Thursday, December 13, 2007

Remember the 10 Immutable Laws of Local News Storm Coverage

With a foot of snow coming this way for this evening, and then another foot coming for the Pats-Jets game Sunday, I thought it would be important to remember the 10 immutable laws of local news storm coverage. Because honestly, can't we give Dick Albert his moment in the spotlight? I updated the list ever so slightly (goodbye, Dick Cheney gun joke!) to keep it fresh for the kids, but these rules are immutable, so they remain the same as last year.

Remember, if there's snow in new England, our local news teams will do the following:

  1. Send out reporters to at least two of the following four coastal areas: Revere/Winthrop, Hull, Scituate or Gloucester. At at least one location a wave will clear the sea wall. Run clip 743 times.
  2. Send a reporter to somewhere along Route 128. During the blizzard of '78, motorists died as they became stuck on the clogged road and snow covered their vehicles' exhaust pipes. That will never happen again, but there needs to be a reporter on the scene for the possibility of a corpse interview.
  3. If the station has a bigger budget, send someone to Worcester City Hall, which serves as a reminder that there is some form of civilization in Baja Vermont after all.
  4. Doppler radar: This is a new entry to the weather coverage. It's no longer good enough to get radar information from the National Weather Service. Each station must have its own doppler radar tower that will provide "up to the minute" coverage of a 36 hour Snow Event.
  5. Call the storm a Snow Event. This is mandatory.
  6. Keep at least two weathermen (ahem, meteorologists) inside the station at all times. It makes the team look rugged, like one is on the air while the other is catching 10 minutes of sleep on a cot set up in a broom closet somewhere. Like firefighters, or Jerry Lewis during the telethon.
  7. The anchors get to wear sweaters, like they just came in unexpectedly, and weren't aware they were working the extended Snow Event shift like four days ago. No blazer or otherwise professional clothing. If I can't believe that Ed Harding was at home splitting firewood when he was called for the extended coverage, then clearly NewsCenter Five doesn't care about the Snow Event.
  8. Nothing is a bigger story than the Snow Event, even when baseball announces everyone who ever played the game cheated.
  9. The following events, if captured on film, must be shown at least 743 times: A man falls, a car fishtails, water clears the sea wall (see rule #1), close-up of plows clearing the highway, kids with shovels trying to make some extra cash, a reporter losing their hat or hood in the wind. There are others, but these are your meat and potatoes.
  10. At least one meteorologist must wonder out load "Will we get to official blizzard status?" and then remind us of the rules of a blizzard as defined by blah blah blah.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Dennis and Callahan on the outs? It's about time.

Dennis and Callahan may be on the outs with WEEI. Scott's Shots broke it, the Herald led with it, and Dan Kennedy analyzed it.

Good riddance. John Dennis is still all right, and I think that the last four months of co-hosts has allowed him to work outside of the rigid lines Gerry Callahan draws for him on the air. The ratings apparently remained sky-high for Dennis without Callahan, according to Scott:

While it is believed the two sides are at least in the same neighborhood on salary and length of the deal, Dennis and Callahan are basing their demands on what they see as their combined value to the station. Entercom's perception of that value (especially with the most recent ratings book indicating the absence of Callahan didn't have any appreciable effect on the show's popularity) appears to be somewhat lower.

If the rating stayed strong without Gerry tossing hate-filled bombs every morning, then 'EEI could replace one or both of these guys and not miss a beat. Dan Kennedy agrees, and suggests moving Dale and Holley to the morning drive time. That's a fine idea. I also think extending an offer to Bob Neumeier for an noontime slot with another host would work as well. Maybe you pair him with Steve Buckley and Jon Meterparel. Or swap Buck for Steve DeOssie. Or keep Meter in the mornings for some continuity with the 18-24 demographic. The station has options thanks to the cast of thousands format The Big Show employs. They've developed a fairly deep bench of players to draw from.

Still, it's incredibly bad timing on WEEI's part, as the Jimmy Find Radiothon is this week, and they want their A-Game to raise some cash. Why create this swirl of garbage now? WEEI is still running an ad featuring Dennis for the Jimmy Fund telethon. Whether that's an oversight, a sign that this is more posturing than a true break-up, or an effort to keep the best face forward for the charity is anyone's guess. And if the true story of Gerry Callahan's prolonged illness is more serious than run-of-the-mill throat trouble, this could become a very damaging story for the station in particular and Entercom in general.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Revere Beach is noisy at night? WHAT?

Honestly, am I supposed to have sympathy for someone who buys a luxury condo on Revere Beach and is then surprised that there are kids outside making noise at night? These people wants some sympathy, and want the cops to push all the kids out into the sea, apparently:

"They sit on the wall, they talk loud, they laugh, they play the music, there's a lot of young girls," said Gloria DiSerio, taking a breath and mimicking a high-pitched yelling sound she said some of the girls make when they laugh: "'Aaaah! Aaaah!'"

Young girls laughing. The horror.

So what exactly is the next step? The article goes on and on about anti-gang measures and saturating the beach with cops, but how's that going to protect these poor luxury condo owners from young girls and their banshee-like laughter?

Or maybe they can get their neighbor evicted. She's an airline pilot. Think of all the noise SHE makes flying out of Logan every day.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Just like in Stripes!

Remember Stripes? One company in the Swiss army apparently does; They invaded Liechtenstein last night.