WRAL-TV Out & About Editor Kathy Hanrahan talked to one of the new reporters for the Big 5, Keenan Williard, for the WRAL Out & About Podcast this week. Here’s her story:
WRAL Eastern North Carolina reporter Keenan Willard is happy to be back in the Tar Heel State.
The Raleigh native attended Broughton High School before going to college at Washington & Lee University in Virginia. He was working at KFOX-TV in El Paso, Texas, when he went viral for a news report from outside a canceled Cardi B. concert.
“That day I was going to do this investigative type piece and they, my managers in the newsroom, just said, ‘You know what, no. Cardi B canceled, and I’m sure there’s going to be people who show up and don’t know that it’s canceled. So that’s your story,” Willard said. “Over the course of a couple of hours, a couple of cars pull up and they’re just like, ‘Oh, there’s no concert.'”
With not much a story, Willard decided to improvise with his live shot by using Cardi’s catchphrase “okurrr.” The clip went viral.
“It was definitely an unforgettable start to my career because … that story was legitimately three months into my first job,” Willard said.
Willard is also a musician. He started writing and recording his own music while in Texas.
“Growing up, I taught myself how to play the guitar and piano, and I’ve loved music forever, but I never took the step to writing and recording my own music until I moved halfway across the country and was like, ‘I want to find a community and kind of put myself out there,'” Willard said. “I was just inspired to put three songs together and ended up putting them out there.”
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Kathy Hanrahan for this Capcom story & for these Capcom graphics.