Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Useless 'Weather' Reports on Bay Area TV and Radio; Anybody Home?

 For the next week and beyond, the TV/Radio weather people here in the Bay Area tell us there's no sign of rain. They all sound pretty sure on that--or in weather talk: "the models say we will have little or no precipitation in the next ten days."

I believe them.

Which begs the question: why do we need weather reports this week? Sure, one is necessary but the usual onslaught-- the five or so teases that routinely appear and can be heard on the airwaves, seems so unnecessary and quite frankly, a waste of time.

The East coast is having a terrible winter. New England is buried with snow and a huge blizzard is expected yet again. Bostonians can't navigate part of the city and everyone is miserable. There's so much snow and hardly anywhere to get rid of it that they've had to dump it into the ocean. That's extreme. That's weather! And the major news there is THE WEATHER! because they have an actual weather event worth broadcasting. Thus, extra coverage is both warranted and expected.

Here, I cannot believe how much time --wasteful time to be precise --we spend on watching and hearing the same old story. No rain. Plenty of sunny days. Some valley fog. We're in a drought now and it's evident that Mother Nature is having a West Coast period. Instead of repeating the SAME OLD news that no rain is in the forecast, why not send the mobile weather lab into high gear--maybe time for the weather guys to get out into the field, get some fresh air and ask the experts what gives? Am I being so radical here? I don't think so.

Part of this involves the fact that we're so used to banal, endless, repetitious weather reports that even the slightest change sends shivers up our spine. Think of the time spent on telling the viewers that we don't see any rain in the forecast for the foreseeable future--blah, blah, blah and we'll talk to you, again, at 11. For what? To tease that "long-range computer models" hint of the jet stream moving away in early March. Hallelujah!

I'm not advocating the disappearance of weather people on TV and radio. They are needed. If there's no weather people the Bay Area would cease to exist. I'm kidding of course but you get my drift. Like the snow drifts in the East where they're buried under snow and about to get pelted once again.

I rest my case.

24 comments:

  1. Rich, is this groundhog dog?
    We get it. You don't like the local weather news.

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  2. Rich, I've already explained multiple times why they do this. It's to fill time, much as you keep asking the same questions on your blog to fill space.

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  3. Just say "More sun for the next few days -- back to you Dave!"

    Meanwhile I have cousin's back east stuck in deep snow and when they turned to the Weather Channel for updates, the station was showing reality shows. Epic fail.

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  4. Is there a bigger media disaster than KGO radio? At 12:07pm today I tuned in and some yenta was hosting a show in which she said: "today we will talk about a new nutrient derived from jelly fish!!!". Wtf? Infomercials instead of the great Angie Corio!?

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    1. KGOne now has Angie for 2 hours on Sunday's only. At least that was the schedule last week. Now KGOne airs infomercials, not even syndicated shows. What is wrong with these people? Are we going to ever wake up to this bad dream?

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    2. KGOne now has Angie for 2 hours on Sunday's only. At least that was the schedule last week. Now KGOne airs infomercials, not even syndicated shows. What is wrong with these people? Are we going to ever wake up to this bad dream?

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    3. It is a nightmare. Dr. Dean Edell for years warned us on KGO about the hucksters peddling miracle cures. Today KGO is running those exact types of infomercials. Give me a break! Jelly fish supplements!? At the end of the show they ran several legal disclaimers. Oh lord have mercy!

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    4. When KGO destroyed the talk format they claimed it was because WE the audience demanded more news. Now that KGO has cut back on news AND talk shows does it mean that WE the audience demand huckster supplement infomercials? At least the idiot chef is off the air and my girl Chris Kraft is on. Like her or not she's a pro.

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    5. KGO is an example of AM radio’s degeneration. Before Todd Storz (who is generally considered the inventor of Top 40 radio), independent stations sold time. If a preacher or a soap manufacturer wanted to buy 15-minutes of airtime, the stations jumped at the chance. The station, though, had no control over the program’s content. Todd Storz came along and said that we’re really not selling time per se, we’re selling audience. We’ll control the programming, try to build the largest audience, and sell small segments of time on OUR product. KGO used to operate that way, having great talk show hosts and excellent news coverage of the Bay Area, record setting ratings, record revenues and Marconi awards. Now they have degenerated back to the old model of selling their airtime. The audience is almost gone.

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  5. I'm 100%..the opposite. I want more weather,more cities mentioned,more up to date temps,like right now..not what it was 30 minutes ago when they typed it.
    Paul Deano the other night said "In 50 years Soucal will have a tropical climate,the bay area as warm as Los Angeles is now"...So thinking about that,I go to Nightbeat,to KPIX, and ..nothing. No mention of something he said 48 hours ago,no links.
    We are getting more lazy weathercasts,not better.

