Newscaster’s Errant Email Calling in Sick Gets National Attention

The care packages came streaming in to the television station: ginger ale, tissues and chicken noodle soup.

All of it was for Nick Vasos, whose desk at Fox 4 in Kansas City, Mo., had been turned into a shrine on Thursday with candles and a framed photograph of Mr. Vasos. By Friday, there was a wreath, stuffed animals and flowers, as the hashtag #PrayersforNick trended on Twitter.

The newscaster had been suffering from an acute case of embarrassment.

Mr. Vasos, 53, a traffic and morning anchor, accidentally sent an email about taking a sick day to the entire company. Instead of reaching his boss, it popped up in inboxes at the nearly 200 television stations owned by Nexstar Media Group, much to the amusement of newsroom employees in markets from Buffalo to Seattle.

Suddenly, Mr. Vasos was the news.

“I don’t think I realized that I was sending it to all of Nexstar and then I hit send,” Mr. Vasos told his Fox 4 colleagues on Friday.

Mr. Vasos, who called in to a Fox 4 news show, explained that he had been feeling lousy after oral surgery on Thursday, which required him to fast for seven hours and not to drink any water. After taking his medication, he said, he felt wobbly, so he texted his manager about taking a sick day. When he didn’t hear back from his manager, Mr. Vasos said, he composed an email.

He started typing in an email address that contained “[email protected],” or so he thought. By the time he realized his goof, it was too late.

“Word of advice to everyone — don’t email the entire company when you get sick,” Mr. Vasos told his Fox co-workers.

Nexstar bought Fox 4 in Kansas City last December as part of its $6.4 billion acquisition of Tribune Media Co., which Mr. Vasos said had resulted in changes to the email system used by the station.

He could not be reached for an interview.

Mr. Vasos became such a social media sensation — with the hashtag #PrayersforNick — that he apologized on Twitter to Nicolas Cage, Nick Lachey, Nick Jonas, Nick Cannon and Nick Carter for any confusion about concern for their well being.

Nexstar colleagues far and wide replied to his email, he said on Fox 4.

“We’ve also got a companywide email from them saying please don’t use that email,” Mr. Vasos said of Nexstar’s response to the chain email.

A meme of his head in the clouds appeared onscreen Friday as the song “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M. played on the newscast. His colleagues weren’t going to let him live it down.

“I’m alive,” Mr. Vasos told them. “I’m alive.”


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