An upstate New York news anchor who blamed exhaustion for an erratic broadcast — in which she appeared disheveled and had difficulty reading her script — won’t return to the program, the station said Monday.
Heather Kovar, during a 6 p.m. broadcast on Saturday for CBS affiliate WRGB of Albany, New York, was clearly out of sorts. Her hair was messy and she appeared to be speaking off-script as she delivered news and weather, often stammering.
"Moving on, tonight is, we have to tell you, you know, like other news that’s happening in the area and across the, you know, the area and the nation," she said, introducing a story out of Ohio.
When she tossed to weather after fumbling a roundup of high heat around the country, she introduced the wrong meteorologist, then asked, "Why did I say that?"
Kovar said in a statement, which she shared with NBC News on Monday, that she would not be renewing her contract with WRGB when it expires at the end of the month.
“I recently returned early from family leave following my dad’s death. On Friday, I notified the station I would not be renewing my contract which expires July 31st,” she said in the statement.
“Saturday I was scheduled to work the early morning 6am show as well as the evening. I was sleep deprived and exhausted,” she added.
A statement from WRGB said Kovar will not return to their air.
“Prior to the incident that occurred on air this past weekend, Heather informed the station that she would not be renewing her contract, ending on July 31, 2022. It has been decided that she will remain off the air for the remainder of her contract,” the statement said.
Kovar had shared on Twitter that she'd be working a double shift. First from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and then from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. She was slated for a similar schedule on Sunday.
Kovar had said during the evening broadcast that the station had covered a local music festival earlier in the day. "We got there early, they started at 2 p.m.," she said. It's unclear if Kovar was referring to herself actually going to the festival, or the station covering it.
Kovar has been with the station for about five years. Her Twitter bio says she is an Emmy winner.