Embarrassing local news moments

Screenshot via ABC 7

Reporter tries skateboard trick, falls

Here’s another on-screen fail but this time coming from the reporter themselves rather than their interview subject.

Reporter Sheryl Stewart was down at the Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland doing some pre-coverage of a skateboarding event.

FAIL Blog via YouTube; Edited by Finance 101

She starts off her segment on the wrong foot — if you will — by trying to demonstrate a skateboard trick called an “ollie.”

“You guys want to see? I’ve been practicing hard,” Stewart says.

She then lands HARD on her face. To her credit, Stewart got up laughing but the anchors back at the studio were laughing at HER.

Meteorologist/jazz musician interviews ‘Mr. Wacky’

If you’ve ever lived in the coastal city of San Diego, California, you’ve probably heard of Dave Scott — meteorologist by day, jazz musician by night. His often awkward segments are nothing short of legendary.

Take this interview for instance:

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Screenshot from KUSI News

Scott was sent out to cover an “inflatable run.” Scott bumbles through the majority of the segment, only to be interrupted by an inflatable tube man named “Mr. Wacky.”

“Now does that mean that everybody here becomes an inflatable today?” Scott asks Mr. Wacky.

Gives new meaning to the term “inflation,” right?

7-year-old tells reporter he wants to do ‘hoodrat stuff’ with his friends

It’s a tale as old as time: Little kid steals adult’s car, wrecks havoc on the neighborhood. However, none of these car-stealing children had as much sass as this young gentleman right here.

When asked why he stole the car, he told reporters this:

SingleTrackWorld via Giphy

“I wanted to do it because it’s fun, it’s fun to do bad things,” he said.

“But did you know you could perhaps kill somebody?” asks the reporter.

“Yes, but I wanted to do hoodrat stuff with my friends,” the 7-year-old countered.

Fair enough …

Shop owner attacks camera crew, reporter talks forever

In the California town of La Mesa, a shop owner was spotted doing, erm, inappropriate things to resident transients. Reporters set out to interview the man about his misdeeds, only to be attacked by the shop owner in question.

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Screenshot via KUSI News

The man pushed a cameraman to the ground while screaming.

Post-fight, a reporter present recounted the incident to anchors at the studio, for a whopping over 8 minute video. That time frame is a century for broadcast news, seeing that most segments are a few minutes at most.

‘Weatherboy’ gets told off by a kid

Meteorologist, weatherman, weather woman — whatever you call the profession, it did not garner much respect from a child this reporter encountered during a live segment.

“What’s the best kind of firework to buy?” he asks the child.

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Fox 5 San Diego via YouTube

“Wouldn’t you like to know, WEATHERBOY!” retorts the child.

Stunned, the reporter asks the child “where are your parents?”

“The kid’s sketchy — back you guys,” he says

‘Zombie boy’ says he likes ‘turtles’

What is UP with strange children on the news?

A local news reporter was in downtown Portland’s Waterfront Park covering what seemed like a Halloween event. She then had a surprising interview with a child named Jonathan wearing zombie facepaint.

CaptJax458 via YouTube; Edited by Finance 101

“Jonathan just got an awesome facepaint job, Jonathan what do you think?” she asks.

“I like turtles,” Jonathan replies.

To her credit, the reporter continues through the segment unphased. Not even a “tuttle” could throw her off her game.

Man fails a JetPack take off miserably

What was meant to be an awesome transition to the anchors back at the studio turned out to be a miserable fail.

A Fox 5 San Diego reporter was at the San Diego Yacht and Boat Show (as one does when in San Diego) interviewing John who was wearing a water propelled JetPack.

Fox 5 San Diego/Donnie Narco via YouTube; Edited by Finance 101

John was supposed to start off the show saying “and it starts right now” while blasting off on his JetPack. However, he lost control of the JetPack, only to make it a couple feet after crashing into the water.

Cut back to the studio where the morning news anchors are laughing so hard that they can’t even start the segment right.

KTLA gets rocked by an earthquake

Earthquakes aren’t uncommon in the great state of California. To capture one happening on camera during a live news broadcast in Los Angeles, California, however, that’s rare!

It was a normal day at KTLA when an earthquake struck.

