Palm Springs CBS Affiliate Apologizes for Broadcasting ‘Private’ Conversation

By Kevin Eck 

The news director at Palm Springs CBS affiliate CBS Local2 has apologized to viewers on the station’s website after an open mic broadcast snippets of a conversation between station anchors during CBS News’ coverage of the Navy Yard shootings.

Earlier tonight during the national newscast on our partner station CBS Local 2, a technical malfunction broadcast part of a private conversation. Some people heard it, but only heard part of the conversation. We sincerely apologize if we offended any of you.

Bob Smith, News Director

Smith told TVSpy, the conversation viewers heard was about a report on a Peyton Manning versus Eli Manning story. “One of our anchors thought the tone of the report did not match the subject matter — considering the fact 13 people died in Washington, DC and the utter devastation caused by the flooding in Colorado,” said Smith. “Unfortunately some viewers only heard part of the conversation and took offense.”

The gaffe happened after Scott Pelley tossed to break at the bottom of the 6:00 p.m. hour, giving local news affiliates the chance to get out of the national coverage of the shooting. CBS Local2 ran an ID for its chief meteorologist Patrick Evans and then aired a “Tonight on ABC” promo.

The ABC schedule then switched to a slate that read “KESQ TOPICAL 11PM MONDAY, :30” with a traffic number attached. Under the slate, viewers could hear the anchors saying,

MALE ONE: “So he was a professional football player and Heisman Trophy winner. He had to watch it.”

FEMALE:”That’s such a terrible thing.”

MALE TWO:”She had such a terrible delivery, too.”

MALE ONE: “Meanwhile there are 400 people unaccounted for in Colorado.” They all laugh. “You gotta be kidding me. 13 people were killed in Washington but the man,” then his voice trails off. “and he’s won a Super Bowl. But still.”

FEMALE: “He still gets no respect. It’s a debacle.”

MALE ONE: “Poor little Eli.”

Smith said, “I thought our viewers deserved an explanation of what happened,” after he said he got around a dozen phone calls in addition to some negative reaction on social media.

There’s no word which anchors voices were heard, but Kris Long, Brooke Beare and meteorologist Patrick Evans are listed as anchors for the 6:30 show that was being pre-empted by the CBS coverage.

[Indiana RadioWatch]