WICHITA — You never know what’s going on behind the scenes at a TV news set.
Thanks to Larry Hatteberg’s cool demeanor and Jay Prater’s quick action, viewers probably didn’t notice the drama during KAKE, Channel 10’s 5 p.m. newscast Tuesday.
During a commercial break, anchorwoman Susan Peters started feeling funny.
“Is there something wrong?” she asked Hatteberg, thinking perhaps there was an earthquake since the room was starting to spin.
“I looked in her eyes, and I immediately knew something not good was happening,” Hatteberg says.
Peters grabbed Hatteberg’s arm.
They were about to return to the newscast, and Peters was supposed to have the next story.
Hatteberg took over instead, but he had to continue holding up Peters at the same time.
“I was afraid she was going to topple off the chair,” he says.
“I told the cameraman, ‘Just frame it up on me.’
“At about that time, Jay can see we’re in a small crisis here.”
So while Hatteberg read the news, Prater helped the faint, semiconscious Peters to the floor.
That’s where she stayed for the next several minutes.
“They were just afraid to get me up,” Peters says.
Though they later realized Peters had merely fainted, Hatteberg was concerned something more serious might be happening.
Not to mention, he says, “It’s a little disconcerting when you have somebody on the floor next to you when you’re doing the news.”
He says newscasters train to be prepared for any kind of unexpected situation, though.
“Part of being on television is keeping your cool, staring into the camera doing your little thing, and hopefully no one at home knows.”
Peters’ husband took her to the emergency room, where she was told she was dehydrated.
“The doctor said just keep drinking a lot of fluids in the wintertime,” she says.
Peters is feeling OK now, though she’s still surprised at what happened.
“It was weird it happened during a newscast,” she says. “You’re only on three half hours a day.”
Even weirder, Peters says, is two weeks ago she was getting a crock pot out of her pantry, and the glass lid fell on her face. She needed four stitches and wore glasses on air to hide her cut.
“I’m just busting myself up lately, I guess.”
She’s learned a lot, though.
In addition to offering a cautionary tale to drink enough fluids, Peters has this advice:
“Beware of flying crock pot lids.”