Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Very Best and Worst TV/Radio Coverage of the Airliner Crash at SFO; KTVU Leads the Pack



KTVU: From the very first reports that a jumbo jet had crash-landed at SFO, KTVU was on the air and its #1 anchor, Frank Somerville was describing the horrifying scene on the runway. It helped, too, that the station had live video footage which gave viewers a direct view of the jetliner's demise.

Somerville lives in the Oakland Hills; it helped that as the story evolved, he was able to get to KTVU's Jack London Square studios just moments after the first report of the crash from the airport.

Moreover, Somerville was calm, cool, and collected. He was helped out immeasurably by reporter, Tom Vacar, a veteran reporter and small-plane pilot himself and Ken Wayne, a fellow anchor and himself, a small-plane pilot. Both gave detailed analysis and were a steady compliment to Somerville's on-air work. This was vintage KTVU work and to its credit, the Oakland station went a full nine hours on the air and stayed with the story. In fact, KTVU flipped the Giants-Dodgers FOX telecast to sister station, KICU, and remained with the on-going developments at SFO.

All in all, KTVU did a stellar job and provided the best and most comprehensive coverage. GRADE: A

*KPIX5: Shockingly enough, the CBS O and O had the worst coverage. Wait, what coverage? Initially, PIX stayed with the golf tournament on CBS for a good hour-plus before finally breaking into the net and going with the story at SFO, but there was total embarrassment here. PIX had NO anchor, not even a reporter on the scene. PIX relied on content and actuality from its sister radio station, KCBS! Are you kidding me? No, worse yet, when they finally got Allen Martin into the studio, Martin looked dazed and confused, entirely out of the loop. Worse yet, Martin deferred back to KCBS coverage because they simply were not ready to cover the story. I'm wondering if they'll be a meeting at 855 Battery and who's head could roll. GRADE: D-

*KRON: Early on, very unimpressive work with a female anchor who looked totally out of place. I don't know her name and frankly, after watching her fumble and bumble, I had no interest. Of course, KRON may have felt the same: They didn't bother to put her name up and I'm not so sure that wasn't so bad after all. GRADE: D

*KNTV: Raj Mathai provided solid, if not spectacular, work and managed to snag a passenger eye-witness account of the crash. Overall, KNTV provided the necessary news with lots of overhead shots from the scene of the crash and a ton of phone interviews with aircraft experts who gave early analysis of what might have caused the crash. GRADE: B

KGO-TV: Dan Ashley did a good job describing the scene and providing a very respected, decidedly toned-down approach. Not too great was his partner, the out-of-place Cheryl Jennings who sounded as if she was describing a Royal wedding from time to time. Bizarre. GRADE: B-

RADIO:

KCBS: Great job from the all-news king of radio in SF. KCBS was front and center with capable anchorwoman, Janice Wright at the microphone, and given the enormity of the story, News Director, Ed Cavagnaro. Reporters en mass filed detailed packages from the scene at SFO to the hospital at SF General. KCBS clearly knows how to cover a major story even if it happens to fall on a holiday weekend. Nice work. GRADE: B+

KGO Radio: Oh, how the once-mighty have fallen...First off, Tim Montemayor was on the air when the crash occurred. I didn't hear much of the "Monty" but was told he was so bad, KGO's meager news vets in the newsroom were fuming over The Monty's screeching solo act. "Nails on board" was how one KGO staffer described his reporting. Beyond that, Montemayor also reportedly spoke about the "possibility of two planes" even though there was no word  early on about that possible element. Simply inexcusable but not really surprising anymore from the news wannabees. GRADE: F


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65 comments:

  1. First, I was struck by KTVU having its number one team on board. Really solid. Felt kinda bad for Ken Wayne and Heather Holmes, being shunted outta the studio, though.
    Second, I haven't tuned to 810 for ANYthing since the massacre. They aren't even Double A minor league

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  2. Imagine if Amy G. were doing the interviews after the plane crash. Amy G in her little girl breathless voice: "So, take us through what happened after the plane hit the runway!"

