Monday, March 23, 2009


The gap between the quality of Channel Sux and that of KETVNewswatch7 is never more apparent than in the midst of a tornado warning like the one issued for Omaha on Monday afternoon.

On Channel 7, chief guesser Bill Randby switched calmly between the station's clearly superior radar and its several live cams. Particularly helpful were shots from the 88th and I-80 unit, one at 90th and Dodge, and, best of all, from atop the station's tower at 72nd and Crown Point. For several minutes, Randby and John Campbell monitored a low-hanging cloud that appeared to be trying to organize itself into a funnel. Long after the storm had passed over the city, Randby started showing hail pictures—something that didn't seem particularly necessary.

Meanwhile, over at the "Weather Authority," chief Ejacucaster Jim Flowers spent most of his time either prattling excitedly about radar images or admitting that he couldn't tell much about a potential tornado based on a still photo sent in by a viewer. Every now and then, want-wit anchordolt John J-Tard Knicely would announce some version of the following:
"I just spoke with someone in ____ (Gretna/Blair/Waverly/Pisgah) and it was ____ (raining/hailing/ not doing much) and the sirens were (on earlier/going off now/hadn't sounded), and that was just ____ (seconds/minutes) ago."
We can only guess that upon hearing a town mentioned, J-Tard just starts dialing numbers from its phone book and hoping that "someone" will answer.

Other "assets" in the BigSux arsenal:

--A dashboard "Live Webcam" shot from Gary Smollen as he drove down a road in Cass County, where nothing had happened in at least 45 minutes;
--MalTard Maddox yammering about the "hell" she had witnessed out near Elkhorn, which sounded ominous until it became apparent that she was trying to say "hail";
--And there were assistant ejacucaster Andrea Rich and Tracy Madden, frantically reading what viewers were pecking out on the "SixOnline Live" chatroom. ("Viewers are reporting branches falling!" we heard more than once.)
--At 6:08, we were treated to a gallery of photos sent in by SuxNews viewers of hail "capable of damaging what-have-you."

Oh no! Anything but damaged what-have-you!


Samantha Eastridge said...

"MalTard Maddox yammering about the "hell" she had witnessed out near Elkhorn, which sounded ominous until it became apparent that she was trying to say "hail";"

Love it!

I was watching McPike, I always do; he's not as much of a high strung freak as Bill & Jim. Yes, it has something to do w/the frat boy, lets-do-a-beer-bong image he projects but I don't care. When it comes to storms I want to hear it from a dude who took his ritalin and not someone in a manic fit.

Damon Scott Hynes said...

Y'all should fall to your knees and give thanks to $deity that you didn't get stuck with KFAB. (I was out chasing.) Becka is a spastic in the best of times, and while he wasn't firing up the hype machine tonight, he was winding up so hard about a low-end storm I shudder to think what this spring will sound like, with slower-moving and more intense storms!

And KFAB climbing in bed with Channel 6...'nuff said.

It's a deadly combination when a) you're a radio 'personality' that's a) paid to talk, and b) there's really nothing to say...

Dumb Anguish said...

Oh Lordy. I can't believe WOWT had two people dedicated to monitoring the Channel Six Chat Room for late-breaking details.

You know. Why don't they just skip the formalities? Why don't they just go ahead and can all the WOWT reporters. And every newscast can have an empty headed anchor doing the following:

1. Read the pre-provided list of the latest recalled items
2. Read the latest pre-provided press release from the Omaha Police or any other local goverment agency
3. Read the latest pre-provided email sent in by a viewer who was recently scammed by a ticket scalper or a phishing email.
4. Ask viewers to chime in on earlier pre-provided stories.
5. Read the latest pre-provided comments on earlier pre-provided stories.
6. Ask the Weather Authority how dangerous the next few days are and why its so important to keep it tuned to Channel 6.
7. Ask Webs how the Huskers or BlueJays are doing.
8. Engage in banter.

You know that's where they're headed.

chne1 said...

why does WOWT need the new live remote cuts out, you only hear part of the sentences, the pictures are delayed....they need to stop using the remote webcast....must save money somehow

Counciltucky said...

Next up: WOWT breaks into programming to announce that there's a flame war in its chatroom.

Joe Swank said...

