Ring the alarm! TV reporter crams 17 Beyoncé references into her traffic report

A woman wearing a strapless vinyl leotard stands in a shiny room
(Mason Poole)

By now, you’ve probably heard Beyoncé’s new album “Renaissance” in the club, at home, in the car and at your favorite restaurants. But did you expect to hear it referenced in the morning traffic report?

NBC Philadelphia traffic and lifestyle reporter Sheila Watko paid homage Tuesday to Queen Bey live on television, blending Beyoncé lyrics and titles with freeway congestion and road closures. In just the first 10 seconds, she crammed in four song titles, from Beyonce’s newest album “Renaissance” to the classics.

“Thank you Bill, I always appreciate it when you ‘Say My Name,’” Watko opened. “If you’re just waking up, I hope you had some ‘Sweet Dreams’ — I just heard a groan — but traffic is getting ‘Heated,’ and it’s starting to ‘Break My Soul.’”

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Each song title appeared onscreen as she said it during the traffic report, complete with sounds of appreciation from her co-workers. There’s an audible snicker when she mentions a “‘Formation’ of traffic cones,” while Erin Coleman let out an “ooooh” when Watko mentioned the blocking of a left lane forming “a ‘Partition’ of sorts” with the right lane.


“She’s not writing a script by the way, this is all off the top of the head,” Keith Jones, Coleman’s co-anchor, added in amazement at the end.

“If you had gotten ‘Put a Ring on It,’ I would have just ... there’s no way you could get that in there,” Coleman quipped.

By the end, the tally had risen to 17 with Coleman and Jones each adding a reference of their own.

“I’ve been planning this since Friday and then we had a big crash yesterday, and I haven’t been able to do it,” Watko added. “But we had to celebrate our girl Beyoncé’s new album.”

The report even caught the eye of Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Knowles, who posted the video Thursday on Instagram.

“This soo cool!” she captioned the post. “All song [titles].”

Beyoncé’s latest album, “Renaissance,” is poised to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. On its first day, the album pulled in more than 50 million on-demand streams in the United States, according to Variety.

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“For all its craft and know-how — there are transitions between songs here that could bring a tear to your eye — “Renaissance” is intensely, almost overwhelmingly emotional as Beyoncé savors the desire and satisfaction in her own life while contemplating the availability of those sensations to people on the margins,” Times critic Mikael Wood wrote of Beyoncé’s seventh studio album.