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    1. "So, how important was it to have your loved ones next to you?"

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    2. Amy G behavior typical of a know nothing TV sports host.

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    3. I always wondered if they abbreviated her married last name to Amy G. because of reasons you can all figure out. If I was her, I would have gone by my maiden name.

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  3. Monte is an embarrassment of failure. Why does KGO keep him, let alone let him embarrass it like he did Saturday? As a professional journalist, his flirtation with lying, or I'll be kinder, factual error regarding a second plane is inexcusable. NEVER was there ANY report of a second plane. KGO? Grade: FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

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    1. Wait just a second. Were you listening to the same station I was? Montemayor a "professional journalist"? He's never been one before, no use to be one now. Of course, you're right -- but he's as much to professional journalist as Karel is to women's fashion.

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    2. Montemayor has a habit of oversimplifying stories, making dramatic statements out of the blue, on top of that he does not have a great vocabulary or good command of the English language. I just heard about 20 minutes of his so called reporting on the crash. However, the other day at the end of the hour, he gave a summery of what he was going to talk about the next hour, the Zimmerman trial, I have followed the trial, or at least the analysis of the trial carefully. As usual he was being over dramatic, being very loose with the facts. Said if the Zimmerman is found not guilty, there would be race riots all over the US, that people who defend Trayvon Martin thinks that Zimmerman set out to specifically killed a black man.
      I don't think Zimmerman set out to kill anyone, I think he was a little paranoid, he got out of the car to follow Zimmerman, which he had no business doing.
      Anyway, it is painful to listen to Montemayor, he is sooo bad.

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    3. I don't know much about Monte's past. I have spent a good deal of my time listening to him on KGO. Some of his views around election time about Republican's made me lose respect for him/call him an idiot while listening. The last couple of months he seems to have gotten off the Obama/Pelosi bandwagon and made some comments/had some points of view I was more in agreement with. That all being said....based on a lot of people's comments on this blog....it makes me wonder if Monte/Monty is a glorified Dan Dibley that happened to fall into a weekend position simply by being at the right place at the right time.

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    4. My assessment of Monte as an idiot or bad talk show host has nothing to do with his opinions, it has to do with him being an intellectual lightweight, his bad vocabulary (for a talk show host) and how he present the topic. I often agree with his opinion, but his opinions has nothing, absolut nothing to do with his skills. I often disagree with Tom Sullivan, but I think he is a very good talk show host. When you critique a host it should be on his skills as a host, not whether you agree with him or not. If that is your criteria then you are an idiot.

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  4. Al Jazeera has a reporter with a LIVE feed from SFO. CNN, at the same time, was using a feed from KRON, believe it or not. I cannot wait for Al Jazeera USA to get up and running. We'll get real news as opposed to CNN, which is getting more bizarre by the day with its hires; MSNBC -- the Obama, gay and Democrat channel; and FOX -- the Tea Party and Republican channel. Finally, we will get a news channel that has NO ideological allegiances. Just news. And before haters like Brian Sussman and Melanie Morgan start lying again about Al Jazeera, please view it for yourself and do not take the liars' word, for they lie despite their own claims to being "religious."

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    1. Al Jazeera is hated by right wingers because it dared report the truth before and during the invasion of Iraq. It'll be great once it is up and running in the USA.

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    2. Come on, now, CNN was using a ton more from KTVU, sometimes KGO and infrequently KRON.

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    3. http://www.aljazeera.com/

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    4. All Christians and educated Americans know that Al Jazeera is the propaganda mouthpiece of the Al Queda/ Salafist Regime. It's already been proven! If that's what you're into, go ahead and support the station.

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    5. @10:06 I thought it was hated by the libdiots because it dared report the truth about the Obama/Pelosi regime and the way Democrats play dumbed down Isheep type American's with their divisive politics?

