TV reporter explains his on-air scare
An ABC news reporter was back on-air this morning after sparking concern when he appeared to suffer a worrying incident during a live cross on Thursday morning.
Queensland journalist Michael Rennie was reporting live outside a JBS beef processing plant in Ipswich yesterday when he trailed off at the end of his sentence and appeared to be unable to continue speaking.
The incident sparked an outpouring of concern from the public, with Rennie later assuring everyone he was fine but dehydrated.
The Queensland reporter was back at work this morning, reporting on the backlash Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has received after hotel quarantine rules meant a woman was denied approval to attend her father's funeral.
At the end of the live cross co-host of ABC's News Breakfast, Lisa Millar, asked Rennie if he was feeling better.
"It is terrific to hear from you. You gave us a bit of a scare yesterday but are you doing OK?" she asked.
"I am doing much better now. Drinking lots of water this morning and making sure I am staying hydrated," Rennie replied.
"Got a little bit lost during a live cross but all good today."
Millar said that was "terrific" news, adding "it's great to have you back on the program".
Rennie made his debut as ABC News' Queensland Reporter on Monday last week and was yesterday reporting from Australia's largest meat processing facility where 600 jobs had been lost.
After the incident occurred, ABC host Joe O'Brien assured viewers that they would get someone to check on Rennie to make sure he was OK.
He addressed the "really concerning" incident shortly afterwards.
"Now, just before we move on, that was really concerning seeing our reporter Michael Rennie there having some issues when he was doing that report … I want to assure our viewers that we're chasing that up right away and getting on top of that and making sure that Michael gets the support he needs at this moment," he said.
Later in the news broadcast, O'Brien gave viewers another update on the incident, saying Rennie was "OK".
"Now, I just want to assure our viewers that our reporter Michael Rennie is OK. We were having a chat to him in the last 5 or 10 minutes or so and he wasn't able to continue. Yeah, we were a bit concerned about him, but he is OK. And we look forward to having a chat to him again soon," he said.
Thanks for all the concern about what happened on ABC news channel this morning. I was dehydrated and lost my train of thought. But I’m fine and I’ll be back at work tomorrow. Cheers— Michael Rennie (@mf_rennie) September 10, 2020
One viewer watching live described the incident on social media: "He started talking a bit strangely, like he'd lost his place, then when they crossed back to check he didn't seem able to talk. I think he might have become emotional, which is totally understandable, but I hope it wasn't a medical issue," she wrote.
Those who were watching live took to social media to ask whether Rennie was OK, with one speculating he might be suffering a heart attack, and another saying he was "worried for the poor bugger".
Watching ABC NEWS 24. Is that reporter OK? That didn’t look good. I hope he’s all right.— Eustace Scrubber (@Dragonsvoyage) September 9, 2020
In a statement provided to news.com.au an ABC spokesperson thanked viewers for their concern and said that "Michael is fine. He felt a bit dehydrated and had a moment where he became light-headed and lost his train of thought. He's gone home for a rest today and we expect him back tomorrow."
Originally published as TV reporter explains his on-air scare