Renai Bodley, news director for Salt Lake City’s Fox 13, upon viewing a clip of NakedNews.com. “This isn’t journalism, it’s a joke. If she’s really convinced that people are coming back for the news reporting, she has an interesting take on reality.”
The self-proclaimed “only network worth watching” may not be a total farce, however: Shudder to think how the male NakedNews will report a wind-chill factor—but when perky weatherwoman Foster says it’s “nipply” in Ontario, there’s no denying her veracity. Is her forecasting any less valid than some white-jacketed geezer’s? OK, retracted, never mind.