Most of the time, KRON is not on my radar. Why? Just take a look every now and then. And then when I hear about what does or does not happen behind the scenes, well, the rest is history.
Then again, KRON surprises you and tries to cover a major story like the Chevron Richmond refinery fire which dominated the Bay Area news cycle on Monday night.
And KRON deserves major props for its wall-to-wall coverage, most notably, the solid work of veteran anchor, Catherine Heenan, who was steady, reliable, and, unlike many in town, can do a tremendous job of ad-libbing. And in a fluid situation like the conflagration in Richmond, it helps that the captain of the ship can guide viewers through all the ever-changing developments.
Heenan was almost flawless. She ran through a bevy of phone callers, eyewitness accounts, and did so with relative calm and provided all the necessary information. The only blemish was KRON's still relatively less-than-gifted reporters, but overall it was a good effort.
Like most viewers, I was flipping around the channels to watch various coverage from the stations. Mostly, it was all fine and well. Obviously, the thrust of the story and its visual dynamic was the major scene of immense black smoke and two major firestorms emanating from the refinery.. All were visible throughout the Bay Area and when night fell, provided a multitude of pictures that loomed over the local TV news presence. Combine the other elements like residents nearby and surrounding areas advised to remain indoors and "shelter in place."
To its credit, while most of the other stations switched back to regularly scheduled programming, KRON stayed with the story. After all, it is now, in between all its infomercials and various video minutiae, a news-emphasis local TV outlet. Nevertheless, it stuck to the fire and, as a friend who texted me, noted, "If I lived in Richmond or San Pablo I'd rather have that coverage than '400m hurdles from 8 hours ago." Fair point.
To that end, KRON's front and center, comprehensive coverage was a benefit to Bay Area viewers and mostly, a job well done.
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