A local TV station has suspended its news anchor after a disjointed bulletin “train wreck” in which she appeared to be in an untidy state.
Heather Kovar, an anchor at CBS6 Albany, appeared on a live broadcast Saturday at 6 p.m. in which her speech was unclear and she appeared to go off-script in a number of places.
Kovar has since said the performance was the result of sleep deprivation and exhaustion, after she took leave due to her father’s death.
In a section of the bulletin, shared on Twitter by Mike Sington, executive director of NBCUniversal, Kovar begins by giving a disjointed description of the heat wave in the southern region of the US and ends around 50 seconds by saying: here , is so wonderful”.
“Over 50 million people across the country, in the Southeast or under extreme heat warnings and boy, don’t you know, a 105 degrees in Texas today. I just talked to my mom about what she’s dealing with, it’s a big heat wave and it’s just hitting everywhere, we’re so lucky, it’s only 80 degrees here. We are really lucky in the capital.
“I mean, let me tell you about that, these areas reach such areas, I mean, it’s Houston, Austin, San Antonio. I mean, they’re not expected, it happened. You don’t have to tell us it’s bad like people are told to stay inside and drink lots of water and we’re just lucky. This weekend, right here, is so amazing,” Kovar continues until the super interrupts her.
At this point, Kovar gets the name of meteorologist Craig Gold wrong by calling him Craig Adams, another meteorologist.
“Meteorologist Craig Adams is here, with here,” she can be heard saying as the super chimes roll in, adding, “I’m sorry, Craig Adams, why did I say that?”
Kovar said at one point in the bulletin, “And so, going on tonight, we also have to tell you, you know, like other news that’s happening in the area, and across the area, across the country.
“Like, I told you this morning, if you saw us this morning from 6 am, 7 am, I told you, you know what? What a beautiful day outside today! It’s just great. And so a great time for outdoor music.”
Kovar was then cut off mid-sentence and did not return to the broadcast.
The host later tweeted that she would be back on Sunday, but the station’s vice president and general manager, Robert Croteau, said she had been suspended.
“Heather Kovar has been suspended pending our internal investigation. We have no further comment at this time,” he said Times Union.
In response to the clip of the broadcast shared on Twitter, viewers expressed their shock and concern that there was no other anchor that could take over the bulletin.
Some social media users came to defend her.
“This is not at all how Heather Kovar normally is. Give her some slack and let her sleep in,” one user wrote.
In a statement to the Times Union later Sunday, Kovar said she “returned early from family leave after my father’s death. On Friday I informed the station that I would not renew my contract, which expires on July 31.”
“Saturday I had to work the 6am morning shift and the evening shift. I was sleep deprived and exhausted.”