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In Snowy Atlanta, Affiliates Stick with Local News Instead of Network Morning Shows

Stations in Atlanta ran extended news coverage Monday morning as an overnight snowstorm and below-freezing temperatures led to school closings and dangerous driving conditions. The market’s NBC, CBS, and ABC affiliates stayed with local news coverage through the morning, preempting the network morning shows.

NBC-affiliate WXIA operated a telethon-like hotline to which local viewers could call in with questions related to the storm, from driving conditions to employment laws regarding taking a day off due to severe weather. Jill Becker and Karyn Greer anchored the extended newscast with meteorologist Chesley McNeil providing regular weather updates. Keith Whitney reported from Carroll County, east of Atlanta, which was one of the first areas to see snow in the early morning. Whitney used an icy bottle of water to show the below-freezing temperatures.

At ABC-affiliate WSB, morning meteorologist Karen Minton reported on the mix of snow and sleet hitting Atlanta while Mark Arum provided updates on the messy road conditions for morning commuters. Minton was also aided by meteorologist David Chandley, who would continue to track the storm throughout the day. Anchor Fred Blankenship provided regular storm-related news updates, including canceled flights to and from Atlanta. At one point, reporter Richard Belcher compiled a slideshow of photos sent in by viewers showing the area’s snow cover.

Tracye Hutchins and Brandon Rudat anchored CBS-affiliate WGCL‘s extended coverage. Weekend meteorologist Justin Lock was out on the street, reporting on weather conditions and speaking with those brave enough to venture out of their homes. Jennifer Valdez, WGCL’s morning meteorologist, updated viewers on the morning forecast as well as travel conditions. Rebekka Schramm reported via Skype from inside a WGCL news truck, which had gotten stuck in the snow.

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