Monday, May 12, 2014

Weather Pussies in the Bay Area TV/Radio Department

 We have been told it's going to be hot for the next few days. Record-breaking heat. Extreme conditions. Spare the Air days. Blah, blah, Blah.


OK, so now what?


Exhibit A: Stan Bunger on KCBS expressing an almost glee-club giddiness bordering on the absurd. Bunger was, once again, breathless as he repeatedly told listeners Monday morning "it's going to get downright hot...even at the coast!" Thanks Stan --once, twice, three times ...? At one point, Stan's excited voice sounded like a high-school kid on his way to the Senior prom. I mean, seriously now!


Lawrence Karnow, the designated weather guy from KPIX5, was a little more dignified but nonetheless star-struck: "RECORD TEMPERATURES!" --which begs the question, Haven't we been here before? Don't we know this is a region where we get extended heat waves even in May? The answer of course is yes but the gee whiz element of local tonsils remains mind-boggling--like:


*The inevitable live shots from the Walnut Creek fountain, the Livermore ice-cream store and the roofer in Concord: "Hey, pretty hot up there?" No, not at all...matter of fact get me a jacket!


*Fire danger: Stay away from the hills and don't have a BBQ on Mt. Diablo --enough said. But noooooooooooo, we need background reports, comprehensive, compelling and the all-encompassing, TEAM COVERAGE! Unnecessary roughness.


You want Real News? This is real and surreal and worthy of real Team Coverage. It's the kind of weather news that could be made for TV and get some viewers, normally hooked to the Weather Channel or National Geographic smack dab on Bay Area TV channels: while we experience a few days of May heat, it's snowing--SNOWING in Denver and the Rocky Mountains. 2 feet of snow and a deluge of rain in the Midwest. Closer to home, it was 28 degrees near Tahoe this morning.


How about a concise 5-minute package on the weather extremes? I'm neither pro nor anti Climate Change, I don't know much to comment on the matter but I do know unusual and seems to me we're in that mode today yet we get very little coverage on this phenomena--why? Cost? Lack of sexy? I'm willing to bet the cost of KTVU's Bill Martin's junket to the White House last week for a play and tell with the POTUS was far more expensive than Martin, a "certified" meteorologist, giving us a couple of minutes breakdown on why and how it's hot here and snowing in Colorado and freezing in Tahoe; instead we're left with the same old tired act of heat wave actualities that we've grown accustomed to mixed between traffic reports and Muffy the Dog rescued from the Stockton train tracks.


The Bay Area Weather mafia is orchestrated by a bunch of weather pussies. Talk about the proliferation of useless information. We know it's hot and it's going to be hot for a few days before the fog returns which it will and Stan Bunger's voice of glee will conform to normal standards.


Are Floridians deluged, daily this time of year with endless shots of rain drenching Miami Beach? Hell no. Do Seattle people get live shots from Downtown with panoramic views of the same? No, because rain, torrential rain is a constant in both towns. The real story would be if Seattle's temperature was in the 80's while Miami was 68 and zero humidity.


I am AMAZED, still, by this weather laziness on local media. Feed the masses the tripe, they will swallow it in because they know no better. And doth protest you'll get the suckers in PR forced to tell the bottom feeders, this is what the viewers want. Bullshit.


No, it's what YOU GUYS want. Be creative for heaven's sake. How about a little analysis and perspective --that you continually force-feed the public with the SAME.OLD.TIRED minutiae is not only lazy, it simply doesn't look nor sound right--quit acting like a bunch of weather pussies and get back to us when you get real news.


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33 comments:

  1. Well maybe if it's hot enough there will be a few dead disabled people to talk about.The high heat and the bad air is really much more than just an annoyance to a lot of folks, especially those stuck in SRO hotels with little or no air conditioning. I like KGO's Mike Nicco who reports the stats professionally and let's you know how serious it's going to be, without flapping his arms.

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  2. Weather on TV??? ZZZzzzZZZ....it's like 3 mins of local news then 27 mins WEATHER. over and over.
    They trying to appeal to the 65-75 yr old demo?

    They are as unimaginative as having a reporter stand in front of the post office on April 15th year in/year out.

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    1. I'm damn near in the (cursed) 65-75 year old demo and I'm sick and tired of this new weather reporting. I resort to the "weather string method". If I can see it; its daylight. If its wet; its raining. If its parallel to the ground; its windy. What more do you need?

      Honestly, what is it with weather on local news? Go on the net and you'll see everything you need to produce a weather report from the Weather Service website. But no, "We've got radar, we've got a high tech weather van, we've got some idiot in a North Face jacket with our logo standing in the rain getting wet." Wouldn't that money be better spent on content? Putting the resources into your highly touted "I-Team"?

      The only weather reporter I pay close attention to is Rosemary Orosco.

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  3. Even worse, every channel sends a fleet of news trucks to the Sierra's every time it snows. Looks like we got 3 inches at Blue Canyon. Big fucking deal it snows in the Sierra's. The village idiot knows this.

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    1. Evenv worse is your insistence on "the sierra's".. There is no such thing. Are you new to the area?

