I've covered many severe weather outbreaks in our area...but last night was different.
Here at WNWO we already have a reputation as being "The ones that don't overhype the weather". I take pride in that...and will work diligently to preserve it.
While every severe weather outbreak is different, we weigh several factors in determining how we'll handle getting the information out.
We don't have a "blanket" coverage policy when it comes to severe weather...and we in the Weather Department are given full discretion to make the call as to when we break into programming.
Last night was a rare circumstance. We had a big severe weather event right in the middle of our airing of the Stanley Cup Finals.
We discussed the scenarios during the day, and how we would handle doing weather updates during the game if needed.
Turns out we needed.
We did a "double box" setup in which we could put the game in one box, and me in the other. And that worked perfectly given the situation.
Luckily for us, we were able to do most of the updates during the intermissions. A couple of times we went "full screen" during commercial breaks.
Unfortunately, one of those times we were full screen during a commercial break, NBC came out of the break and the game re-started almost immediately. As we were wrapping up the update...a goal was scored.
Sorry about that.
We made it through most of the evening without interrupting the game too much. Then things ramped up...and when they did we had to go into "wall to wall" coverage mode, where we go on, and stay on.
With tornado warnings issued for parts of the area that are more densely populated, (not that population is a determining factor, but it's something that has to be considered), and reports from the public of both a possible tornado sighting coupled with repeated reports of damage...we simply had to go on and stay on with our coverage.
It was a very fluid situation...and we had to stick with it so that we could get the most current information to as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time possible.
The comments have varied from "Thanks for being considerate of the game" to "Shut up and give me the game".
I accept both sides. Always a tough balance...and I think we, mostly, walked that line very well.
We'll always be judicious with our severe weather coverage. We won't play the "let's see who blinks first" game.
When it's bad...we'll be there. Count on that. But when the threat is moderate, we'll get the information to you with as little disruption as possible.
That's not going to change.