The Anchor Behaving Badly show seems to be in reruns.
Philadelphia newscaster Alycia Lane — who cried to Dr. Phil about her divorce and e-mailed bikini shots of herself to a married NFL sportscaster — is now charged with assaulting a New York police officer.
"Does ... trouble find her? Yeah," Gov. Ed Rendell, who calls himself a friend, told sports radio station WIP-AM. "From what little I know about her entire life, she's had some difficult times, and I guess you could say some of her own making."
The lithe and attractive Lane has been a staple of local TV and gossip columns since she came to the CBS affiliate KYW in Philadelphia in 2003, carrying the nickname "The Latina Bombshell." She is of Puerto Rican heritage.
The 35-year-old may or may not have courted the publicity, but she certainly didn't shy away from it.
"She's been seen much more by the media in the light of a glamour girl than as a journalist," said Gail Shister, a longtime TV columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. "She didn't do much to dissuade that notion."
In 2004, Lane shed tears as she discussed her first divorce on a sweeps-week news segment with Phil "Dr. Phil" McGraw. She has had two failed marriages, one to a minor-league baseball player and one to a North Carolina businessman.
Trouble in the city
Recent published reports link Lane romantically with Chris Booker, a local DJ whose last name conveniently lent itself to the "BOOK 'ER" headline in the Philadelphia Daily News after her arrest.
Booker and Lane were out with another couple in New York early Sunday when they got into an altercation with plainclothes police officers, according to the criminal complaint and published reports.
Police say Lane thrust a camera in the face of a male officer who was trying to get an intoxicated man to return to his taxi. When a female officer tried to pull the camera away, Lane identified herself as a reporter — dropping a couple of f-bombs in the process — used a sexual slur against the cop and hit her, the complaint said.
Lane, through her lawyer, maintains she never struck anyone or used a derogatory term. She has pleaded not guilty.
But Lane extended the story herself by calling the governor on Monday. Rendell, who said he knows Lane socially, told WIP that she just wanted to tell her side of the story.
"She didn't ask me to do anything," Rendell said. "She's too smart for that."
Bob Steele, head of ethics at the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank, said "it certainly sounds like she's trying to get some leverage from a powerful person." Even if she was just seeking the ear of a friend, being that close to Rendell raises questions of journalistic independence, Steele said.
Lane's attorney, David Smith, said Wednesday she would not give interviews while the case is pending. Her next court date is April 3.
High society and snapshots
The Long Island native first appeared on air in 1997 as a Washington-based reporter for KSNT-TV in Topeka, Kan. She also did stints at two stations in Miami and at cable station News 12 in New York, according to a KYW biography.
Lane has said that she was at News 12 when she became friends with sportscaster Rich Eisen, then at ESPN and now at NFL Networks. In May, reports surfaced that she sent him swimsuit pictures that were intercepted by his wife, network sports reporter Suzy Shuster, who was less than amused.
"Boy do you look amazing in a bikini ... congrats!" Shuster e-mailed Lane, in an exchange that leaked out. "Whatever you're doing, (Pilates? yoga?) keep doing it — it's working for you. Anyway, sorry but those seven e-mails you sent to my husband, Rich, well, oops, they came to the email address we both use from time to time, but no worries, I'll forward the beach shots as well as the ones of you dancing with your friends on to his main address."
Lane told the Inquirer that she was "mortified" by the incident. She said she was simply sharing vacation pictures with a longtime platonic friend.
"I don't want to hurt his marriage," Lane said. "I'm not looking for (love) with a married man. I have been the married girl who was cheated on."
Lane lives in the tony Society Hill section of Philadelphia, according to her bio, and is believed to earn about $700,000 a year. The bio also says that her dream job is a professional figure skater; her hidden talents are sketching and interior decorating; that she is a "Taurus — 100%!!!"; and that her role models are newswomen Diane Sawyer and Judy Woodruff.
Lane has not been on the air since the New York incident, the start date for her holiday vacation having been moved up, the station said. Her vacation is supposed to end Jan. 6.
KYW spokeswoman Joanne Calabria declined to comment Thursday on Lane's past work for the station or on the anchor's future, saying, "We're undergoing our own investigation as to what happened."