A WVLT, Channel 8, reporter whose brief, on-air fit earlier this month was mocked on network TV and went viral on the Internet says he wants to return to work.
Reporter Gordon Boyd has not been officially suspended from the station, but is taking vacation time off. He says he doesn’t know when he’ll be returning to WVLT. He is still on the station’s payroll.
Despite what the video shows, Boyd says he was at the beginning of a live report when he paused, threw down his reporter’s notebook and looked angrily into the camera. The station quickly went back to the anchor desk, where a stunned anchor Alan Williams said they were having “technical difficulties.”
“I lost my cool because the producer was talking in my earpiece, with instructions, that, from what I could hear, weren’t meant for me. They were distracting, and made it extremely difficult to concentrate and deliver a complicated lead-in cogently,” Boyd said.
Footage of Boyd’s fit was posted on YouTube within hours and, so far, has been picked up on dozens of sites. In a week, the video had nearly 500,000 views on YouTube alone. ABC comic Jimmy Kimmel and CNN newsman Anderson Cooper also featured the video in lighthearted segments.
“This was, in my opinion, a very unfortunate reaction to a less-than-perfect circumstance and it was exhibited in the heat of the moment,” WVLT vice president Steve Crabtree said. “In live television news, you can’t hold the presses.”
Boyd is as a senior reporter and co-anchor of the weekend news.
“I’m angry at myself,” he said. “I’m frustrated that some people would define my career by a 5-second lapse in judgment, rather than 24 years of honing my craft — and more than four successful years in Knoxville. I am here by choice, and by desire.”
Now, Gordon said he can see how he could have handled the situation differently.
“If I had it to do over, I would have stared, straight-faced into the camera after my scripted lead-in — and hoped the producer would have provided appropriate instructions through my earpiece,” he said.
“I would have ad-libbed the contents of my taped report as best I could, apologized for the technical difficulties, and hoped that we could have moved my piece to air.”
Boyd said he would still like to make an on-air apology sometime in the near future.
Terry Morrow may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 865-342-6445. His blog can be found at http://blogs.knoxnews.com/knx/telebuddy/.
© 2010, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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