Sunday, February 7, 2010


I have some thoughts on the coverage of the record snowstorm provided by Channel 3 and FOX 29. These all-day "snow coverage specials" are 90% fluff and completely assinine in my opinion. If stations are going to do this, why not make them more informative? For example, who wants to see Bob Kelly or Thomas Drayton make a snow angel, or Sally's new puppy jumping into the snow, or Fred at a bar in S. Philly, minus one front tooth, talkin' about the "beer is just a-flowin'". What about those who absolutely HAD TO DRIVE at some point in the storm? Those who could in no way cancel or postpone their driving? Do station managers really think outside of the box? During Channel 3's coverage you got no more than two traffic reports an hour. The reports Bob Kelly provided were very informative--showing highway conditions, explaining what problems there were -- and covering the mass transit issues. It just wasn't enough coverage. When snow has affected all area highways--why does there need to be time constraints? FOX 29 didn't even HAVE a traffic traffic reporter doing anything. What's up with that? How can a major market TV station be so cheap as to not have a traffic reporter on staff? I noticed Channel 6 brought in Matt Pellman to provide adequate coverage, but again, not enough reports in my opinion.
Yes, some of the new technology unveiled by KYW & FOX 29 was incredible. The new "U Video" technology by Iphone users, as well as the skype video and streaming video. However, once again, the U video contributions were more of the "look at my daughter's swing set in my backyard" or a guy sitting in a lawn chair, beer in hand, with his fishing pole and cooler---amongst mounds of snow...more fluff!
Valerie Lavesque provided a live report from the news van via Skype, as she headed east on the A.C. Expressway. This was a perfect opportunity to provide a live report of a road condition on a specific portion of highway. Yet, she missed that opportunity--never once pointing the camera directly in front of her at the highway. Her report was to illustrate the beauty of the snow in the trees lined next to the highway. Informative? I think not...nothing more than self-promotion of new technology.
One could only hope the station "powers-that-be" could somehow lessen the fluff factor during these specials and add more information the viewer can use. Unfortunately, I can almost guarantee that won't happen any year soon since these snow specials yield boo-coo ratings.


Anonymous said...

I have lived in the area all my life and at this point-we all know in the winter it is cold. It snows! The roads get icy! People buy bread, milk, eggs, snow shovels and rock salt. We all know puppies like to play in the snow-dogs for that matter. Even kids! Heck, adults too! We all know the airport runs behind and even closes sometimes. It has all been reported, over and over and over. Year after year after year. I think they should begin thinking outside the box and broadcasting these all day snow events on the secondary digital channels that stations rarely use to their utmost ability!

Anonymous said...

Cool article you got here. It would be great to read more about that theme. The only thing I would like to see here is some pictures of some devices.
Kate Trider
Phone jammer

Anonymous said...

Just read your article and after watching the coverage yesterday--you are absolutely right. I flipped between them all and Channel 6 I think did the best job in keeping the "fluff" as you call it--to a minimum! FOX29 went way overboard on the BS segments of stuff that 99% of viewers don't care about. Who cares about seeing Chloe's first snow? Who the HELL is Chloe? I want to know how the storm is progressing; how much we still have to go, how's the roads, the airport. That's it. All this other crap is the same thing every storm, every year.