Friday, February 22, 2008

Live Blogging the Weather

This is mainly for my brother, who has never lived outside the New York City television market and therefore has no idea what the local news media does when there's a little snow falling. In Philly, a snowstorm will stop coverage of just about anything else.

Let's just say that yesterday on the all-news radio station we had to listen to live interviews with people who couldn't get snow shovels and rock salt because Home Depot had run out. Everyone who wasn't in Home Depot was in Acme buying milk, bread, eggs, snacks and videos. How's that for News You Can Use?

The Big Story on Action News is...wait for it...the snow! (As if it never did that before). This is not the channel I usually watch for my morning news, but it's the most fun during a snowstorm. My regular channel is actually doing a news show including stories unrelated to precipitation.

I love how they have a Team of Reporters standing outside in the snow with their mittens and rulers. The weather guy just said, "And you'll see in a few minutes our reporters, still standing in the thick of that." High drama!

As the morning wears on we will see people who have left their homes for the express purpose of stopping at Wawa to buy coffee for these reporters who are paid nice money to stand outside in the snow with their waterproof microphones. The reporters will walk up to cars stopped at red lights to ask people where they're heading and how bad the roads are.

In fact, one reporter just complained that there aren't many drivers out there to talk to. He cautioned everyone to be careful in case the roads are slippery. (You think?) The anchors are giving out important tips like keeping kitty litter in the trunk of your car to gain traction if you get stuck.

They have "not one, but two meteorologists" keeping track of the weather today. Most images you are shown are snow-covered highways and secondary roads with cars driving along. We probably won't see a snow-plow interview since those guys are busy. Those were shown yesterday, though, in the Hype Leading Up To The Storm. They have not yet announced that they will offer Extended Coverage and cut off the usual network morning show, but I've seen them do this kind of thing right through the entire morning before. I've been watching this channel for 25 minutes now and they have not done one story not related to the weather. Obviously nothing else is happening anywhere.

Yes, they will be having Continuing Coverage of the snowstorm. The traffic guy appears absolutely gleeful to describe the spin-out accidents he's reporting.

And that's the story on the Storm Coverage today.

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