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    2. Lol@Christine calling a guy out for typos when it's obviously autocorrect doing it while at the same time typoing herself.

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    3. You never heard of the "Sierra's" as in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range?

      What a complete tit.

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    4. I think you should keep calling it the "Sierras", really.

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  4. In my business (construction) we have to make personnel adjustments on extremely hot days as well as rainy days. Clients all need to be contacted when schedules change as well. +
    Though I subscribe to a weather service, my clients do not. Regular reminders of extreme weather make my job easier in that respect.

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  5. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Wonder if KRON4 will take a lead and have Jackie Bennett dressing for the weather tonight while doing her forecast. THAT I'd watch. Sounds quite sexist, but it is what it is.

    As for the rest, you're right. They all suck.

    Meanwhile, Steve Bitker is saying good morning to everyone he can find. Waiting for him to say good morning on the air to the security guard at CBS, the person who empties the trash can, the person who refills the vending machine. Good grief!

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  6. I can tell you..the bay area is warmer. As a hard core gardener,I'm planting things that only grew outdoors in Los Angeles in the 70's,never here before. Global or urban caused,or both, we are warmer. The USDA even moved the bay area up from 9b to 10a. Like most of soucal.
    I thought it interesting that the last heat wave we had that was record some places? We had one almost equally as hot the very same time last year.
    We might stop being shocked at heatwaves..for the bad reason. The climate has changed.

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    1. Stan drank the Eco Fraud Kool Aid. We had snow in the Bay in the 60's and 70's. Severe heat waves in the early seventies taking the Peninsula into the hundred teens. We had cold snaps in the early seventies that killed massive numbers of Eucalyptus. We had severe drought in '76. Get ready the El Nino is coming like it did in the 70's 80's and 90's. Yeah, Stanley. It's changed, it's gotten milder. Better look for a different excuse for the green stuff between your toes. The real problem is that there are just too many people in California.

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  7. What drives me insane is when, as a storm is approaching or is forecasted, the News and WX anchors repeatedly keep saying "It's a blessing...we sure need the moisture...we'll take all we can get, etc)...and then by the next newscast, they'll say "Coming up next, Meteorologist Joe Schmoe will tell us when this wet stuff will finally end...and when can we expect the nice sunny weather."

    ARRRRGH!!!!

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    1. That's because the people who write the various teases don't synchronize. There's supposed to be an EP or Asst. ND who oversees this sort of continuity, but they've either too bust doing ten jobs at once or have been laid off themselves.

      Similar is why they'll tease a story with some really worthwhile hook ("The man who scammed 500 people out of their life savings admits how he did it") only to have the story reveal no such thing or be about some other aspect entirely. Someone probably looked in the assignment file to write the tease, but the reporter was never able to get a story that was exactly what the assignment was intended--s/he got something else, but no one updated the file and no one thought to tell whoever wrote the teases that night. This is what happens when you have a skeleton staff of mostly low-paid newbies who come out here after six months' experience in San Luis Obispo.

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  8. Even the Weather Channel icon with the temp on it on the phone has changed to Orange for the Severe Weather Alert.

    But the simple fact is that Rich is hoping for an AC outage at 1000 Van Ness on a weekend morning when the Weather-Reporter-Who-Is-Busting-Out-Of-Her-Top du jour gets her top soaked with sweat. ;)

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  9. Some station, somewhere, started this Weather Arms-Race back in the 1970's. They got a tall blonde, we, got a tall Blonde and Redhead, They got a roving reporter with a heliocopter, we get a roving report with a strapped on Jet Pak, They get new background graphics, while our weather girl reports to you as she interacts with somewhat amorous cartoon characters.,,,Sometimes simpler is good enough. I remember being in Detroit near Windsor, Ontario, during the early 60's , seeing SONNY ELLIOT use a chalkboard along with a Lloyd Lindsay Young type of delivery, now that's entertainment.

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  10. > we get very little coverage on this phenomena--why? Cost? Lack of sexy?

    The consultants tell management that everyone wants LOCAL LOCAL LOCAL. (There's absolutely no proof of this, by the way, but I've never been in a meeting where anyone's actually asked for that.) That's why you often ridiculous tie-ins even when there's a national story: "The man who tried to kill that congressman has ties to the Bay Area! His best friend from junior high once stopped here for a taco! We have team coverage beginning at the avocado farm where the guacamole for his taco came from..."

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  11. I heard on KGO last night (hint, hint) that "Climate change is for real, people. The temeratures are warming fast, the glaciers are melting, scientists say the ociean temperatures will be 1 degree warmer in the next ten years. "Note, he also said, "I don't need some right-wing idiot on Crossfire on CNN to tell me different. I know the facts. I heard them from Bill Nye the Science guy, a scientist!:"

    Funny, but he didn't believe it coming fro a real "scientist" (not an engineer like Bill Nye) with Bill Wattenburg who gleefully told Karel to go eat shit "with hollandaise" for seconds.

    Radio has so lost its way, as have TV political screeds. Now, back to Anderson Cooper and today's breathless top story "Donald Sterling appologizes in a CNN exclusive. See it all tonight."

