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Technical glitch turns FOX Chicago reporter blue

WFLD reporter Craig Wall.
WFLD reporter Craig Wall.

Chicago’s FOX affiliate WFLD is attempting to scrub the internet of an embarrassing technical gaffe that resulted in a reporter’s skin turning blue during a live shot last week.

Craig Wall was dispatched to the Illinois village of Lyons on Wednesday to gather reaction from residents angered by a proposed cut in police officers. When Wall went live twenty minutes into the evening newscast, a technical glitch resulted in a washout of certain colors, making the veteran reporter look like a Smurf.

In good humor, Wall tweeted that he “blue” his standup that night, later telling a viewer that he was auditioning for the Las Vegas-based Blue Man Group.

“Never felt so blue,” he wrote to a colleague on Twitter. “Smurf’s up.”

WFLD did not appear to be amused. The station cut the error in a version of Wall’s report posted online and deleted viewer comments about the gaffe on its Facebook page.

Local media columnist Robert Feder said the problem was “traced to faulty equipment issues, believed to have been made worse by cuts in technical personnel.”

Wall looked like his normal self later in the report:

(Photo: WFLD)
(Photo: WFLD)

The report, sans the blue gaffe, can be seen on WFLD’s website.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).