Station Facing Backlash After Firing Anchor For Cursing On Air On First Day
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BISMARCK, N.D. (CBS Seattle) — A North Dakota station is facing backlash after deciding to fire a news anchor after curing on air on his first day.
A.J. Clemente announced on Twitter that KFYR-TV in Bismarck let him go after he said “f***ing s***” to open up Sunday’s newscast.
The station announced it suspended him following the incident that has gone viral, but Clemente tweeted on Monday that he was fired.
“Rookie mistake. I’m a free agent. Can’t help but laugh at myself and stay positive,” Clemente said. “Wish I didn’t trip over my “Freaking Shoes” out of the gate.”
Following the announcement of his firing, supporters flooded the station’s Facebook page to show their support for the West Virginia University graduate.
“I wish you would reconsider your decision to fire AJ,” Adam Kyle wrote. “His response and reaction to all of this has been mature and well measured. He has probably won many people over with his humility.”
Philip Chua posted: “The entire country will now judge your station by your actions in this young man’s case. You will be harshly judged for that one error.”
“I’m really disappointed you decided to fire A.J. Clemente for a mistake that hurt no one,” Josh Jamaal said.
KFYR has yet to make a statement on Clemente’s termination but did apologize for the incident.
“He did not realize his microphone was on, but still, that’s no excuse,” Monica Hannan, the station’s news director, said in a statement. “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.”
Clemente was overwhelmed from all the online support he has been receiving.
“Thanks again for everyone that is supporting me,” Clemente said. “Friends, family and even the creative humor tweets.”