Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte loves to be in front of the camera but — after the the 11-time medalist was already hired to appear on E! News as a fashion correspondent this week — he found out how hard it was to be behind one.
Lochte was hired by E! News to cover New York Fashion Week and, even before the starting gun sound went off, producers were saying the gold medalist would be lucky to get a silver for his reporting skills.
E! network executives are privately complaining that Lochte — who came off flat in his Olympic interviews — is even worse at doing the interviews.
It sounds like the splash E! News was hoping to create could turn into a colossal belly-flop.
"E! is regretting the decision. Even after media training, he's still not sharp," an insider, who added producers are frustrated, told Page Six of The New York Post. An E! rep called the claim "inaccurate."
The diamond-grilled swimmer had been booked to appear last night, tonight and Monday on E! News and was been spotted Wednesday, sitting front-row at Joseph Abboud and attending parties. Lochte mingled with other E! News camera-hogs like Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Heidi Klum.
Lochte said he was working on his own clothing line and filming a "30 Rock" episode while he was in New York, but hadn't practiced any lines.
In his client's defense, Lochte's rep said, "I believe under the circumstances he has has done a great job. Ryan does not purport to be the best speaker or the best interview. But each time he gets more experience and becomes more at ease."
Lochte is finding out there are a lot of sharks swimming in the reporter's pool.