    Every hour on the hour. I though Blitzer was going to have a stroke reporting this just an hour ago as the top of the hour, as each has led with this so far, after it's been so painfully reported since 3 am.

    Sheesh.

    I know, Christine, "so why do you listen?" For the fun of hearing a trainwreck twice a weekend. Entertainer? You're his shill, so, you have to play nice. He's all that keeps you active in radio to "keep in practice" as his fill-in.

    This post was spell checked and grammar edited to avoid the wrath of the aforementioned. .

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  12. And, why does KTVU use their "Stormwatch" graphic when they are reporting on hot, dry weather?

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  13. For a guy like Rich who sits indoor on his ass all day the weather doesn't mean anything to him. Completely clueless on how the world works, if you disagree you are an 'intern', 'pussy' or 'idiot' and "shouldn't read this blog".

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  14. Weather pussies? They're just trying to keep their jobs. Blame management. Hype, hype, hype. I can't speak for Stan Bunger, but I know for a fact that every TV weather tonsil in town is told to make extra graphics, scout live shots and make the heat wave sound like the second coming of Christ.

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  15. Meteorologist Mike PechnerMay 12, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    Nice take, Richard. Unfortunately, you are right, especially, TV. May writers and producers don't check with the weather guy first and sabotage his presentation by writing a tease that has lots of errors. When you look at a National Weather service forecast it does not embellish the details it just presents the facts, and thats the way it should be on TV and radio. Let the facts of the forecast stand for themselves. Steve Paulson on KTVU is the Best in Nor. Cal. and presents the facts without hype.

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  16. Mike Pechner could probably answer this best but I believe the NWS started the "excessive heat warnings" a few years back. When that is put into effect every local news agency jumps on board after.

    I agree on Steve Paulson, by far the best in the Bay Area and often gives forecasts for Tahoe/Truckee (their newscasts are simulcast in Reno). This morning he was holding off on the record temps and said he'd rather hold off until we see the temps today to see what happens tomorrow.

    That all being said I can see why the local news jumped on this story, it's not the high heat in Central/East CoCo and Eastern Alameda counties it's because SF and the Peninsula will be so hot. With the extreme fire danger we will be seeing many stories about the heat from CalFire stations in Sunol, Morgan Hill, Santa Cruz, and Napa (their favorite live shot areas). I would have added Contra Costa Fire station 11 in Clayton........but that's closed until August.

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    1. KTVU news is shown morning and night at Lake Tahoe. I know it's shown on the Reno Fox channel. Friends of mine watch in Reno also.

      Don't know why.

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  17. Why fault meteorologists for reporting the weather? Why fault newspeople for talking about the very thing everyone else is talking about: the hot weather? I agree that too much embellishment makes for a dorky newscast, but temperatures hitting 100+ in mid-May is an unusual occurrence, thus the very definition of news.

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    1. Too much "happy talk" to show off for no reason. People aren't stupid. Just give the forecast, not a panic alert everytime something is "unique." When it's news, make it news, not a fluff forecast.

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  18. Meteorologist Mike PechnerMay 12, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    A good take, Rich. Writers and producers are very much guilty in this process by writing teases and stories without checking with the weather guy or some other informative person. If you read a National Weather Service forecast as it is issued, it doesn't embellish the facts and stands alone. If media folks would do that, then there wouldn't be all this hype and utter nonsense about heat, rain, cold, and drought.
    Steve Paulson is the best in Nor. Cal. presents the forecast and facts with NO hype.
    I did that on KCBS. Other folks don't get it. A forecast should be presented like a news story, with not judgement, personal opinions or bias.

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    1. Wish you were back on KCBS Mr. Pechner. You could certainly teach Bunger a thing or two.

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  19. Speaking of weather....what has happened to Leigh Glasser - I don't remember hearing she was leaving Circle 7 - but she hasn't been on in at least a month - Francis Dinglassen and Spencer Christian have been pulling the weekend shift.

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  20. She has retired.

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  21. SW in Santa CruzMay 12, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    WOW! So much talk about weather on radio/TV.

    The ONLY place I get my weather is from NOAA (which, btw, is where your pretty faces on TV get it too) and then only the offshore/inshore coastal reports for Monterey Bay. Then I plan my fishing.

    All else is wake up, stick head outside and dress accordingly. If it's wet, hot, cold or windy, I can't change it so I don't worry about it; I adjust.

    The weather guessers on radio/TV are no better than me. How they earn a living doing this is beyond me.

    Oh, wait. It's due to all of you!

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  22. Thus has it ever been since Giddings in '69.
    As for the viewers and what they really want... hell, your average viewer doesn't even know what to want, and will buy into just about anything over-dramatized.
    Bring back Linda Richards writing backwards...

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  23. When you're talking about 100 degree expected temps in mid-May, well, sorry but that is exceptionally hot for this time of year. To not flag it as exceptional is missing the boat. It's also a health concern for seniors and others in frail health. If you're hearing too much about it, you're watching too much TV.

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