KTLA via YouTube; Edited by Finance 101

The cameras and lights were seen shaking on screen while the news anchors ducked for cover under their anchor table.

They were just trying to be safe but late night hosts — and their own children — poked fun at the anchors after the incident.

Reporter falls off a boat, crew attempts to save her with a boom mic

I can’t tell what this segment is about because it’s in Danish and I don’t speak Danish. However, I know that the way her crew tried to help her after a miserable fail was hilariously unhelpful.

A Danish reporter was strolling casually along a boat, interviewing what seems to be the captain.

SMART CHANNEL via YouTube; Edited by Finance 101

She tried to lean casually against part of the boat but slipped, falling into the water.

Her crew is seen trying to fish her out with a boom mic to no avail. The ship captain expertly throws a life saver into the water, not having flinched a second since she fell in. (Now that’s a professional!)

This lizard scared the heck out of this newscaster

During one of those animal show and tell segments, viewers at home AND the reporter on screen were treated to a shocking — yet hilarious — surprise.

The animal expert and reporter were holding a Texas rat snake while discussing the characteristics of the animal when a lizard jumped on the reporter.

ChadSmith998776 via YouTube; Edited by Finance 101

We imagine the lizard was one of the animals present for the animal segment.

The reporter starts YELPING in surprise, literally making the strangest noises. The studio erupts into laughter while the lizard continues to hang on for dear life.

We find out reporters don’t talk like that in real life

Ever noticed how reporters seem to enunciate every single word while they’re on the air? As you can imagine, that’s not how reporters typically speak in real life. In fact, it’s FAR from what they actually sound like off the air.

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Screenshot via YouTube

A reporter was out in the field, carefully reciting his script in the professional broadcast speaking voice. All of a sudden, a bug flies into his mouth completely throwing him off track.

He starts cursing and complaining about having to be reporting in the country, using very un-broadcast like vernacular.

A parrot frightens this reporter

Here’s one of the most hilarious embarrassing local news moments: It includes another incident of animals interrupt this segment for breaking news — well actually just interrupt. This time, it was a close relative of the reptile family, a bird, that scared the bejeezus out of a local news reporter.

Fox News via YouTube; Edited by Finance 101

Brittany Kleyn was gearing up for a segment in front of a courthouse covering who knows what when she was rudely interrupted. A PARROT — not a bird typically seen in the wild — swooped out of nowhere and landed on her. She SCREAMED in surprise.

Erykah Badu terrifies local reporter

This incident involves not a random lizard or bird frightening a reporter but none other than R&B singer-songwriter Erykah Badu.

A PIX reporter was doing one of those “man on the street” shots, presenting on-camera while delivering his report.

PIX11 News via YouTube; Edited by Finance 101

It’s not uncommon for these reporters to get touched and photo bombed by random passer-bys. But it’s extremely rare for the passer-by to be a music icon wearing a weird ten-gallon hat type deal.

Rapper Marshall Pope fails at an on-camera freestyle

If you’re OK with second-hand embarrassment, this one’s for you.

Rapper/poet Marshall Pope was a guest on ABC 40 when his biggest fail happened. Everything was going fine until the hosts asked Pope to do what he does for a living — rap.

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Screenshot via YouTube

Pope started out with a freestyle but then seemingly freezes, not sure what to say next. He stares at the camera for a full eight seconds, weirdly moving his head along to an invisible beat.

Her reaction when she realizes she’s live = priceless

Sometimes some embarrassing local news moments can happen when anchors don’t realize that they’re on the air. They might slip up and say something wildly inappropriate or have a wardrobe malfunction, etc. In any case, be careful around a hot mic …

TomoNews US via YouTube; Edited by Finance 101

This ABC 24 News anchor was twiddling with something in her hands right before she noticed that she was on air. She promptly drops whatever she was messing around with when she notices she’s on air, making it look like she’s been electrocuted or something.

Anchor rants about the Kardashians

“I’m sick of this family. It’s a non-story. Nobody cares about this family anymore,” Fox 35 Anchor John Brown exclaimed on air.

It was a story about how Kylie Jenner named her pet rabbit “Bruce” that set Brown off. Likely, his producers tried to make him cover this piece non-news on the program for the ratings.

