I’ve been watching WKRG’s live coverage of Hurricane Dennis for some time now and it’s one of the best local newscasts I’ve seen in a long long time.
It’s been good not only because of the urgency and the information they’re able to deliver, but also by how they’re communicating.
This is one of those situations when the anchors really have no scripts on the teleprompter. The producers may tell them through their ear pieces (ifbs in tv lingo) where they’ll go next, which reporter they’ll be hearing from next, or when to toss to the meteorologist. They’ll get cues to stretch, do a phone interview, wrap, or go to break.
These are the situations when viewers find out just how good the news anchor is. Are they more than just “news readers”? Can they think on their feet? Do the anchors really like each other?
WKRG seems to be doing most everything right. The anchors seem to be able to communicate with each other (one possible exception though with the male anchor, Randy Patrick, who keeps rambling and stumbling and stealing all of the time from his co-anchor).
The reporters, anchors and especially the meteorologists seem to know more about hurricanes that The Weather Channel folks.
WKRG has been wall-to-wall for (according to Patrick) 16 hours now and the storm is still at least 13 hours away. So…a question: if there was a need for wall-to-wall news coverage in Memphis/Birmingham/Huntsville or wherever you’re reading this from, which station would do the best job?
And is there a station in Memphis ready to stream more than 20 consecutive hours of live coverage?