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    6. @5:03pm great, Al Jazeera pisses off right and left wingers, even more reason to welcome them in the USA!

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  5. http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/07/06/SFO-Crash-Networks-Breaking-News

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    1. Breitbart.com?!? Seriously?!? Is (still dead Andouche) Breitbart publishing from the grave, now?

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  6. I was watching msnbc when they said a plane crashed at SF, so I wanted the local anchor and did put KGO on for a few minutes, and Monty was ok, but I don't particularly like him and never listen to him, so tried all the local stations and no one had it yet. Then ABC had the national anchors, but I wanted the local anchors and put on KTVU and you are right. They were superb all day. No one could have done a better job.

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  7. KTVU was on this story from the outset, and was even providing a live video feed to CNN before it could begin its own live news coverage from its Oakland studio. Frank Somerville was stellar in anchoring nonstop coverage through the afternoon. Tom Vacar and Ken Wayne provided excellent insight, too.

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    1. I completely concur. The entire KTVU News team should be commended for their measured, accurate, non-sensational and factual reporting as the story unfolded. Their 'A-Team' was there when it counted, and stayed with it. Frank Somerville and Ken Wayne were especially good as anchor and highly informed & knowledgeable newsroom reporter respectively.

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  8. I know I'm going to be pegged as a KGO plant, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I am defending KGO radio and Monty. I was driving yesterday, so I wasn't near any TVs to see the coverage. I thought KCBS radio sounded almost amateur, so I listened to Monty and KGO. Monty gave the news as it was presented to him. He wasn't making anything up. In fact, regarding a 2nd plane, it was first reported by the NY Daily News, and Monty even said that's where he got the info from. Was it wrong to broadcast information that hadn't been confirmed? Sure, but my guess is that most news coverage did a lot of guessing and erroneous reporting before confirmations were made. I know there's a lot of hate for KGO radio and Monty on this page. I think the grief should be directed where it is most deserved, for management and those behind the scenes. KGO radio has many good reporters, and to tell the truth, I prefer Monty to Ronnnnnnnnn. Monty is real; Ronn is not.

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    1. You answered the question - KGO plant or not.

      Case in point:

      Using the NY DAILY NEWS, a Mort Zuckerman tab known as "NY's Picture Paper." Ssnsationalizing is the claim to fame. Long noted as the original "McPaper."



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    2. That's like say Karel is "Real" and "Pat Thurston" is not.

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    3. "Many good reporters?" I know smaller market stations that have "many good reporters" and KGO isn't one of them. Not now. There reporting staff is underwhelming, just like when it was Metro News.

      "Wrong to broadcast that hasn't been confirmed?" You are kidding, aren't you. That's J-school rule #1. Accurate, accurate, accurate ... then get it on the air after it's confirmed." This is a six-million person market under a 50kw blowtorch. The city and the market deserves better. KCBS kicks ass.

      "A lot of guessing?" If you're "real" -- you don't guess on breaking and tragic news. "Oh, it was a 8.3 earthquake -- no, now the USGS says it wa a 4.9."

      Get thyself a grip.

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    4. You are correct. I have pegged you as a Monty/KGO boot-licker. Your ability to predict the future is amazing.

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    5. The part to be focused on here is that KGO played the role of small-time station. That's the problem.

      Monty was just himself. What do you expect? He's a talk radio host who is not an intellectual, so he relies on aggrandizement for every topic. He happened to be sitting in the chair when the story broke, so he covered it the only way he knows how: like he does every story. That's not his fault. It's the station's fault for leaving him on the air.

      I could understand him riding the story out until the end of his show but the guy was on for hours! Why? Because KGO probably had no one available to work over the holiday since they're not a real news station. Monty was probably their only option. I will admit that him mentioning the other plane is incredibly weak and sensationalized journalism, but that's what you get when you are a News station, and the person on the air isn't a journalist! How is that guy a journalist? Because he covers sports?