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Fox 35 Orlando via YouTube

His producers were likely not too pleased he went on a rant on live TV … Can you blame the man though? He probably got into journalism so he could cover real stories, not clickbait nonsense.

Reporter accidentally draws a phallic object

Yikes, this is something straight out of a comedy TV show. Except it’s not a comedy — it’s a tragedy because this happened live on the air.

Siobhan Riley of Flint Michigan’s WJRT was covering the construction that was going on in the city of Saginaw. She was drawing on the studio’s touch screen to indicate construction areas.

Screenshot ABC 12

Unfortunately, what she drew turned out to be rather NSFW or broadcast for that matter …

Riley had no idea of what she had just erected and went on with the segment as if nothing had happened. The Internet, however, DID notice.

Meteorologist has a wardrobe malfunction

Not THAT kind of wardrobe malfunction, you perv.

Having to stand in front of a green screen, meteorologists need to be careful as to what they wear. Mainly, not green.

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Maestro Thaivisa via YouTube

Instead of taking the mindset of a drag queen getting ready for the runway of RuPaul’s Drag Race (judge Michelle Visage HATES green) this reporter wore the wrong kind of dress, honey. The result was that it looked like she’d blended into the weather map behind her.

Reporter gets attacked by cicadas

Katya Leick from KSNT was trying to report from the top of a tank when a swarm of cicadas out of all things attacked her.

Things were looking rough for Leick as she swatted the bugs away, while continuing with her news report. It was the one that landed on her face, however, that broke her.

KSNT News via YouTube; Edited by Finance 101

She screamed and dropped the mic. She kept trying to record the segment despite the relentless cicadas and almost quit at one point, saying “Ok, nope, not doing it.” Finally Leick finishes the segment, but I’m sure the cicadas left some PTSD.

He gets photo bombed by a unicorn

This reporter was covering a fire in the Jacksonville, Florida area when he got photo bombed the most random way possible: It was a woman, shrieking, wearing a tutu and a unicorn mask.

Talk about bizarre … That’s probably weirder than the Eyrkah Badhu photo bombing.

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Screenshot from WTLV

To his credit, the reporter didn’t seem to be phased by the unicorn’s interruption. Instead, he soldiered onward so his viewers could get the news they so rightly needed. Perhaps this reporter has gotten photo bombed before, so not even a unicorn could ruin his flow.

Kid won’t stop saying “apparently” on-camera

This is a pretty cute segment. A reporter is at a county fair when she stops to interview a young attendee and his guardian.

“What did you think of the ride,” she asks him.

“It was great, I’ve never been on live television before,” he responds.

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WNEP-TV via YouTube

The kid gets overly excited about the interview and starts rambling, interjecting “apparently” wherever he can. Then, he gets SO excited that he actually takes the mic out of the reporters hands and continues talking as if it’s HIS show.

Kids say the darndest things, don’t they?

Insect attacks reporter

Here’s yet another animal attack upon the local news. Like the cicada incident, this reporter was also bugged out (get it? Get it? Nevermind …).

This incident involves a reporter with Fox 5 in San Diego, California — seriously what is up with this town and its Anchorman-like local news?

Fox 5 San Diego/Random via Awesomeness YouTube; Edited by Finance 101

The reporter was broadcasting from the beach when a giant bug flew at him. He was so startled he started screaming and flailing.

Finally, the bug flew away. “Was that live? We were live? Oh … brother,” the reporter said.


Cat claws reporter in the face

At this point, we should realize that using animals in live news segments is probably not a good idea. Case in point: Kathleen Cochrane of Fox 8’s segment involving a cat.

Cochrane was filming a segment about a couple sentenced on animal abuse charges. She or producers thought holding a cute cat would really amp up the report.

Juicy Gigolo via YouTube; Edited by Finance 101 in Giphy

But the cat wasn’t willing to cooperate with the reporter. They began growling and squirming to get away, ultimately scratching Cochrane in the face.

“Obviously I’m not a cat person,” Cochrane said, defeated.

