Voice (garbled speech) Media people
Last Updated: 10:42 PM, February 14, 2011
Posted: 10:47 AM, February 14, 2011
KCBS-TV’s Serene Branson looked perfectly fine as the L.A. Channel 2 anchor desk switched to her outside Staples Center after the Grammys late Sunday night.
But almost as soon as she opened her mouth, she started flubbing her speech and then completely broke into an unrecognizable gibberish.
Still, Branson smiled and showed no obvious signs of panic, frustration or illness during her puzzling 11-second bit.
News anchor Paul Magers said he was completely floored by what he saw and heard.
" ‘Shocked’ is as appropriate adjective," Magers told The Post. "She’s a great reporter, the consummate professional."
The station quickly took its cameras off Branson, and paramedics were called in to check her out. A co-worker later drove Branson home.
KCBS put out a statement today saying, "Her vital signs were normal. She was not hospitalized. As a precautionary measure, a colleague gave her a ride home, and she says she is feeling fine this morning."
Branson was given today off from work to rest, and it wasn’t immediately known when she’d return, a CBS rep said.
Even after station officials said Branson was OK, Magers urged his colleague to take it easy and get more medical attention.
"I still think Serene needs to get checked out," he said. "She’s really a great person and great reporter. You don’t want to see something like that happen to anyone."
Neurologists — who saw tape of the episode but haven’t treated Branson — said she clearly suffered from aphasia, which is a symptom of some medical conditions that impacts a patient’s ability to articulate desired words.
"Something caused it, it wasn’t an arbitrary event," said Dr. Jesse Weinberger of Mount Sinai Medical Center.
Dr. Patrick Lyden, chairman of neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said he hopes Branson is under a neurologist’s care.
"It’s a symptom that might show a dysfunction in the part of the brain that controls language," he said. "That can be caused by a stroke, a tumor, a seizure or something as simple as a migraine."
He added: "Please communicate this to your readers: If you are out there and see something like this, and you didn’t know why or have an explanation, then you should call 911."