The rookie anchor fired after using profanity on his debut newscast said Wednesday that watching the viral clip for the first time was “gut-wrenching.”
A.J. Clemente lost his job as anchor for North Dakota NBC affiliate KFYR after he was heard mumbling two curse words under his breath at the top of his first evening news broadcast on Sunday.
Clemente said in an appearance on “Today” Wednesday that he had been looking at a script for an upcoming segment on the London Marathon and was frustrated because he did not know how to pronounce three names.
The camera's red, on-air light came on about 30 seconds early and since he was missing an earpiece he “had no clue” he was live when he unleashed the “fireball shot” from his mouth.
“It’s inexcusable, first, to even say those words,” he said.
Clemente added that he fully expected to be fired over the gaffe and he has no animosity with the station over its decision.
“You got to have a tough skin in this business,” Clemente said on “Today.”
He said that he’s now "moving forward" and looking for a new job.
Host Matt Lauer pointed out that some reports saying Clemente had used the word "gay" were untrue. He had been trying to pronounce the name of London Marathon winner Tsegaye Kebede.
At the end of his “Today” appearance, Clemente showed off his on-air skills by teasing a pair of upcoming segments.
Check out a clip of the original disastrous broadcast below:
Editor's Note: The video contains profanity.