A moment of distraction may have cost the ABC’s Natasha Exelby her on-air duties, after a video of the newsreader daydreaming during a weekend anchor shift went viral yesterday.
News Corp is reporting Exelby has been banned from future presenting roles by the broadcaster’s bosses, but neither the journalist nor her superiors have officially confirmed the move.
The video of the former Wake Up! co-host being caught out in a moment of quiet reverie was posted by the ABC’s own Media Watch program at lunch time on Sunday and has been shared thousands of times on social media.
For the most part, people appeared to find Exelby’s reaction rather endearing (if not wildly relatable).
Some in the media industry even admitted to their own awkward ‘gotcha’ moments.
Reactions to the news Exelby may have been sanctioned for her surprise have already started rolling in on Twitter, with some labeling the demotion an “overreaction”.
A change.org petition calling for her reinstatement is already circulating.
Meanwhile, the panel on The Project addressed the controversy on tonight’s show.
“Now we know Tash, she’s a good friend of the show, and the disturbing about this is it’s just come to light … she may lose her job over that,” Peter Helliar said.
“If the ABC is going to do that, that is ridiculous. This is a woman who has spent the last year in Syria and Turkey reporting from there and come back and is basically trying to get a little bit of debris out of her pen.”
Steve Price joked the clip was the “most entertaining thing he’d seen on the ABC in years”.
Earlier in the day, the journalist tweeted her thanks for people’s “generous support”.
“Not my finest hour,” she wrote.
“Myself and my mesmerising pen honourably salute you!”