Viewers are a little persnickety about what they think local news should and should not cover.
Unfortunately, if you don’t please them, your ratings could suffer. They hold on to the mantra “The customer is always right” closer than a Klansman and his tighty-whities. They bicker about fashion on the anchors, general assignments for beat reporters, and meteorologists getting out of shape over heavy rain. You can’t please them all the time because they can be irrational.
And then came WENY-TV and its interruption of the World Cup final for a weather report proving why they may have a point.
WENY-TV hails from Elmira, New York. It is an ABC-affiliated television station for the Central and Western Twin Tiers of southern upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania. I share that because there is a small but passionate demographic that enjoys soccer.
Like a rabid dog, only with much more body paint.
WENY-TV wasn’t really thinking of this vociferous contingency when it did the “unthinkable” over the weekend: Alerting those fans that their lives may be in danger thanks to a tornado that was not aware of the TV schedule. Germany was up 1-0 (or however the hell you spell “Nil”) and only six minutes were left. Only local Elmira proper never saw that because they were about to die. Presumably.
It can’t be easy to be the weather guy or gal in times like this. You begin the life-saving coverage with some deep-throated apology because you know the lives of those precious viewers are about to be in danger because a producer forced you to interrupt ‘Judge Judy’. Now, make that minute 115 in the World Cup Final, and you have anarchy (or, at the very least, a scene from “The Purge”).
Enjoy the new ratings book, gang. This won’t be pretty.
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