Tuesday, February 9, 2010

When the Snow Flies, We Head to Work

I've often been given looks of pity from people in the community.

"Are you the girl who has to stand outside in the cold when the snow is blowing or it's raining?" someone always asks. "I always feel so sorry for you!"

Usually I just laugh and tell them it's part of my job.

And it is.

When snow falls, all the people at FOX19 work long, grueling shifts. We get to the station hours early, and we stay hours late.

It's the same way in other cities. The weather emphasis just changes. At my old TV station, the main focus was tornadoes and hurricanes. When the weather broke, we got up and went. For a cub reporter just out of college, this meant sometimes doing crazy things. During Hurricane Rita, I remember being the only car for what must have been 30 miles on a two lane highway. Once I drove through an East Texas electrical storm, and then got out to shoot video. I'm lucky I'm alive!

We do this extended coverage because we know you at home are watching. For all the people who accuse us of "blowing out" or "overstating" a weather event, look at our numbers. Consistently we see a jump in the number of households watching us whenever bad weather comes to town. We take calls all the time from people across the area who are concerned, we get emails from viewers asking us about the weather.

Weather is one of the big reasons people watch local news.

So if you need us, we're going to be there.

And we'll "do it live", even if means standing by the side of the highway.

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