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Page 3: A Rough Week For Channel 5

11:55 AM EDT on May 20, 2010

KOCO is already kind of the redheaded step-child of the three networks. News 9 has Gary, Lord of the Weather. Channel 4 has Mike Morgan, a quality backup when one of Gary's interns is handling things while he's off making out with supermodels and buying private helicopters. Rick Mitchell is fine, but he's not the household name quite like Gary and Mike. Plus, Channel 5 doesn't have an Ogle. Strike two. Or three. I lost count.

So seeing as they're already a little behind in the game, they weren't doing themselves any favors last week by cutting off the end of LOST and then showing just a snippet of the Eastern Conference Finals.  They took some guff for it and the culmination was an "I'm not sorry, but I realize we probably screwed up" statement from President Brent Hensley. He said:

"This past Sunday, the storms came up and the severity of the storms came up so quickly and stayed for an extended period of time," Hensley said. "We felt it was the right move to not move it and keep everybody focused on what was going on with the weather coverage."

One thing the channels fail to realize (or do realize and choose to ignore) is that if we want the information, we'll find it ourselves. If we're concerned about the weather, we'll find a station that's covering it. It's a copycat game with the three channels. If one has something on, so do the other two. It's like they think that we need the ability to see three different weather updates at a time or that if they don't have it on, we'll lose all hope in them as a reporting entity entirely. And no, I'm not mentioning Fox 25 at all because who really watches that?

But what did the masses want to see Sunday? The Eastern Conference Finals, or Rick Mitchell talking about dark clouds and hail? It wasn't life or death. So Channel 5 hung with some boring weather coverage because it was "necessary". And what did everyone do? Changed the channel. That's what I did. I WAS watching it. But then they cut in and so I found something else. It shouldn't take all afternoon to tell me it's hailing. I'll even accept a few cut-ins here and there so that I can be assured that an F14 isn't barreling down on my house. But to just hog the whole afternoon is stupid. NBC kept a hockey game going for extended periods. Hockey! But the Eastern Conference Finals in a state that is NBA batty right now? Forget it. Here, look at some Doppler radar footage and a still picture of the sky instead.

Do you think they would've gotten one pissed off call had they NOT cut-in? Like someone would've called and said, "HEY! I turned to KOCO First Alert News and you guys had basketball on. It's the only news channel I know of that exists that provides weather updates, so instead of getting my FIRST ALERT news, I stood by my backdoor and watched some hail. Then I took a nap."

Tornadoes are a different animal. They kill things. But the people that really need to know it's hailing are the ones that are outside or driving. And they're also the ones that aren't watching TV. Which is why a simple cut-in during a commercial to let everyone know that it's just cannonball-sized hail and not tornado time would've been better.

I heard people griping this week saying things like, "If we're really a big league city, we need the NBA on!" First off, enough "big league city" crap. I'm over it. But secondly, that's not the point. Unnecessary weather coverage just miffs me in general. They could be cutting in and interrupting a five-hour marathon of Dharma and Greg and it would bug me. I'm not going to be watching either way, but it's the principle of it. If they'll interrupt the Eastern Conference Finals and the end of LOST, what else is at risk? What if it's something I really want to watch? It's bad enough that the corner map of the state takes up 15 percent of my screen. (I've always wondered, that SUCKS if you live in Texas. I bet their graphic takes up a whole half screen.) There's always some important caption or a groundbreaking piece of evidence vital to the plot behind it. But I can live with that because at least I'm watching the show.

(One other aside: I remember when I was little I would tape shows and movies on VHS. And it would always PISS ME OFF when the night I taped it, the weather graphic was on the screen. So now I have this copy of Die Hard on VHS, but it's forever scarred with that dumb graphic. Nothing made me angrier when I was 12. Except for when my brother would mess with my Lego castles. That REALLY pissed me off.)

Hensley said different considerations would've been made had this been a Thunder game. Which is good I suppose, but I find that incredibly hypocritical. They saw a two-hour cut-in as being so important that they blocked one of the biggest basketball games of the year. They erred on the side of safety. But if this is a Thunder game, then screw it. It's not THAT important. I just don't get that. Why not apply the Thunder Rule to everything? If you wouldn't interrupt a Thunder game for it, it's probably not that important to start with.

But then again, I don't even know why I care about this. I spend my Sunday afternoon catching up on Private Practice. YOU BETTER NOT INTERRUPT THAT KOCO OR THERE WILL BE HAIL TO PAY. (Hail. Get it? SO clever.)

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