2013 was a powerhouse year for local news. While the national news stations continued to give us their carefully polished “fair and balanced” programming, local news was busy hanging out with shirtless lunatics. In order to pick the cream of the crop from this year’s local news hall of famers, I broke the highlights down into seven categories: on-air news team banter, catchphrase, on-air cursing, train wreck, Florida, heartwarming, and Ron Burgundy.
1. The Kapooyow Lady
Finding a colorful character equal to 2012′s Sweet “Ain’t nobody got time for that” Brown was a difficult task, but Houston’s KPRC Local 2 News found a viral-worthy successor with Michelle Clark. I’m going to assume that the term “Kapooyow” isn’t common lingo in the meteorology biz. However, it was the perfect way for Clark to describe the quarter-sized nuggets of ice that rocked her Texas mobile home in a March hailstorm.
Now if somebody would only combine her powers with Kai the hatchet-wielding Hitchiker and Sweet Brown, I’d finally have the world’s best ringtone.
2. Philly’s Cattiest News Duo Ever
Take a former beauty queen, a middle-aged weather woman, put them on the same local CBS affiliate, and what you get is the 6 o’clock news version of Mean Girls.
The compilation video shows news anchor and former Miss Pennsylvania 2005, Nicole Brewer, cutting into meteorologist Carol Erickson with the kind of biting remarks that would make a CW showrunner salivate. Meow!
3. Fired on the First Day
Normally, I try to avoid using the term “epic fail” — mainly, because I’m not 14 years old — but it too perfectly sums up A.J. Clemente. Clemente lasted all of about eight seconds in his role of co-anchor with North Dakota’s NBC news affiliate, when he kicked off his broadcasting debut with a profanity ridden intro. Poor kid didn’t even last long enough to join the team for 2 for 1 drinks and jalapeno poppers at Chili’s.
That couldn’t have gone any worse!
— A.J. Clemente (@ClementeAJ) April 21, 2013
Although, getting canned right out of the gate tends to sting less when it leads to appearing on The Late Show just three days later.
That couldn’t have gone any better! #Letterman
— A.J. Clemente (@ClementeAJ) April 24, 2013
4. Ron Burgundy on North Dakota Local News
How could you have a round-up of the best local news of 2013 and not include Ron Burgundy? And yes, I included the full news broadcast, because Ron would want it that way.
5. Florida’s Jurrasic Park Yellow Jacket Nest
You can’t have a list of the best local news clips and not include an entry from Florida. It would be like going to an I.C.P. concert and not getting soaked in Faygo during a rant about Illuminati Leadership. Just know that in addition to Florida’s gators and bath salt zombies, they’ve also got six-feet tall yellow jacket nests that have been lying around since the Jurassic era. Nope, nope, and nope.
6. Jenna Jameson Does an Interview Stoned Out of Her Gourd
2013 was not the best year for Jenna Jameson and her interview on a local Fox affiliate to promote her book, “Sugar,” didn’t help things. While producers of a nationally televised talk show might have canned the interview completely, the staff of Good Day NY took the opportunity to ask Jameson — who clearly just ingested an entire medicine cabinet — about all things porn.
7. Local News Helped an Oklahoma Boy and His Disabled Brother Run a 5K
Listen, I like trailer park yokels and profanity blasting anchors on my local news just as much as the next guy, but it’s also nice to hear about stories that don’t involve said subjects. We told you earlier this year about Tobias Bass, a 10-year-old from Oklahoma, who contacted the local news to help him find a jogger to push his disabled brother in a 5K race. The local news team came through and the boys completed the 5K. It’s just the type of classy local news move that a broadcasting legend like Ron Burgundy would get behind.
Notable mention: the news reporter who interviewed a cat.