This e-mail arrived today:
As I was flipping through the channels shortly after 9:30 [Wednesday], I saw Mark
Nolan on Time Warner 23 local access. He was doing the weather when I heard
a voice from off camera say something that was very faint & all you could
really hear was frickin or friggin & then Mark started to swear. He just
stopped doing the forecast, started the swearing & then walked off
camera. ... What was up with that?
A big mistake, says Dick Moore, news director for WKYC (Channel 3), which also produces the Time Warner Channel 23 news. After the newscast, Nolan was taping a cut-in segment for Weather Plus, the service Channel 3 carries on a digital subcarrier, which is also fed to Channel 23 around the Akron-Canton newscasts.
Nolan did not know that a master-control operator was inadvertently feeding the taping session to Time Warner instead of the Weather Plus feed. He thought he was just working in the studio. And, when he was told that tape had run out and he had to do the cut-in again, he reacted pithily. Which is why the e-mailer heard some colorful language.
Moore acknowledged more than once that this was a mistake. He wouldn't talk about possible disciplinary action against Nolan. But he did say there was ''no excuse'' for what happened, and that he will be meeting with Nolan this afternoon. The station has also apologized to viewers who called the station to complain.
We'll see if any more comes of this. Since Nolan's outburst was only on a cable feed, not on a broadcast, Moore said there aren't FCC implications.
You'd think that as a general rule TV personalities would know not to let profanity fly when they're around microphones. But that's just not always the case. When I worked in the Albany/Schenectady area, a local anchor was taping a news cut-in for air during prime time. He messed up a take, swore, then redid the cut-in. Unfortunately, when the station aired the cut-in, it included the mistake and the swearing.