      This is the mark of a small time station that doesn't really know what they're doing. This is what you get in Fresno back in the early 90s. This isn't what you get from a one-time legendary station in the Bay.

      I'll admit that Monty is a one-trick pony, and his coverage was quite lame, but I don't blame him for this because you can't expect him to be what he isn't. I blame the people who hire a guy like this, and worse, leave him on the air during a breaking story in the City.

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    6. Well what IS he exactly? One day he's doing sports, the next, a talk show, the next, covering news. I think the answer is he's just simply "under-employed" and will do anything to get hours. Problem is, he's crappy at everything which is why he has yet to land a full time position, even at under-performing KGO. Sometimes brown-nosing only renders you with a brown nose.

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    7. He's "over-employed." that guy is all over the stations owned by Cumulus, and he's pretty average. When he does sports he's half-decent, but he's not going to move the dial on KNBR. He must have photos of someone. He must.

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  9. Fox 40 In Sacramento Fell Flat. What i find funny is the Local BA "NEWS" outlets rely so heavily on the AP? You where there why do you need the APs take on it?

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  10. You are freaking kidding me, right 10:56? Monty made it sound as if it was 9/11 all over again and that everyone in the listening area was at risk of this plane at SFO. This was amateurish at best. You could tell he never reported a breaking story before and had no idea what his tone should be. I have been in plenty of radio newsrooms and if there was someone in charge they would have had someone, anyone take over once they heard this idiot screeching on the air. How the mighty have fallen indeed. It would have made sense to have at least one of the other anchors come in and handle it (Bristow, jones-lee, etc.). Truly embarrassing for what once was a must listen to station when these sort of things happen. They failed, period.

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    1. He was, frankly, no busy today. Made claims thaat he couldn't support, then went back and corrected himself, with the excuse, "It's such a busy day today."

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    2. Where is Spencer Hughes when you need him? He'd be better than this drivvle on KGO.

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    3. Spencer Hughes is no better than Monty, and it's why he isn't employed. This is what you pine for in the Bay? Please.

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    4. Pine for? Never said or thought that. I think, however, he could do better than Monty.

      That's not saying much.

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  11. What do you expect from The Monty Show.
    The loudest radio personality in the Bay Area.
    Two planes? Tim why not declare the start of WWIII while you are at it?
    KGO is he the best you have?


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  12. Yes. And it shows.

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  13. Dear God:

    Please forgive Monty Montemayor on KGO. He knows not know about that of which he is talking.

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    1. Trying again. I was having a epiphany. "Dear God, please forgive Monty Montemayor on KGO. He know not about that of which he is talking." Thanks, God.

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  14. Rich - What's the grade for KCBS? I am keeping track :)

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  15. You are right. KTVU was the best. Good for you for not tuning 810 but we should remember it was their decision not ours. I still tune in for Ronn Owens. Monty and Gil upset me because it's all about them not the listeners. Especially Gil.

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  16. Call me insensitive if you want, but when big news like this happens, I just want the facts and a few details, and then leave it at that. I don't see the need to cancel regular programming and have continuing coverage of this going on all afternoon and into the evening. The interviewing of experts, eye witnesses and survivors doesn't do it for me.

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    1. the most interesting information was just released by the NTSB about the airspeed, the attempted go-around at seven seconds before impact with the seawall.

      Also the coroner investigating whether or not a fire truck or emergency vehicle actually ran over one of the fatalities.(whether pre or post mortem)

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    2. Here it comes....if it turns out one of the fatalities was ran over by an emergency vehicle, Christine will advocate for more guns, indeed if the victim was packing heat she could've at least shot the air out of the tires. She'd still be here instead of being a victim...

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    3. Actually if all the passengers had been armed this crash wouldn't have happened. They could have fired their gun into the air, waking up the dozing pilots...

