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A video clip of WDBJ anchor woman Susan Bahorich laughing her way through a news report about a swimming cat went viral after the web site Gawker posted it. The clip has been shown on "Good Morning America," "Anderson Cooper 360" and various web sites.
A video clip of WDBJ anchor woman Susan Bahorich laughing her way through a news report about a swimming cat went viral after the web site Gawker posted it.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Ever had one of those moments when you’re trying to keep a straight face, but you start to giggle at something when you shouldn’t? Then, the more you try to stop laughing, the worse the giggles get until you’re convulsing in bursts of gut-busting, snort-inducing guffaws?
Ever had that happen while you were on live television and thousands of people were watching you?
Susan Bahorich has.
Bahorich, 37, the weekend morning news anchor woman for WDBJ-TV (Channel 7) who has been at the station since 2004, melted into a gigglefest during a “Mornin’ ” newscast last month, which then became an Internet sensation. She laughed her way through a story about an 18-pound cat that had taken up swimming in order to lose weight. (You can hear the giggles starting already.)
The thing that broke up Bahorich was the accompanying video that showed Holly, the fat cat from Northern Virginia, strapped into a little life jacket, kitty-paddling in the pool, its eyes as big as beach balls.
“I looked up and saw a cat in a life jacket,” Bahorich said during a recent phone interview. “For some reason, that struck me as funny.”
Obviously. Bahorich was laughing so hard by the end of the 30-second clip, she could barely be understood. When she appeared on screen, she was nearly in tears from laughing as she said, or tried to say, “Stay with us, everybody. We’ve got a lot more to come.” She then slapped the desk and laugh-snorted as the lottery results came on.
Rather than be embarrassed by such an on-camera laugh riot, Bahorich had the good humor to ask WDBJ’s web guys to post the Feb. 2 segment online. She also shared the clip on her Facebook page.
“I am somebody who can laugh at myself,” Bahorich said. (And swimming cats, too.)
Several weeks later, the clip went viral after the website Gawker.com linked to it. Faster than a 100-meter kitty breaststroke, the clip made its way onto network and cable shows and on myriad websites. ABC’s “Good Morning America” showed it, as did CNN’s “Anderson Cooper’s 360,” which Bahorich made a point to watch.
Bahorich thought that Cooper might make fun of her, but instead he “wound up cutting together a bunch of clips where he started laughing on TV.”
Bahorich received some funny messages from viewers after the segment, but heard catty comments from people who thought she was making fun of the cat and possibly even overweight people.
“I caught grief from viewers who thought I hurt the cat’s feelings,” she said.
Bahorich has a cat named Star, who would not enjoy being stuck in a life jacket, she said.
“My cat would scratch my eyes out,” Bahorich said.
She has handled the event with self-deprecating good humor.
“Holly the cat, my claim to fame,” she said.
‘The Puzzle Detective’
Craig Wright loves television. He loves puzzles. If only there were a way to mix the two.
He solved that problem by producing “The Puzzle Detective,” a weekly show on Cox Channel 9 in which Wright, a veteran Roanoke radio and television host, solves word and logic puzzles in less than 30 minutes.
No, you haven’t traveled back in time and awakened back in the early days of TV, although Wright is proud that the episodes have a “throwback” feel thanks to his gumshoe detective character and the giant puzzles that viewers are invited to solve with him.
“When I had the idea and started working with folks, they were talking about electronic graphics and I said, ‘No,’ ” Wright said. “The whole idea is low tech. When you solve puzzles in a magazine, you have the magazine, a pencil and an eraser. Anything else takes away what this show is about.”
Wright came up with the idea for a show about 18 months ago and was able to get Penny Dell Puzzles — the company formed by puzzle magazine publishers Penny Press and Dell Magazines — to contribute the puzzles.
Wright said that the show will go beyond Sudoku and crosswords and introduce puzzles called Alphagrid, Place Your Number, Figure Logic, Sum-Dok and Cryptograms.
The show premieres today at 10:30 a.m. on Cox Cable Channel 9 and will debut on WDBJ’s My19 digital channel later this spring, possibly in May, Wright said. To watch clips of the first episode or to download puzzles, go online to thepuzzledetective.com.
Pledge time at public stations
Public radio station WVTF-FM (89.1) completed one of its most successful on-air fundraising campaigns in its 40-year history earlier this month when it eclipsed its goal of $365,000 in pledges from listeners.
The final total could top $400,000 by the time station management finishes adding pledges that came in after the on-air portion ended.
The station needs every penny. WVTF’s goal is to raise $1.8 million from listeners, which will make up about 55 percent of its annual budget of just over $3 million. The station continues to get listener contributions, as well as corporate underwriting, throughout the year and not just during those on-air fund drives.
Blue Ridge PBS (WBRA-TV, Channel 15) celebrates the 20th anniversary of the popular documentary program “Great Scenic Railway Journeys ” with the premiere of its latest episode on Monday at 8 p.m.
Emmy award-winning producer Robert Van Camp’s latest show features a segment on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad along with features on other tourist railways. Grammy ward-winning musician and storyteller David Holt will be the host of the show, which is a favorite of PBS stations during fundraising pledge drives. Blue Ridge PBS is in the middle of its fund drive, which will end about March 20.
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