TODAY

TODAY   |  April 23, 2013

&%$^! Anchor fired on first day for cursing on-air

A.J. Clemente got off to a rough start on his first day as a TV anchor for KFYR in North Dakota, cursing when he apparently didn’t realize he was on camera. He has since been fired. NBC’s Stephanie Gosk reports.

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>>> now another video that has been watched by millions now a weekend news anchor opening his first ever broadcast with abn obscenity and now out of a job. stephanie gosk.

>> good morning, and there but for the grace of god , a large camera can be unforgiving to viewers and bosses. the first time live on the camera can be one of the scariest things but do jitters excuse all mistakes.

>> north dakota news.

>> reporter: right at the top of north dakota 's weekend news.

>> [ bleep ].

>> a.j. clemente uttered his first words as a tv anchor . they were juggling multiple stories but clemente didn't seem to realize he was on camera. watch it again. it didn't get much better after his co-anchor's first question.

>> tell us a little bit about yourself, a.j.

>> thanks, van, i'm excited. i graduated from west virginia university and i'm used to you know, from being from the east coast .

>> reporter: the video went viral. clemente tweeted that couldn't have gone any worse.

>> spreads like wildfire on youtube because it's so secondhand embarrassing but also kind of fascinating.

>> reporter: clemente 's bosses weren't amused. the fledgling anchor was first suspended and outright fired. clemente got similar support from viewers, "the kid screwed up big time but he shouldn't have to have his early career ruined." instead the apology came from the news director along with an assurance that off-color on camera comments like this -- [ bleep ] -- won't be heard at the news desk again.

>> i think he's ready for the business personally.

>> fits right in, is that what you're thinking?

>> who among us would judge for a little off color language.

>> you can't imagine the nerves. this was his first day, his first anchoring gig and he had to be a bundle of nerves. did it work out well, no.

>> i don't think he should have been fired though.

>> it's tough. newsroom the way people talk in a newsroom?

>> we all learn first thing open mike is always open mike .

>> exactly. should he have been fired or given a second chance? head to today.com and weigh in and we'll talk about those results with our professionals a little later on.

>> with our hand on the bleeping device.