Weather Or Not

The local TV news operations in the Cleveland market rarely need help emphasizing bad weather. Most of ’em pull out all the stops even when moderate storms are forecast anywhere NEAR Cleveland, complete with flashy graphics, hyperactive and excited weather forecasters, and bundled up live reporters all over town.

Give them a real storm, and they’re off to the races.

Local stations preempted such important programming as soap operas and popular syndicated talk shows for coverage of this winter storm.

For example, ABC affiliate WEWS/5 pushed talk titan Oprah Winfrey to 2:05 AM early Wednesday morning, right after an airing of ABC’s “General Hospital”. We didn’t see if WKYC/3 did the same to its own talk powerhouse, Dr. Phil, which keeps the “Channel 3 News” folks off the air until 6 PM on most days.

And local stations also kept people in late, and brought them in early. The morning shows got a jump on things this morning with a 4 AM start…some even bringing in weather forecasters from the night before.

Radio-wise, Clear Channel talk WTAM/1100 blew out Premiere’s “Coast to Coast AM” in favor of live, local programming with weekend morning host Bob Becker, leading up to the station’s “Wills and Snyder”.

The major winter storm experienced in these parts didn’t quite warrant the final move – preemption of prime-time network programming, which continued unabated on all of Cleveland’s “Big Four” stations. Oh, with the requisite “Official School Closing Station” graphics at the bottom of your screen, of course.

By the time we hit the late newscasts on Tuesday, we tired of it all. Yes, all the schools are closed. Yes, you’re not supposed to be out on the roadways.

So, we hit the national news feed live out of Univision, the Spanish-language outlet seen locally on WQHS/61 in Cleveland.

And we got a strange satisfaction about picking out words like “tormente” while watching the live Reporter In Front Of The Highway Department’s Salt Dome shot from “Nueva York”. And we know not even a bit of Spanish.

By the way, we hear out of Time Warner Cable that the storm prompted them to cancel their press conference scheduled for Wednesday morning. We suspect the TWC folks would do it, if not for the fact that they wouldn’t have anyone show up for it.

We’ve been told that we’ll be kept in the loop about future developments, which may or may not track with some of our speculation in the previous item we posted. As we told them, we reserve the right to be spectacularly wrong in our own clearly labeled speculation…

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