Annie Stensrud, a Minnesota news reader who faced allegations of being drunk while on air last week, has claimed she was sick and not under the influence of alcohol.
Annie Stensrud ended up making headlines herself after slurring her words during a live news broadcast on KEYC-TV, CBS/Fox, in Mankato.
KEYC-TV’s General Manager said the faux pas was due to a bad reaction to medication, which Annie Stensrud confirmed.
Annie Stensrud said in a statement: “My performance last Sunday [December 4 at 10pm] was terrible, and for that I apologize.
“I’ve been sick for some time and taking medication and have missed a lot of work lately.
“I’m on my way to feeling better and hope to be back at full strength soon. I appreciate everyone’s understanding and even more so, their support.”
The stations GM, Dennis Walhstrom, told WCCO Radio after the incident that she should have called in sick but stands by her statement.
Dennis Walhstrom said: “That’s what we found, that she had a reaction to a medication.
“She’s also missed work and had not been feeling well for the past week.
“She was taking unspecified medication that she had a bad reaction to.
“She probably shouldn’t have come in. She should have called in.
Annie Stensrud has been anchoring weekend evening broadcasts for a year and her Sunday show had been cut down because of an over-running NFL game.
In one of the strangest segments, Annie Stensrud says: “Today’s event featured Christmas fo… music, food and a chance to meet the Santa dog.
“They felt three ways for Christmas…parents and grandparents,” Annie Stensrud adds, as she speaks over a man giving a pre-recorded interview.
The Huffington Post suggested Annie Stensrud could have been drunk, whereas Gawker.com added that she might just have a strange accent.
KEYC news director Dan Ruiter told TV Spy that although station may work in a “very public business, personnel issues need to remain private”.
Dan Ruiter told the Mankato Free Press that there is no proof she was intoxicated and viewers are jumping to conclusions if they believe this.
The incident had echoes of when CBS Los Angeles journalist Serene Branson garbled her words live on air, causing speculation she had a stroke.
Doctors said she was suffering from symptoms of a stroke, but had actually suffered a complex migraine during a live Grammys broadcast.