Friday, June 30, 2006

Flood redux

The flood's over, and many of you are already putting your bets on who had the best coverage. Guess I'll chime in too!

WNEP seemed to have all their bases covered, and stories like this one practically lend itself to the advantage of a helicopter. WBRE and WYOU also did great jobs, especially since they were right in the flood plain. At times, the Nexstar duopoly was even one-upping WNEP (flood press conferences vs. Good Morning America anyone?) in coverage. Given the situation, I think all three did a good job, though I think all three could have said "Screw you" to primetime programming and went wall-to-wall.

WNEP did have a major advantage, though: constant updates on their website. River levels, video, new stories, etc. What did our Nexstar twins have? The same crap-ass website with a story that said "Check back tomorrow for updated river levels." Check back TOMORROW? You're killing me here!

Of course, what good is TV and the Internet when you've lost power or your house is floating down the Susquehanna? That's where radio comes in, and for NEPA, WILK was the only option. Being the only news station in this part of the state, WILK pulled through with its coverage. And for those of you further south, WKOK also did a great job with updates on flood levels, road closings, and the like.

(Update: And for those of you in the Bloomsburg area, several blog readers tell me news/oldies station WHLM went wall-to-wall with coverage. I didn't get a chance to listen to it, but the reviews I've heard tell me WHLM did a good job, especially since Bloomsburg doesn't have a flood wall. Whaaaa?)

But as blog reader Tom Carten, one of the only people who signs his name here, pointed out, Wilkes-Barre forgot about WPUU, its own emergency radio station. That's right, if you tune your AM radios to 1620, you'll hear it broadcasting weather forecasts and trash-pickup schedules. Perhaps someone should have...oh, I don't know...USED IT?

Still, flooding like this brings out the best from even the most mediocre of news operations.

39 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lyndal Stout. Was she missing from the WBRE anchor desk during "flood week" because she's off getting married? If so, understandable.

But she ought to rush her butt back into the chair before Candice Grosklaus establishes squatter's rights.

Forget (for a second) looks. Candice has more personality and energy and she communicates better than uh, um, ah, er, eh, um, uh, ahem, L-L-L-Lyndal. Candice is a better reporter by far. She comes across as more genuine and caring and more a part of the team than LS.

Add in looks, and it's no contest.

I find Stout hard to watch. Am I alone?

11:45 AM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

I appreciated the station(s) who kept the crawl going during commercials. Whatever station it was that did not cut away from a spot to broadcast one of the important county announcements should be made to stand in the corner; that's why God invented make-goods.

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Winners:
WILK news radio did it right, broke format, stayed local and live well into the evening, I tuned out around 9 pm Wednesday night...had the local EMS news conferences, let people call and give local reports...even had interviews commissioners, the WB mayor and US Senators, visiting the area. Kudos to the station management and on-air people...

WNEP/WBRE both did fine jobs, WNEP much stronger in live coverage an outlying county news...but in the Valley WBRE held its own and in some cases out did 16, breaking into national programming when it was called for....

CV: Tops in coverage on the print side...seems the old timers remembered how to do it from 1972

Losers:
All Other radio, especially AM stations...this is the problem when you strip a station of its news operation....like WARM

WYOU: Looked like all the resources went to WBRE...

Print: Times Leader....couldn't even find one Thursday morning and when I did I wondered why I bothered.

National News Media:
If you are going to cover the story learn how to say the name of the river the right way...Susquhonna?????

They all made it sound much worse than it really was...yes there was flooding and people did lose their lives..but this wasn't Katrina revisited.

The World Wide Web:
If I heard one more news anchor, either radio or TV, say check out the website I was going to screem. You already have me listening or watch your station, why drive me away to the website!!!!

Just one persons' report card

12:37 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

*
11:45:You're right... Candice is a far better anchor than Lyndall

12:37:You again. WILK continues to do an excellent job; admit it.

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the 11.45AM post. I find Candice much easier to watch. I think she is very nice looking too. She is good to the eyes!

