When the ABC-affiliate went into its final commercial break of the hour, reporter Mike Colombo appeared on screen rehearsing a live stand-up. Colombo had no idea that he was on-air as he proceeded to go over lines about a local robbery and even paused at one point to hold up a piece of paper as the photographer white balanced the camera.
After roughly 30 seconds, WHAS corrected the broadcast and went back to commercial. During the 11 p.m. newscast, Colombo executed his stand-up flawlessly, affirming the old adage that practice makes perfect, even if the practice winds up being broadcast during the highest rated episode of “20/20” in the last two years.
“The problem was most likely caused by an engineering gaffe or control room equipment failure,” writes Bob Sokoler, a former anchor-reporter who posted about the mix-up last night.
Here’s Colombo appearing during the newscast (as planned):