Lockdown Turns Highways Into Speedways

With most people staying home because of coronavirus lockdowns, the nation’s roads and highways have emptied. Instead, they are being taken over by an assortment of speeders, students, skateboarders and birds, leaving traffic reporters little to do.

L.A. Traffic Reporters Battle Smoke, Fires

As flames have ravaged Los Angeles, traffic reporters have emerged as lifelines through the chaos, stars in an urban, multi-fire battle that could compete with a disaster film plotline from a Hollywood studio. Their profession, sidelined in the age of apps and built-in navigation, is boosted by the thing technology still does not have — human judgment.

DMA 58

WALA Mobile Adds Real-Time Traffic Reporting

Meredith’s Fox affiliate WALA Mobile, Ala. (DMA 58), has launched what it says is the first real-time, interactive traffic system in its market. Traffic Tracker uses multiple real-time data streams to instantly alert viewers to problem areas on the roadways. “This is a system that allows us to quickly distribute valuable information to our viewers […]

Stations Facing Weather, Traffic Competition

The most popular mapping and navigational tool on the planet, Google Maps, is expanding its traffic coverage. This week the app added traffic accidents and other incidents courtesy of Waze, the mobile startup Google acquired for $1 billion earlier this summer. This is just one more sign that two of local TV’s biggest drivers — weather and traffic — are under increasing pressure from non-traditional competitors on the platform that increasingly matters the most: mobile.

SPECIAL REPORT

Traffic And Weather Now Go Hand-In-Hand

New technology from AccuWeather and Weather Services International make it possible for TV stations to combine weather data and traffic maps. The new systems can show a storm rolling in over the real-time traffic map, pull up live Department of Transportation camera feeds capturing the backup and even display Twitter and Facebook updates from drivers stuck in the mess.

DMA 8 (WASHINGTON)

WJLA In Joint Traffic Venture With WTOP

Allbritton’s ABC affiliate WJLA Washington (DMA 8) and Hubbard Broadcasting’s all-news WTOP-FM today announced a new joint partnership to provide area commuters with real-time traffic information. Under the arrangement, WTOP will become the exclusive morning traffic home to WJLA. Beginning Tuesday, April 30, WJLA Reporter Amanda Meadows will be reporting live from the WTOP “Glass-enclosed […]

SPECIAL REPORT: TRAFFIC REPORTING

High-Tech Data Driving Traffic Vendors

TV stations are increasingly turning to companies like Beat the Traffic, Radiate Media and Metro Traffic to give commuters more precise and timely information through on-air maps, charts and alternative routes.  And they’re also delivering the information online and directly to viewers via mobile apps and email alerts. This is the last of four articles that are appearing this week and that collectively constitute a TVNewsCheck Special Report on Traffic Reporting.

SPECIAL REPORT: TRAFFIC REPORTING

Commutes Get Worse, Coverage Gets Better

Growing morning commutes and earlier newscasts have given traffic reporting a new importance, not only on-air. And as traffic information from alternative sources grows, TV stations are working to remain the top destination for traffic news. They are developing new ways of tracking traffic in real time and are also delivering the information to commuters through email, social media and mobile devices. This is the third of four articles that will appear this week and that collectively constitute a TVNewsCheck Special Report on Traffic Reporting.

SPECIAL REPORT: TRAFFIC REPORTING

Road Traffic Drives Web Traffic At WTOP.com

For WTOP.com, the website for Washington, D.C.’s 24-hour headline news radio station, helping the region’s drivers navigate around traffic snarls has boosted site visits. This is the second of four articles that will appear this week and that collectively constitute a TVNewsCheck Special Report on Traffic Reporting.

SPECIAL REPORT: TRAFFIC REPORTING

Helping Commuters Drives WSB’s Arum

Like most people, WSB Atlanta’s Mark Arum hates commuting. But unlike most, he’s in a position to do something about it. As the traffic reporter for the Cox ABC affiliate — and the company’s two radio stations and newspaper in the city — he’s been keeping Atlanta viewers up to the minute on gridlock and road congestion for 14 years. The technology has improved over the years, and he says he still enjoys “getting people off the interstate just before there’s a closure.” This is the first of four articles that will appear this week and that collectively constitute a TVNewsCheck Special Report on Traffic Reporting.