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  6. I'm all for more weather reports if they're delivered by all current and former KRON weather ladies wearing their best outfits and high heels! The ratings would sky rocket among other things.

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  7. Meteorologist Mike PechnerFebruary 14, 2015 at 6:35 PM

    A little inside baseball, over the years I have produced the weather at 5 for Leon Hunsaker and Joe Barttlett, Mark Thompson at KRON and for Dennis Richmond, Pat McCormick and Brian Copeland at KTVU. I said to various news directors that we have a smart, weatherwise audience and when weather here is the same and dull, sunny days and fog, summer or winter, etc we should talk about active weather across the rest of the US because we have lots of folks who came here from Chicago, Atlanta, New York Dallas,St. Louis, Detroit and elsewhere. I was told that we only had a certain amount of time and we had to use all the time for local weather. In the 1980's,many news directors cut the weather from 3 1/2 minutes to 2 1/2 and gave the time to sports. Anyway, I tried to convince news directors, especially in the Spring, summer and fall when any idiot can forecast Bay Area fog and low clouds and afternoon sun, that can do the forecast in a minute or so, but in the winter when the weather is important, to give us back the time so we can cover the Bay Area and Sierra snow. Anyway, you know what happened. I agree with you, 100% Richard, a real waste of time!

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    1. Wait, Mark Thompson once said on a KRON broadcast that he got his weather reports from the Pacific Bell weather line. Jim Paymar almost fell out of his chair laughing.

      Years ago I remember reading an article about a TV station that dropped weather from its news broadcasts because management didn't think it was important. In explaining why they quickly changed course and put weather back on the news, someone from the station said they had never seen such a hostile reaction from viewers on anything else that the station had done.

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    2. Also, a lot of people travel for business, even if it's just the Pacific NW and Southwest and that stuff can be good to know the night before you have to travel the next morning or early in the morning. A good addition, like CNN does, is list the delays to certain areas of the country at local airports.

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  8. Meteorologist Mike PechnerFebruary 14, 2015 at 6:35 PM

    Above is from Meteorologist Mike Pechner

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  9. I totally agree and I treat them as commercials. Yawn. How about trying to really inform, like explain dew points and such weather items ? I have always liked the U.S map with the fronts with brief versions of regional weather. Teasing that it ain't gonna rain for a bit is somewhat obvious now, low fog in the AMs to boot. " Coming up- Tomorrow will be the same as today and the day before, details at 11 " . Then over-hype a moderate " storm " endlessly like pull my string weather boy and girl dolls. " They can point too ! " . Oh my

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  10. I'd listen to a jelly fish or oyster ball sack supplement infomercial instead of the Karel show. Good god did anyone else catch this guy's pitty party? He whined and complained about how horrible it is to be broke and single on valentine's day. It is hard to tell what is pre recorded and what is live. Honey, look in the mirror and see why you're single. Nobody is going to be impressed by your 50 year old second hand red carpet you roll out every time you go to McDonald's.

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  11. Rich is an embarrassment. I post completely innocuous things which refute his premise but he doesn't post them. No guts. No surprise.

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  12. Let your anchors do the weather since it's so available on the Web and hire REPORTERS. We are tired of if it bleeds, it leads. I no longer watch local news. I haven't watched it regularly for 30 years, because it is so bad. When I moved to the Bay Area I was excited because I would finally get professional news. Nope. Sorry. Just higher-paid people to deliver the same crap. I am advocating getting rid of the the weather. I've seen people consistently go to their phones before the weather comes on. It's not needed.

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  13. It's so easy for a TV station to constantly have weather reports throughout their newscast because it fills up time, as one other person commented. That and a barrage of traffic reports. Weather and traffic... it's so easy to do as the clock winds down to the end of the show. This is the model for stations these days, not just in the Bay Area, but nationally. It saves a lot of money by otherwise filling up the program with on-scene local reports and investigative reporting. When you think about it, it's pretty lame and cheap.

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  14. The reason why stations do tons of weather--is the same reason why stations do tons of Live-Shots:

    Stations have invested a lot of money on the technology-that they feel compelled to use it every chance they get....to get their money's worth ("I got a ton of equipment back there--I'm not just gonna let it SIT there. Get them out on the street...put that gear to use!"

    I was a newscast producer back in the 90's--I had ND"s at a couple of Bay Area stations tell this to me whenever I said something like "Nah--I don't need a live. Give it it to (name of the producer of the next show)."

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  15. I tolerated Evelyn OK. I was just dreaming about knowing her well enough to call her by her first name.

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  16. KTVU -- err "Fox 2" -- now is the self-proclaimed "WEATHER AUTHORITY." Every weather segment announces this to viewers. I wonder which consultant told them to do that. Maybe a $10,000 payment to Magid?

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  17. Bring back Linda Richard...

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