Since nobody got killed in Atlanta’s tornado (last I heard), we can have some fun with the coverage on a Saturday night. Grab hold of the remote, flip amongst the four local channels. When you hear a TV reporter or anchor say “war zone,” “epicenter,” “path of destruction” or “ground zero,” do a shot. If they intone it with extra gravity, do an extra-gravity shot.
TV stations love to overreact to weather, treating every fallen tree limb as if it’s armageddon. Last night, they got it right. Some got it more right than others.
Through 8am, it appeared WSB’s coverage was tops. 2 had interior footage of the CNN Center and Dome (as did WXIA). Jim Strickland’s overnight package on the Fulton Mill Lofts damage was terrific. And of all the TV reporters who were on scene at dawn, you know that Ross Cavitt was the first (and perhaps only) one to actually volunteer to be there.
If WAGA had the interiors that WSB had, I didn’t see them. Tony Thomas stayed up all night downtown (and also may have volunteered) and did nice live shots, but his pictures and interviews were a bit middling– possibly because he was rarely untethered from his live camera. It was fun to watch WAGA call in Dana Fowle, Cheryl White and Ken Cook to co-anchor the little-watched Saturday morning news. And they called in Randy Travis to play catch-up to Strickland’s coverage in Cabbagetown. Yet by noon, it appeared WAGA was still out to lunch on the story at the Fulton Mill Lofts, which was chock-full of residents when the tornado hit.
WXIA’s Jennifer Leslie, holding up a hand during a live shot to stop traffic on Butler St. while she crossed, had the Edgewood Ave. damage to herself. Kudos to the motorist who let Jennifer and her photog cross.
WGCL showed cartoons in the morning. And at noon, it showed a basketball game.