Ron Burgundy, A.J. Clemente, and Will Ferrell's First Choice in Bismarck

Will Ferrell-as-Ron Burgundy made a major splash when he popped up on the air of KXMB in Bismarck, North Dakota last weekend, anchoring the news alongside Amber Schatz. No one at KXMB seemed know why Ferrell chose the station. (He was en route to Calgary, where Burgundy was to guest announce at a curling tournament, so maybe a stopover in Bismarck made sense.)

But KXMB wasn't Ferrell's first choice in Bismarck. We got a comment from a reader claiming to work at rival KFYR, who said that the station, owned by Hoak Media, was contacted by Ferrell's camp about having Ferrell come in to anchor the news as Burgundy.

What the heck got a Bismarck TV station onto Ferrell's radar screen?

Probably A.J. Clemente.

You remember A.J. Clemente--he of the shortest anchor career in TV history. Clemente's first day on TV, April 21, was also his last after letting some expletives fly into a hot mic at KFYR.

According to our tipster, KFYR, perhaps intent on rebuilding its good name after the Clemente snafu went viral, turned Ferrell's camp down, and Burgundy went to KXMB instead.

A Ferrell spokesperson confirms that KFYR "declined the offer."

Dick Heidt, GM at KFYR, didn't care to discuss the matter.

"That's not a topic we want to talk about," he told me. "We're not looking to stir things up."

Heidt politely suggested that the station did not want to take away from KXMB's unique moment in the sun by inserting KFYR into the discussion.

Burgundy co-anchored an entire 30-minute newscast on KXMB November 30 as Ferrell promotes Anchorman 2.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.