Every GM and news director I know who oversees a local newsroom has taken severe weather very seriously. We spend millions of dollars on early warning equipment, radars and other software to make sure we can get the information on the air as quickly as possible. We are local broadcasters. We are the only source of instantaneous information showing the storm, explaining where it is heading and what viewers need to know right now to protect themselves. This is what a local TV station does. It focuses on your community. Your home.
Of course, WENY Elmira, N.Y., last Sunday did the right thing when it pre-empted the final minutes of the World Cup to warn the public of life-threatening tornadoes in the area, despite the nasty carping of soccer fans. But stations have a parallel duty not to sensationize its servere weather reporting or issue unwarranted warnings. Crying wolf is its own danger.
A new Hearst Television survey finds people in Baltimore, Boston and Burlington, Vt.-Plattsburgh, N.Y., depended on local stations for their weather information during Hurricane Irene.
Raycom Media’s head of research, Billy McDowell, conducted a survey of the viewers in its Southern stations in the wake of this April’s devastating tornadoes. He learned that 71% of adults living in those affected areas first learned about the approaching storms through TV. At a focus group recently, one of the participants said of a local meteorologist: “He saved my life.” Says McDowell on the value of TV stations’ service to their communities: “No other endorsement is needed.”
Leaving nothing to chance after the 2005 trauma of Hurricane Katrina, WDSU and WWL have beefed up their studios and transmitter sites, put together worst-case scenario strategies and made off-site arrangements for when the next disaster strikes the Crescent City. This is the fourth in a series of articles appearing this week that collectively constitute a TVNewsCheck Special Report on Severe Weather News. The other stories in the series are below.
Weather system vendors are creating new tools designed to bring new elements into weather presentations, including real-time observation data and viewer videos of storm damage, as well as hooks into social media and mobile apps that let stations deliver weather information to viewers regardless of what screen they’re viewing. This is the fifth in a series of articles appearing this week that collectively constitute a TVNewsCheck Special Report on Severe Weather News. The other stories in the series are below.
Meteorologists in the hurricane-prone Gulf and Atlantic coastal areas say they’re conscious of the power they wield and try to be careful with it, realizing the profound impact severe weather news and related promotion can have not only on people, but also on local economies. They also stress the importance of social media as an adjunct to broadcasting, contending that in a weather emergency, television screens are not the only place that citizens will be looking for critical information. This is the third in a series of articles that will appear this week and that collectively constitute a TVNewsCheck Special Report on Severe Weather News. The first two stories in the series are below.
Following the success of WFTV’s mock weather set at the Orlando Science Center, the set maker, FX Design Group, is marketing the idea of creating weather sets for museums to other stations, making the pitch that they are a chance not only to do good, but to make money. This is the second of six articles that will appear this week and that collectively constitute a TVNewsCheck Special Report on Severe Weather News. Below is the first story in the series.
The meteorologist at Griffin Communications’ KWTV Oklahoma City has seen a lot of changes in weather forecasting since he first joined the CBS affiliate. But while his technology has evolved tremendously from the days of black & white radar, his philosophy and mission haven’t: Do the weather and the warnings, but balance that when you can with a little bit of humor. This is the first of six articles that will appear this week and that collectively constitute a TVNewsCheck Special Report on Severe Weather News.