A weekend news anchor in New York has been taken off the air after appearing disheveled and slurring her words during a live broadcast that left many viewers stunned and concerned.
Heather Kovar was suspended by CBS6 Albany (WRGB-TV) on Sunday, a day after she appeared disoriented during the TV station’s Saturday evening broadcast. Some viewers said she sounded drunk as she swayed on camera and seemed “borderline incoherent” while attempting to shift between topics.
“Evacuations have been ordered for the town of Medford, Oklahoma, with unknown fatalities and injuries… injuries are unknown in this situation. Alright, so, well, hello! Good afternoon! Like, I was telling you this morning, if you watched us this morning… I told you, you know what? What a beautiful day outside! It is just amazing,” she said.
Emmy-winning reporter and anchor previously said in a statement that she had worked a double shift and was “sleep-deprived and exhausted” after her return from family leave after the death of her father.
Kovar said that “it has been an exhausting time using my time off to fly to family in between shifts.”
She continued, “I was hoping to create a better situation. I just hope people will understand as I move forward in what is next.”
At another point in the broadcast, Kovar began explaining the news of a shooting in Ohio by saying “We have to tell you, also, you know, like the other news that’s happening in the area and across the, you know, the area and the nation. A four… let me tell you about this… a four-year-old girl is actually dead, another man is clinging to life after a shooting in Ohio.”
Kovar said on air that she had worked a double shift that day — a claim she also tweeted on Saturday morning.
“It’s another marathon weekend!” she wrote. “See you now 6-8am. Then at 6 and 11. And I’ll be back Sunday morning from 7-9am then 6:30 pm and 11pm.”
In a statement provided both to NBC News, Kovar provided more context about what had been going on behind the scenes.
“I recently returned early from family leave following my dad’s death,” Kovar wrote in her statement. “On Friday, I notified the station I would not be renewing my contract which expires July 31. Saturday I was scheduled to work the early morning 6 a.m. shift and the evening shift. I was sleep-deprived and exhausted.”
Watch the video report below for more details: