Wednesday, November 16, 2005

It Really Blows Out There

The arrival of winter weather sent TV stations into its usual frenzy of idiotic stories. After the early morning exhortations to "allow yourself extra time" and "bundle up," all three of Tuesday's 10 p.m. newscasts featured the obligatory "let's have a reporter show us what snow looks like" package.

KETV sent Brandi Petersen out to tell us that it was so windy that a station engineer had to hold a light up so she could do her live shot. WOWT's Sheila Brummer showed us car accidents and near-accidents, while KMTV's Michelle Bandur drew the short straw and had the privilege of interviewing local dolts to get their brilliant observations about the weather. All three essentially did the same story; only the order of information, particular locations, and individual dolts differed from one station to the next.

In typical Brummer fashion, video in her story included the first and second takes of an interviewee demonstrating how to put together a winter survival kit. Not surprising.

Perhaps the most pathetic aspect of local coverage came eve before the snow fell. As early as the 5 p.m. 'cast on Monday, Channel 7 anchors were crowing that meteorologist Bill Randby's "winter forecast" had told us that we'd get snow before Thanksgiving. Let's hope these people aren't as impressed as they sounded, because predicting snow before Thanksgiving is like predicting heat in July—it doesn't take much training to get that one right.

In fact, we'll go out on a limb of our own and predict that it's gonna snow again before Christmas. Imagine the oohs and ahhs from the Newsplex if we're right about that.


Tóózy said...

IMHO, the 5 p.m. channel 7 story on the weather with Todd Andrews was the bomb. The poor chap is standing there looking as comfortable as blue-green algae, while lacking much of that algal charm, reporting on the inclement weather. The tv screen has the caption "Near 27th and Douglas." Now I am familiar with the area, and I believe this is a synonym for "STANDING ON THE SIDEWALK IN FRONT OF THE DAMN BUILDING!"
I hope 7 didn't blow-up their satellite budget on that back haul!
Good comedy.

the_s_man said...

and i predict teddy will write another stupid blog before thanksgiving!!! yes!! yes!! its true!!

Ted Brockman said...


Having reporters do live shots from "27th & Douglas" isn't unusual for KETV, especially with weather stories. Both 6 and 3 do similar shots, but less frequently. The Big Six has an affinity for its parking garage. Channel 3 usually sends their people west one block to 108th Street and sometimes as far south or north as Q and L Streets.

Tóózy said...

Mr. Brockman (if indeed you are a Mr. and 1 individual):

The gist of my comment is that it is more or less unscrupulous for 7 or any station for that matter, to make it look like they are on location for a news story, when in fact all they have done is step out the door. There shouldn't be any subterfuge about it. They news reader should say "Todd's out in the parking lot, what it like homey?" Instead, we the viewers get a minimal effort piece passed off as a remote, with integrity left at the door. At no time during the news piece did 7 indicate what was going on. On the same 5pm newscast, Susan Deyo did go out and stand under the highway to the sky at 114th and Dodge and do her report on the usual traffic clusterf--k. That took some effort, and was appreciated.
By the way, she dressed in her snow bunny costume complete with the headband, and thereby passed in to MILF-hood.

Damon Scott Hynes said...

By the way, she dressed in her snow bunny costume complete with the headband, and thereby passed in to MILF-hood.

No she didn't. (shudder)

journalism101 said...

Giving an address instead of a station's call letters is much more descriptive of the live location to the viewer. The situations Toozy describes in Omaha are unlike the Cookie Roberts chromakey incident where she purported to be "live" at the Capitol while reporting from the studio. It still takes staff to set up a live shot outside the building. Also, paid satellite time is rarely used locally as nearly all liveshots are sent via microwave.

DarthSchrader said...

What? No story about frozen homeless people who need food? Oh, wait; Thanksgiving is a week away. The homeless can starve until we remember them then.

Tóózy said...

dear journalism101:
It is not within good ethics to not give the background on that story. It looks like a remote, smells like a remote, but isn't a remote. All they did was run a cord out the door. The now defunct (I don't remember seeing it for a while anyway) channel 6 weather observation deck wasn't pawned off on the viewing public as a remote, so why should this?
news reader 7 should have said one of the following:
"todd out the door, what it be?"
"yo bro, precip or what out there on the sidewalk?"
"dog out on a leash, drizzle on yer dick-izzle?"
"todd has stepped outside to give us a report on the weather"
These are not misguiding the viewer.
On the point of the satellite. That was called sarcasm, possibly you ran in to it in English or Literature class somewhere. I ran into it, oh, about 6th grade. Everyone knows they send the news crews to go out and park the microwave truck under the high-voltage lines as a way to turn over the staff!!
So please, journalism101, leave your earnestness in the Volvo.

journalism101 said...

Toozy is dumb.

bandit75 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
DaleMunsonRules said...

Izzle fizzle say the Dale snizzle.

In the old days, we'd just take a marker and draw on the map, or just point to those ridiculous graphics.

And remember when the weather came on before the news? Oops, that was 10/11 in Lincoln ...

The Big D

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