UPDATE: Clemente announced Monday morning that the station has fired him. He wrote on Twitter: “Unfortunately KFYRTV has decided to let me go. Thank you to them and everyone in ND for the opportunity and everyone for the support.”
The first rule in television news – ALWAYS assume your microphone is on!
A.J. Clemente, a rookie TV news anchor at KFYR-TV, the NBC station in Bismarck, North Dakota found that out the hard way Sunday night when he was caught swearing at the very top of the station’s early evening broadcast.
“F*cking sh*t,” Clemente said into his microphone -- only fifteen seconds into his very first anchoring job! He inexplicably seemed to not know he was live on the air, as he was looking down when he dropped the f-bomb.
After Clemente started talking, his co-anchor, Van Tieu, soldiered on with the newscast and introduced her nervous new co-anchor.
“You may have seen our newest reporter A.J. on North Dakota News, and he’ll be joining the weekend news team as my co-anchor,” she said.
Clemente then awkwardly introduced himself to the audience.
Watch the video on RadarOnline.com (WARNING: Explicit Language)
Prior to his anchoring debut, Clemente took to Twitter and seemed to acknowledge he might not be ready for primetime.
After the train wreck of a broadcast, in the understatement of the year, the no-doubt mortified anchor took to Twitter and wrote: “That couldn’t have gone any worse!”
Not surprisingly, station management suspended Clemente, and KFYR-TV News Director Monica Hannan issued a statement on Facebook .
"To all of you who are writing in...I want to apologize for an incident that occurred prior to our early newscast this evening, when one of our employees used profanity on the air,” Hannan wrote.
“He did not realize his microphone was on, but still, that's no excuse. WE train our reporters to always assume that any microphone is live at any time. Unfortunately, that was not enough in this case. WE can't take back what was said. The person involved has been suspended until we resolve the situation. All we can do at this point is ask for your forgiveness, and I can offer my personal assurance that I will do my best to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again under my watch.”
Tieu also apologized during the station's 10 p.m. newscast. Clemente did not appear on the later broadcast.