Funny I was watching Randby and he got all dejected around 5:45 as the makings of a tornado weakened. After he came back to a live camera shot of a cloud that no longer had a tail. "oh this doesn't look as good as it did before". Gee Bill sorry there may not be a devastating tornado and I am safe.
Plus their great radar could show nothing for the area where I was 99th & Fort. He just kept saying it's too close to the radar to pick anything up. That's helpful.

Then on their 10pm news Farah Fuzal is live in Eagle. 7 had a still shot or two and then she has the camera pan to the devastation AHHHH it was pitch dark you couldn't see anything! NICE work 7. On 6 they had actual footage from right after the storm. So say what you want. The almighty 7 is not perfect.

Just another example of Ted's bias against 6. Yes they have problems, but so does 7

Operationseng said...

Love your observations, Ted, especially the Mal-tard comment.

A couple other items to note; J-Pa referred to Gary Smollen as Gary Johnson at one point. I about rolled off my couch on that one.

Also; what is the deal with everyone doffing their coats and rolling up their sleeves (particularly Channel 7)? This was a hoot. What do they think they're doing; shoveling gravel or something?-or perhaps they're preparing for a bit of fisticuffs with their counterparts at Channel Sux? And just to balance the scales a bit; Knicely also appeared on the set sans jacket. How stupid do they think we are?

Oh...and I also loved the point where Sux went to Gary Smollen and all we could hear in the background was chainsaws. Perfect for such a classy outfit as WOWTard.

Helio said...

It's more obvious with each approaching spring storm...if the news isn't written down for these talking heads to read it to us - it's not going to come out of their collective "news-holes" very well at all. They all acted like rookies on many levels last night.
We deserve better!

Rick said...

I just looked at the photos page on Sux's web channel site. It appears that they don't select a few representative photos to tell the story. Instead, anyone with a camera submitted pictures to them, and all Sux did was arrange them onto pages and then wiped the drool from their keyboard. Who cares about the picture of a little kid? Does it tell the story of a weather disaster? That could be a picture of a kid throwing a tantrum over anything. Thanks for complete irrelevance, Sux.

Thanks Anna for a picture of your crying snowflake. Thanks Jessica for blurry pictures from a storm on Feb 26, 2009. Thanks Sux for auto-posting these. Next big weather event, I say we all send in Katrina pictures and see how many actually make it up. I'd guess right around 100% will be posted unless some one at Sux figures out that it's not the Old Market’s Howard St. but New Orleans’ Bourbon St.

Damon Scott Hynes said...

Rick: Or start sending that picture of the ore boat on Lake Michigan that everyone thinks is Kartina.

Get all bald-faced about it--"I was fishing on Lake Manawa when the storm came across the metro..."

Al said...

This is some great commentary. Who are you? I think either Carol Schrader or Gary Kerr?

Dumb Anguish said...

Operationseng cracked me up with the rolling up of the sleeves. I've often thought the same thing.

"We're REALLY going to dig into the radar, folks...Roll 'em up"

Rick said...

Thanks Damon SH, you are right! These weather guessers are going to cry wolf until we don't believe anymore. Did you hear the latest? People were complaining that sirens did not go off in several neighborhoods and down in Eagle. The solution that the "officials" came up with? Don't rely on the sirens. Oh really? Why the hell did the county spend all the money buying new sirens if we are not supposed to rely on them? What's the point of the entire CD system? Are we to rely on Jumpin' Jimminy Flowers to protect us?

Nope. They tell us all to buy a weather radio. This has to be a boon for weather-radio maker Midland Mfg. They have been on the down slope of production ever since the end of the 1970's CB boom.

Omababe said...

>if the news isn't written down
>for these talking heads to read
>it to us - it's not going to
>come out of their collective >"news-holes" very well


I could not have said that better! :(

The storm coverage was a MESS, and it was obvious that the broadcasters were clueless, way over their heads, and just winging it! :(

I was driving home (680/80) listening to KIOS and they cut to the channel 7 audio. I knew the skies to the southwest looked ugly, but I was hoping for some information so I could decide to proceed home, turn back, or go off in some safe direction. I wasn't sure who was more confused, me or the talking heads! :(

It looks like I missed that light pole collapse at the junction by just a few minutes. :(

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