I noticed that WBRE/WYOU did the most crawls, which in my opinion, made them the winners in this around of disasters. I was up late on Wednesday night (I think it was Wednesday night), and noticed that WBRE/WYOU was running two crawls at once. The bottom with important info, and the top was “an emergency noticed” about a possible dam burst.

Was very unimpressed with 16, especially since WBRE/WYOU showed the press conference LIVE, and 16 didn't even bother to break in.

On the TV side of things, WBRE/WYOU won. On the net, WNEP.

Still no matter what, people think WNEP did a great job. I don't think so!

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in the field for all of it and have to say it's one of scariest and moving stories I'll likely cover in the next decade.

I didn't care who was on top or what station was out-performing the other... I was only glad my staff at the station pushed break-ins and carried live reports from EMA.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A little history here - WBRE made major gains in 1996 with it's flood coverage, which was wall-to-wall exceptional. Not to be overlooked, however, were several mis-steps, ommissions, and flat out blunders made at the time by WNEP. Sadly, the momentum from those '96 gains only went so far, and were nothing but memories by 2000. You can't shine for a day or two and think it'll carry you forever. You have to shine day in and day out, non-stop, without faltering. As to Grosklaus, you might be right. Unfortunately for her, and fortunately for Stout, just how many viewers were hanging on WBRE for the latest? If this market were metered, I say we'd discover that WNEP easily had twice the audience, maybe more like three times the audience.

Just an odd thought here - this time around, the flooding was widespread, very few areas were spared. The last several times around, not so. Depending on the situation, flooding was confined to W-B or Scr. I cannot count the people from Hazleton, Williamsport, Stroudsburg, Pottsville, who expressed their absolute disinterest in what the Susquehanna or Lackawanna does. I'm not saying they're right, but I find it hard to say that they're 100% wrong.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some people think Candice is HOT. Just ask Trooper Tom Kelly of the State Police out of Wyoming.
He and Candice date...Ummm wonder why she gets certian state police stories before the others.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WILK...nice job, would have been better if it didn't include Kevin Lynn at night and his postulating, pontificating, 500 words to do the job of 17, attempt at cocksure attitude where we know 1/4 inch below the surface he was just vamping most of the time.

Candice. Nice. Lyndall? Andy looks like he's sitting next to Mom in church when they're on.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How spring-loaded was Marisa Burke the last couple days? That is one tightly wound newscaster

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:45:You're right... Candice is a far better anchor than Lyndall

I'd be very interested in how you came to that conclusion, seriously. If it's strictly based on the notion that one is "hot" and one is not, which I honestly doubt is your motivation, where do you see "far better" in Grosklaus? I have no axe to grind with either of them, but am very curious as to what some people see and what some do not.

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all of you people getting down on WYOU - I think they did a great job considering they only have one reporter - Eric Deabill.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish someone from 16 would explain the thinking at several critical times during the flood coverage.

1. No live at the Luzerne County "Evacuate Now" news conference even though the station was running crawls about the possibility.

2. No live at the same location when the evacuation order was lifted.

3. No information in crawls Wednesday night about rising river levels, the evacuation order or the curfew.

4. No information during newscasts from meteorologists Tom Clark and Kurt Aaron beyond the current river height and the projected crest. What good is that info if you also don't tell viewers what happens in their communities when the water reaches a certain level?

16 did an outstanding job with pictures, but basic information is necessary too.

By the way, the 2:10pm poster is correct that 28 stayed on the air in 1996 when 16 signed off, but it should be noted that wall-to-wall to 28 meant almost exclusively dealing with the Wilkes-Barre area. That didn't win them any fans in other areas.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God, if only those not old to remember could only know what radio did in 1972. Radio saved lives, it kept families together, it did it all, with television contributing very, very little during Agnes. I'm not an old fart by most definitions(am I?), but old enough to remember June of '72 and how all of the radio stations throughout NE PA did a magnificent job. I know, I know, those days are gone for good, but are we the better for it? Clearly, this is one person who thinks not.

