How's This Fit?

Buzz is envious of Deborah Norville in several ways. For starters, the host of the nationally syndicated news-magazine show Inside Edition helps draw about 4.5 million viewers to the program each day. Buzz is lucky if our wife reads our weekly rants. Also, Norville is fit and alluring. Buzz, not so much. Finally, when D-No (as her peeps surely refer to her) gets catty with someone at a local CBS affiliate, that person is promptly fired. Buzz craves this sort of power, and announces herein that, once acquired, it will be used for evil.

You want backstory? That, Buzz can do. Last week, D-No was in town and had to stop by the KTVT-Channel 11 Dallas studios to do a live spot at 2 p.m. For the past year, Richard Daniels, 72, has been the front desk security guard in Dallas. At about 1:45, he looked into his monitor and saw Norville hurriedly approaching, assistant in tow. Daniels went to meet Norville--whom he did not recognize--at the door, which stays locked. According to Daniels and another Channel 11 employee who witnessed the following, Daniels began to say, "May I help you?" At this point, they say Norville--lessee, how would Inside Edition put this?--[deep baritone] they say Deborah Norville began acting more like Diva Norville.

"I'm Deborah Norville!" Daniels said she screamed. "I'm late!"

According to Daniels and the other witness, Daniels looked shocked but allowed her to storm in. A news producer, who says she only saw the end of the incident but says Norville was loudly announcing her name, hurriedly rushed Norville back to the office of Steve Mauldin, president and general manager of Channel 11 and UPN Channel 21. The witness, who did not want her name used as she feared station retribution, says she and the security guard looked at each other and chuckled. "What a bitch!" the witness told Daniels.

No biggie, right? Except that within the hour, Daniels was fired.

Daniels, who Mauldin acknowledges was beloved by the staff, now stews at home, saying he has been offered a 24-hour-a-week security job but needs to work full time. "I wasn't rude to that woman," he says. "And no one even told me she was coming...But for no reason, they told [the security firm] I had to go."

An Inside Edition spokesman says Norville had no idea Daniels was fired. He says Norville may well have been harried and in a hurry but says she did not ask that anyone be disciplined for the incident. "This is the first she's heard about this," he says.

Mauldin acknowledges the call was made to get rid of Daniels because of the Norville incident but says it was because Daniels was often rude to outsiders entering the studio. He intimated that Daniels took his security role too seriously. "It's not like people are trying to break down the door to get into our station," Mauldin says.

The witness to the Norville incident says it's clear that this was just an overreaction, trying to kiss some big-timer butt. "Richard is the sweetest man I've ever met in my life. Everyone at the station was really pissed off. They were like, 'Are you freaking kidding me?'"

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Eric Celeste
Contact: Eric Celeste

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