Man creeps up on reporter on-camera

KTLA Wendy Burch in Los Angeles, California was busy covering the city’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics. (Likely the summer Olympics we’re guessing … Good luck finding snow in LA in the winter.)

Burch was speaking on-camera when a random man snuck up behind her for a photo bomb.

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Screenshot from KTLA

Burch kept talking, however, and didn’t notice the dude behind her.

Finally, Burch turned her head and noticed that he was behind her. She screamed but then laughed it off when she realized he meant no harm. (It was still really creepy, though …)

Reporters gets knee deep in mud

A NBC 15 reporter was covering receding water levels at a lake on live TV when he decided to jump in to spice up the segment. Whose doesn’t love a bit of danger, right?

This horribly backfired, unfortunately. Before jumping in, he said that the lake should be completely dry.

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NBC 15 via YouTube

Turns out it wasn’t. Thus, the reporter found himself stuck knee-deep in mud. While he struggled to break free, the anchors and crew back at the studio couldn’t stop laughing.

It definitely spiced up the segment, but not in the way he intended …

Meteorologist compares the weather to Harvey Weinstein

So this presenter didn’t even think that they were off the air when they dropped this pretty messed up analogy.

“The weather is kind of like Harvey Weinstein, it’s assaulting us today,” he said.

KTLA via ICYMI InCaseYouMissedIt YouTube; Edited by Finance 101 via Giphy

As you can imagine, the meteorologist’s coworkers didn’t really like the joke that much. For those that don’t know, Harvey Weinstein is the disgraced Hollywood exec that had assaulted many women throughout the years.

Anchor accidentally curses on-air

A bomb was dropped and it wasn’t a photo bomb this time.

It was reporter A.J. Clemente’s first day on the job at Bismarck, North Dakota’s KFYR. First days at a new job can be extremely nerve-wrecking but he let the nerves get the best of him.

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Screenshot from KFYR

Clemente started off the segment cursing, seemingly thrown off by his nerves. His co-anchor, Van Tieu, seems thrown off by his outbursts but soldiers through. Clemente, realizing they’re on-air, can barely speak.

It was also his last day on the job.

Aussie anchors wear white on the same day

For a segment involving three reporters, the ladies found themselves all wearing white. It could have turned into a fun thing but they decided that they’d just fight about it because they all didn’t want to look the same. It got to the point where host Amber Sherlock asked reporter Julie Snook to put on a jacket.

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Screenshot from Nine News Now

“If it’s an issue, I’ll just jump on out, honestly,” Snook says.

“Fine, just jump on out, if that’s what you’d like to do” Sherlock retorted.

Lesson of the day: Don’t dress in monochrome?

The graphics department briefly turned her into a pig

It’s a strong possibility that perhaps the graphics department at this particular Sarasota, Florida TV station didn’t really like this anchor.

Anchor Hayley Wielgus was briefly turned into a pig with the caption “pigs running wild” during her broadcast.

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Screenshot via ABC 7

Fortunately she was a good sport about the incident (at least on camera). Pigs sure are darn cute and really smart, but the general population doesn’t think too highly of the animal. Perhaps it’s the fact that they’re fat and like to roll in mud?


CaptJax458 via YouTube. “Zombie Kid Likes Turtles.” June 11, 2007.
Cracked. “21 Hilariously Cringeworthy Moments From Live TV Shows.” October 8, 2018.
Donnie Narco via YouTube. “Fox 5 News Jetpack EPIC FAIL!” July 14, 2011.
FAIL Blog via YouTube. “Skateboard Reporter Fail.” July 16, 2013.
Funny Local News via Fox 5 via YouTube. “WEATHER BOY.” June 29, 2007.
Messman, Lauren. Vice. “This Is Quite Possibly the Most Painful News Interview in Recorded History.” June 5, 2018.
Plante, Dan. KUSI. “La Mesa business owner gets in physical altercation with reporters.” January 20, 2020.
Trend Chaser. “The Craziest Things News Anchors Have Said And Done On Air.” Accessed April 23, 2020.
Weber, Asher. Direct Expose. “These News Anchors Do The Unthinkable On Air.” December 19, 2019.
WPBF 25 News via YouTube. “7-Year-Old Takes Car On Joyride.” April 28, 2008.