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is no reflection on Eric Deabill whatsoever. WYOU wasn't even a starter in this flood situation, never mind a player.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:53 PM am very curious as to what some people see and what some do not.
How can this be said without sounding like a bash on Lyndal...can't read, can't ad-lib. Sweet kid, but as an anchor I'm just not feelin' her.
Candice...can read, can ad-lib, can report, can do live, and can project the idea that she's having fun with it. Tho from her test run on the morning gig you would never have know it. She clearly did not want that job.
Also a sweet kid, she is personable, funny, has a mouth like a merchant marine - which is not a bad thing - and has been known to knock back a couple.
It's a shame that the beau had to be outed in this space, and in that manner. He is one of the most envied guys around.
She's hot, hot, hot. She's en fuego. If she were president, she'd be Babe-raham Lincoln.
She should be able to write her own ticket outta here. We'll miss her when she's gone.

5:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:01 PM...For all of you people getting down on WYOU - I think they did a great job considering they only have one reporter - Eric Deabill.


OUCH, Laurie Monteforte.
OUCH, David Decosmo.
OUCH, Dave Kuharchick.
Hell, even Schoener reported for WBRE during the flood (Conigs).
From the Chopped Liver Club.

5:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tuned out of WBRE about 5:05 PM on Tuesday evening when their weather reporter (it wasn't Josh Hodell, I think it was Dave Skutnik) predicted a 44 ft. crest based on information he just pulled off the computer. Over at 16 Curt Aron took a more responsible approach and "crunched" the numbers and predicted a crest of 38-40 ft. which was more in-line with what came about.

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know Eric is a hard worker, but he's too pompous and tells a story out the side of his mouth. Quite frankly, I'm scared when he smiles.

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Candace and Lyndall

Are you people stupid? Sex sells, and so does younger, blonder and not looking like a transvesite.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this Lyndall bashing sounds like it was started by Paul Steuber. She had him fired, and I bet he's still bitter.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's get this right. No one "crunches" flood numbers, the NWS's hydrologists issue their forecasts for river levels, local media reports those forecasts. If any local TV-type is tinkering with forecast levels and crests, they're playing with fire. No one hereabouts, at least no one in broadcast or print media, is a river expert, no station/paper has a hydrologist on staff. Flood future level and crest forecasting is tremendously complicated, and 99% of the time those we depend on to do it are very accurate.

...but it should be noted that wall-to-wall to 28 meant almost exclusively dealing with the Wilkes-Barre area.

Absolutely correct, but if you'll go back and read my post, my final paragraph stressed just that.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Getting back on topic...

Howard hit the nail on the head by pointing out TV and internet info is worthless to people who have no power. At that point, radio is the only lifeline of info.

In the world of joint media ventures (like it or not, it's here to stay), this could very well be an untapped resource for some TV Stations to take advantage of. If it helps the common good during emergencies, then I would hope it does happen.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this Lyndall bashing sounds like it was started by Paul Steuber. She had him fired, and I bet he's still bitter.

11:08 AM

Two points for the inside information, Mariotti.
What say you Adonde?

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Tom Carten does indeed sign his name here, as you mention, but we really need to consider this; he faces no retaliation, no possible loss of his job, no harmful discipline, for any of his remarks on this blog. If fellow bloggers don't understand my remarks, they don't know who Tom is or what he does.

And it really should be noted here that our blogmaster, to whom we are grateful, chooses to remain anonymous himself. We all know the thing about stones and glass houses...

8:36 PM  
Blogger Howard Beale said...

Yes, Tom Carten does indeed sign his name here, as you mention, but we really need to consider this; he faces no retaliation, no possible loss of his job, no harmful discipline, for any of his remarks on this blog. If fellow bloggers don't understand my remarks, they don't know who Tom is or what he does.

And it really should be noted here that our blogmaster, to whom we are grateful, chooses to remain anonymous himself. We all know the thing about stones and glass houses...


I mentioned it only as a matter of fact, not as a jab to those who choose to remain anonymous. Retaliation is a perfect reason for staying anonymous, given how this business works.

Besides, my birth certificate doesn't say "Howard Beale."

