I’ve got a lot on my mind this week. The iconic video of the explosions at the Boston Marathon was shot by the Boston Globe, a vivid reminder that broadcasters are no longer alone in shooting news video on a professional basis. But the best overall TV coverage came not from the TV networks, but from their Boston affiliates. ~~ A speech by CEA’s Gary Shapiro shows that he doesn’t know innovation when he sees it. ~~ The saga of A.J. Clemente is being seen by some as an indictment of the state of small-market TV news. ~~ Kudos to ex-FCC chief Reed Hundt for taking a stand against the racist name of Washington’s NFL team. The city’s TV stations should do the same.
Appearing on NBC’s Today show Wednesday, fired North Dakota TV anchor A.J. Clemente spoke about his inadvertent use of a couple choice four-letter words in his first TV anchor appearance. What his mistake really reveals, however, is just how low the quality of local TV news is in Bismarck, the 151th TV market in the country — leaving larger questions about how badly the modern media environment has hurt small TV news operations.
Watching his profanity-laced flub for the first time was “gut-wrenching,” fired local anchor A.J. Clemente told Today Wednesday. Just 15 seconds into his very first broadcast as the new weekend news anchor for NBC affiliate KFYR in North Dakota on Sunday, he dropped an F-bomb and an S-bomb on air. “I didn’t even know I said it on camera until my news director walked in on the third break,” Clemente told Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie.
The first rule in TV newscasts — don’t curse when you’re in front of the camera. You never know when your microphone might be open. You never know when you might become the next YouTube sensation, the way A.J. Clemente did Sunday. Clemente was leading off his first newscast as the weekend anchor at KFYR, the NBC affiliate in Bismarck, N.D., when he let loose.