TV news is no stranger to using stunts to attract eyeballs — think reporters struggling to do standups in roaring hurricanes and pouring rain — but this will make enthusiasts and automotive journalists cringe.
It’s a live segment that happened Sunday on the final day of the Sacramento International Auto Show on “Good Day Sacramento” on KMAX-TV, a CW station which is owned by CBS. And it reportedly got the correspondent, Angel Cardenas, fired.
The roughly four-minute segment begins with Cardenas stumbling on the lead-off question from the anchors back in the studio about how many cars were on display at the show, and it quickly goes downhill from there.
“No one is out here to tell me which car I can’t go in, because some of these are off-limits, so I’m just gonna live on the wild side,” Cardenas, who appears on camera in an untucked white shirt and tie, says as he hoists himself onto the rear of a privately owned yellow, 1950s-era Ford Thunderbird and reclines. “Tell me what you think about this pose here, Tina.”
He adds, “I feel like a kid in a candy store without the owner because you can do anything.”
Next, Cardenas opens the door of a pink 1957 Thunderbird, dinging the door of another T-bird parked right beside it, then plops himself into the driver seat. Later, he asks a woman staffing the Ford kiosk if he can go pose on the hood of a 2020 Ford Explorer despite acknowledging a sign asking people to keep off the display. He then saunters over to the turntable, slides under the railing and hops onto the hood — but not before having to be corrected by one of the anchors in the studio about the show’s closing time for the day.
“I would get off that now,” one of the female anchors is heard saying. And he does, apparently prompted by someone we can’t hear off camera.
The whole segment is like watching a slow-motion train wreck, though it’s worth pointing out that the show’s Twitter bio describes it in part as “unscripted zaniness with a side of news.” Viewers were not amused, however, and reportedly flooded the station and its social media accounts with complaints. The station removed the video of the segment from its website. The auto show itself said it received notice on Monday that Cardenas had been sacked, and his bio no longer appears on the show’s website, though neither the station nor CBS has commented on the matter.