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...don't get me started on Eric. Let me just say this, if someone is not a quality person how can they be a quality journalist? So much for truth, telling both sides of the story and so on.

And by the way...

Ouch...Gabrielle.
Don't forget about Frank's ol sidekick.

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howard:

I have no idea whether an anchor/reporter from 28 and a trooper whose primary assignment is dealing with the media are in a relationship, but maybe it's time for a thread on ethics and conflict of interest.

Does such a relationship violate 28 or PSP policy? With or without a policy, is it okay or should management at either place put an end to it?

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At that point, radio is the only lifeline of info.

As someone whose first love was radio, and someone who also remembers the incredibly vital role radio played in '72, let me ask - how many among us have battery powered radios within arm's reach nowadays? If your car, your house, are under water, or your power is gone, radio is neutered, just like TV and the internet.

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the 7:01 Poster, read that list your wrote again. You'll notice there are no real reporters on it.

Laurie: She belongs in Peoria
David D: His time has come and gone
Dave K: Hello! He's a weather guy! Excuse me, I meant meterologist.

So I stand my ground. Only one reporter at WYOU.

12:35 AM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

*
8:36pm said:Tom Carten faces no retaliation, no possible loss of his job, no harmful discipline, for any of his remarks on this blog.

* * *
And I appreciate that most/all of the posters at the Bites probably would get their heads slammed into the wall simply for being here, regardless of what they post. Howard wasn't dumping on anyone, just referencing my previous remarks.

2:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howard wasn't dumping on anyone, just referencing my previous remarks.

No, sir, I never said or thought he was. My only point was that there are those among us who are, let's say, immune from retribution for remarks made here. And I am not one of them.
___________________________________

Does such a relationship violate 28 or PSP policy? With or without a policy, is it okay or should management at either place put an end to it?

Boy, that's really allowing your employer to reach into your private life and limit and/or dictate just what you do on your time and in your own home. And when it comes to ethics/morals, etc., don't you think an important precedent was set(more like cast in concrete)with the Shimkus situation?

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the WNEP/New York Times Policy on news people and dating:

26. Romantic involvement with a news source would create the appearance and probably the reality of partiality. Staff members who develop close relationships with people who are likely to figure in coverage they prepare or oversee must disclose those relationships privately to a responsible newsroom manager. In some cases, no further action may be needed. But in other instances staff members may have to recuse themselves from certain coverage. Sometimes assignments may have to be modified or beats changed.
**

A reporter at 16 was once told to stop dating an elected official (who was routinely in the news on the reporter's beat) or face a change of assignment. The reporter chose to keep the beat and end the relationship.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

*
12:06 said:Boy, that's really allowing your employer to reach into your private life and limit and/or dictate just what you do on your time and in your own home.

*
What it may come down to is the public perception. Does the general public think lines are being crossed, information is being passed via pillow talk? In reality, they may not care and it ends up with the two of them staying squeaky clean as far as 28 and PSP are concerned. Even if it means signing an agreement to keep 28/PSP happy and legal.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:58 PM said "How spring-loaded was Marisa Burke the last couple days? That is one tightly wound newscaster"

Maybe she was wound so tight because she couldn't take her daily break at 4:20?

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave K: Hello! He's a weather guy! Excuse me, I meant meterologist.

So I stand my ground. Only one reporter at WYOU.


No real argument from me on that one - in the classical sense. I'm sure he was hired thinking he wasn't going to have to report two or three days a week.
But Dave will give you more than one minute, and his stuff is entertaining. Plus he can handle going live better than many "reporters".

BTW - do JoBu's NatPkg's count?

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A word of advice. Don't criticize Marisa Burke. She'll find out where you live and harm your children.

Yes, she's wrapped a bit tight, but she wears the pants at 'NEP.

3:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 3:37AM Poster about Marisa Burke:

Do you mean Marisa is running the show at 16 instead of News Director Dennis Fisher? Or is that a swipe at co-anchor Mike Lewis?

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is that an animal wrapped around candice's neck?!?!?

or her long flowing locks

6:12 PM  

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