In his first day on the job, a news anchor for the North Dakota network KFYR was fired after dropping an F-bomb during the evening news segment.
The Huffington Post reported on the incident, which would rank pretty high on anyone’s list of “Worst First Days on the Job.” The KFYR network is an NBC affiliate that covers the news for the North Dakota region. In his first day on the job, AJ Clemente was recorded as saying, “F—ing sh-t” on the air, not realizing that his microphone was on. The words were broadcast live and would be the news anchor’s first and last words ever aired as a KFYR anchor. KFYR followed up with the incident by immediately suspending Clemente.
His co-anchor, Van Tieu, responded with an official apology from the network during the 10:00 p.m. news segment later that day. She explained, “We were caught off guard and [Clemente] didn’t realize his microphone was on.” Tieu noted that the network’s reporters are taught to always assume their microphones are on (no doubt, to avoid verbal slip-ups such as this one). Monica Hannan, the News Director for KFYR, later apologized via the network’s Facebook page as well, asking audience members for their forgiveness and offering her “personal assurance that I will do my best to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again under my watch.”
Earlier news mistakenly reported that Clemente used the word “gay” in a derogatory way, just before cursing. Clemente made a point of clarifying via his Twitter page that he had not said the word “gay,” but had been trying to pronounce the name, “Tsegaye Kebede,” the winner of the London Marathon.
In the comments left on the network’s official Facebook page, many users asked the network not to fire the rookie anchor for his first-day mistake. And while many can sympathize with the type of professional gaffes that can accompany a nervous first day on the job, unfortunately, his supervisors were not as understanding. Clemente was suspended for the use of profanity, and fired shortly after by the network.
Fortunately, the former news anchor seems to be taking the experience in stride. On Monday, Clemente’s Twitter page thanked both KFYRTV and the North Dakota community for their support. A few minutes later, he tweeted a tongue-in-cheek personal reflection on the entire episode: “Rookie mistake. I’m a free agent.Cant [sic] help but laugh at myself and stay positive. Wish I didn’t trip over my “Freaking Shoes” out of the gate.”