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    4. You actually wrote,"one of the fatalities was 'ran over'"?.. Do you even understand what's incorrect with your statement?
      The inquiry is current. The question is whether or not an emergency vehicle ran over a victim of the crash, pre or post mortem. Was the victim "run" over either before or after she died?Did being "run" over cause or contribute to her fatal injuries? Think causality and litigation. Guns of any kind are not involved. This is about a plane crash.
      Most people learn these verb tense things in grade school. What happened to you?

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    5. 5PM is spot on, a couple hours of coverage, then back to normally scheduled programming. Occasional news breaks for the remained of the day, IF there is anything noteworthy to report.

      Ch 2 treated the event like a MD telethon and didn't break away for 8 hours.

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    6. Oh boy Chrisstine is at it again attacking people for typos when she herself makes tons of typos.

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  17. no question about it, complete triumph for KTVU yesterday, but did anyone else notice the birth of a new bay area tv news star, Katie Uteks??? she was live from SFO all day for KTVU, and gave solid, concise reports, and even added some much needed human/emotional moments in her talkbacks with Somerville.. not to mention being extremely easy on the eyes, where does KTVU find them????

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  18. My favorite was the first 15 seconds of the Karel show, when he informed the audience that the plane crash happened while he was out on his first date with a new friend.

    No joke; listen to the transcript.

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    1. Who would ever go out on a date with that moron? What an embarrassment, the guy can't even afford a date to McDonald's!

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    2. A new "boyfriend" date at that. We get it, Karel. We get it too much.

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  19. You gave Monty a F?!? You are way too kind Rich! He deserves an F-. Horrible, horrible, coverage and shrill.

    As I wrote on yesterday's thread, "lesson learned." I will never, ever turn to KGO when a weekend event happens every again.

    KCBS, baby!! :p

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  20. BOO to Kgo tv for the incessant use of the scroll on the bottom of the screen throught the Wimbledon Tennis Mens final. They played the same news over and over for 3 hours of broadcast.Way to depress an audience anymore with the bad news reminded at all times of match.

    Monty was terriable in that loud announcer voice also mentioned something about a 747 or such landing on the 405 freeway as well.

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    1. You must be the whack-job who kept calling the newsroom.

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  21. KPIX was bad, sure, but KRON was worse. I think KPIX should get a D+ if KRON gets the D. Also, KCBS deserves at least an A-, maybe even an A. They were solid.

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  22. Enough with the "Crash Coverage".. The local electronic media has beaten this story unmercifully into the ground. No, I don't want to know how many passengers shit their pants during the crash landing...

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    1. Then you don't have a questioning mind, much less a journalistic one. The most important part of the story isn't even yet revealed. Don't you sort of, kind of, wonder why the four pilots on board didn't realize they were coming in at a stunningly slow rate of speed?
      See tonight's Anderson Cooper with some eye-opening simulations of the approach at SFO.
      Another fact of significance is that the plane did not "cartwheel". At no point was the fuselage upside down. Had it been, likely many more people would not have survived.

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    2. Christine, your above questions will not come anytime soon. The NTSB already stated the investigation will go on for months. But the media pushes no new information on an hourly basis. That's bullshit, ratings seeking and a false charge of self importance.. My point is the media pounds the same information over and over and over again for no reason other than ratings seeking. Breaking news on minutia. Report relevant information as needed. Stop pushing sensationalism in an attempt to garner ratings..

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    3. Christine's expertise and knowledge is far and wide. I am sure she'll endeavor to enlighten us with her theories on why the aircraft's speed was below the target.
      We do know that she's an expert on physics and classical mechanics considering her familiarity with modulus of elasticity; I wonder if that had anything do with why the fuselage never got upside down?

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  23. This tragedy only pointed out that a substantial number toiling in the field of broadcast journalism should be honing their skills in adlibbing and interviewing.

    Hands down KCBS proved again they are the one to turn to for radio coverage and deserving of an A. On the TV side, KTVU had the expertise with the right people in the right places for a solid A.

    It also became apparent that at some stations news management has not bothered to update or maybe even write those old procedures books we used to call crash or disaster guides.

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