I have to say I object to the latest trend of “weather watches” happening in Rochester, and I presume elsewhere in the country, since Katrina. Used to be that a beeping noise and a scroll across the bottom of the screen was all that was required in order to inform shut-ins that it sucks outside. But of course, you can’t sell advertising on a beeping noise, can you?
So instead, local television stations have opted to make big deals out of the exact same weather we’ve always had. We have to have meteorologists standing in front of Doppler radar screens telling us how bad it sucks, reassuring us that there will be updates as they happen.
Part of me is annoyed by this because we’ve never needed it before. But mostly, I’m annoyed by the ghoulish revenue stream they’ve concocted: if only we could have bigger disasters in this town, our television stations could really make some cash. Local stations are trying to shovel in the money currently being reaped by The Weather Channel, who is also banking on fatalities for the sake of ratings.
I know, news has always been like that. “If it bleeds, it leads.” But at least with a nice war or something, reporters have to sleep in uncomfortable positions once in a while to get the story. This is just people sitting inside, watching the same radar screens they’ve been watching.