WRAL reporter talks going viral, Cardi B.

Keenan Willard

WRAL-TV Specialty Reporter Keenan Willard

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.

Keenan Willard

“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.”

You can hear more from Willard (plus learn which languages he speaks!) on this week’s WRAL Out and About Podcast!

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Kathy Hanrahan for this Capcom story & for these Capcom graphics.

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