Rough weather

Snapshots from the storm coverage:

  • WGCL’s Joanna Massee, live at 11pm: “Take a look at this tree. It didn’t fall. It snapped.”
  • WGCL actually leading its 11pm news with two storm damage pieces instead of an “only on CBS 46” exclusive.
  • WXIA’s Brenda Wood, beginning WATL’s 10pm newscast by saying “…due to downed power lines and a lot of damage, it’s been tough getting (our) reports in. We’re going to do the best we can.” WXIA spent the next thirty minutes looping the same 35 seconds of storm damage video.
  • WXIA’s Ted Hall, live in Cherokee County: “It might sound kind of trite but it really did seem like something out of a disaster movie pulling in here.” Hall and Julie Wolfe’s shared live shot had a poor signal and had a very Kirk-in-the-transporter quality to it.
  • WAGA’s Marc Teichner, with the mangled metaphor of the day: “Trees crushed cars and landed on trailers like toothpicks.”
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About live apt fire

Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

13 thoughts on “Rough weather

  1. Edward

    I found all of yesterday evenings “news” reports to be absurd. I turned to WSB at 7pm to watch ABC Nightly News only to find an extended weather report that simply repeated the same tired message over and over and over. They took 45 seconds of information and stretched it out over 30 minutes, never giving us the ABC national news. At 7:30, I turned to “MyATL” to see “Jeopardy”, but there was WXIA bleating their weather report ad nauseum. Again, the same 30 seconds of information endlessly hyped for 30 minutes. And what is with the on-air “phone calls” from “viewers” who all sound like Ma Kettle? “I saw tha sky turn all green and tha leaves were blowin’ all over. We wuz skeered!”

    Thankfully there is always PBS with the Nightly News Hour for some REAL news.

    Reply
  2. rptrcub

    The live coverage was spotty — WGCL had nothin’ but Chris Smith and Dagmar; Fox 5 had the yokel calls; WSB was an episode of the Glenn/David Let’s Show Off Our Radar Follies. Didn’t even pay attention to WXIA, Nyquil for Atlanta.

    Reply
  3. Onlooker

    It is starting to feel like the (mis)management at WGCL is FINALLY willing to accept the fact that their stupid “formulas” and misguided BS ideas are FAILING MISERABLY! But, the newsroom continues to become more and more disjointed and dysfunctional by the minute. All the while, blame continues to be placed on the “worker bees”, who are working their arses off for a system that CANNOT work…

    Reply
  4. John Coctostan

    Edward,

    The reason why weather is repeated over and over during severe weather is because different people tune in at different times. Storms are moving (y’day at 45 mph) and therefore people in Cherokee/N. Fulton may not have tuned in until the storm was very close to them and they could hear thunder/see dark clouds.

    What if the weather folks blew their load at 6, said the storms are moving to town by 7 and they are severe. Because you said it once is that enough? I think not.

    Reply
  5. LBJ

    Hey, when you have storms with the potential to produce large hail and tornadoes, I sure as hell want them to stay on the air. You can’t look at NWS radar and get the info they have.

    Reply
  6. Edward

    Sorry, but those excuses don’t fly. If you’re that concerned, get a weather radio. Are you going to stay glued to your TV while a tornado wipes your house away? You get BETTER, MORE RELEVANT information from a weather radio than you do these lame TV broadcasts that simply repeat the same irrelevant information ad nauseum.

    Besides, if your excuses were the real reason for these idiotic broadcasts, why don’t they affect the commercials? If the station is so concerned about your well-being, why are they broadcasting commercials when they could be telling you of the twister that is barreling down upon you? These broadcasts NEVER interrupt a commercial advertisement. Hypocritical in the extreme.

    Reply
  7. John

    The weather overkill on Atlanta stations is becoming just that–overkill. A simple radar picture in the bottom corner of the screen is more than sufficient to do the job. To top it off, WXIA ran the exact coverage on both 11 and 13 when one station would have been sufficient. Tuesday night was absolutely over the top.

    One more question–when the Atlanta stations are running weather alerts across the bottom of the screen, why is it necessary for them to kill the HD picture and shrink it to a fraction of the screen when they don”t do it on their non HD feeds?

    Reply
  8. liveapartmentfire Post author

    Edward–

    Thanks for visiting the site. Your frustration is understandable. “Overkill” doesn’t begin to describe local TV’s obsession with weather. However, let me make two points in TV’s defense.

    – When there is a new NWS warning– severe thunderstorm or tornado– TV and radio are required to break programming and have a human voice tell the viewer that the warning has been issued. When the warnings are all over the region, and constantly being updated by NWS, then TV is on the air constantly updating.

    That said, those warnings are often used as an excuse to do weather coverage ad nauseum. But there is a legal, FCC-based obligation behind it.

    – TV does, in fact, interrupt commercials for weather coverage. I’ve been part of commercial-free weather coverage that has lasted two entire hours. Part of the reason is because TV knows that it has created a monster. Its geeked-up weather coverage puts the viewer on the edge of his seat, remote in hand. If one station dares to cut to a commercial, the viewer will try to find another weather update elsewhere.

    Ultimately, the station wants to be the one that you, as a viewer, switch on next time you think the weather is an issue. You might call it “overkill” now. But next time– isn’t that the station you’ll switch on? That’s what they’re banking on.

    Reply
  9. Richard

    John,

    In response to your question depending upon the station you were watching… It comes down to the master control switcher. Most station master control operations are still done in standard definition. All the stations can pass HD through their switchers but, when a local ID is inserted it reverts back to SD. The same comes into play with a weather alert or EAS alert.

    Reply
  10. Edward

    I fully understand the required interruptions and I am not addressing complaints about them. It is the overkill that I find so repugnant.

    What do I do when I see this “overkill”? Yes, I do remember which station it is as I turn away from it and go anywhere else to see something more relevant to me.

    Reply
  11. locutus of borg

    Say what you want about weather overkill, but I personally heard three storm victims say glenn burns saved their lives. No joke. They said they were watching burns’ weather and when he told them to take cover, they did…and then the storm damaged or destroyed their house. I heard one 46 photog complain that he couldn’t use half the sound he got in the fountain lake mobile home park because most of the victims said they took cover when burns told them to. Is there weather overkill? Definitely. Are there times when the overkill is necessary? Absolutely.

    Reply
  12. LBJ

    Ok, let’s say you live in Roswell and your weather radio is set to alert you for a tornado warning for Fulton County. You wake up, go to the basement, and sit. Meanwhile the twister is rolling through Hapeville…over 20 miles away. I’d rather watch TV and go back to sleep if it’s not headed for me.

    Reply
  13. Whippoorwill

    To me, there’s worse weather overkill than severe weather. It’s when there’s even a slight chance of frozen precip.

    “We’re here in Podunk still awaiting the arrival of snow that was predicted to start when began our continuous coverage 12 hours ago. In the meantime, let’s talk to this random person who just happens to be walking by to see what they might do if at least one snowflake happens to fall.”

    Reply

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