TV’s Flood Coverage: Who Did It Better?

This is gonna be quick today. Well, kinda quick.

Since I spent most of Thursday night flipping between 16 and 28’s flood coverage, just thought I’d break down who I thought did it better:

QUICKNESS

a scary night

a scary night

WNEP went on the air for good early Thursday morning, recognizing what was about to happen. Not sure when WBRE went on the air for round-the-clock coverage, but the first time I was watching was around 8 a.m. Thursday on the treadmill. WNEP was live, WBRE was sticking with the Today Show. Oops. WNEP also opened up their live stream on their website first. EDGE: WNEP

DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY

WBRE’s newsroom is in downtown Wilkes-Barre. When the evacuation order came, they followed the rules like any good business would and “got the hell out,” as WBRE reporter Joe Holden would later say about how the station’s reporters were following the evacuation directions. To stay on the air, they moved to the MyFoxNepa studios in Plains Township, across from Pocono Downs. Sure, it looked a little grainy, but it got the job done. When you’re in the news business, you have to figure out a way to cover the news under any circumstances. If you don’t, you lose all credibility. WBRE knew that and did whatever it took to stay on the air. Great job. It’s not WNEP’s fault they had their cushy Montage location, but it certainly made things much easier. Jim Coles driving around West Pittston at midnight in a boat was pretty good though. EDGE: WBRE

QUALITY

Because WNEP was on first, they went out to a big lead and looked like they had the whole thing covered. But what happened after, like, 8 p.m.? They had Coles in West Pittston … and what else? I must have seen its daytime shots of Susquehanna County about 150 times. But what good is that at midnight? WBRE did live shots in the Luzerne County war room at least twice an hour and staged themselves right next to the Wilkes-Barre bridges all night. They were also the first to report the issue with the levee in Forty Fort — even getting video of it — while the WNEP studio team was showing the same packages of cleaning up in Hughestown. WNEP led the day, WBRE led the night. EDGE: EVEN

WE PARDON THE INTERUPTION …

this probably doesn't help you now, but, umm, the packers won

this probably doesn't help you now, but, umm, the packers won

Both networks wisely took off their normal programming to break into the flood coverage. Sure, they wouldn’t have done the same if it was the Delaware flooding, but this was in their bread-and-butter market. Now came the problem … what do we do with what we were supposed to be airing? WBRE had the biggest problem since it was supposed to be showing the first NFL game of the year and would have had somewhere around 6,745,723,346 people calling them asking them what happened to the game. So maybe as a thank you for letting them use the Fox 56 studio as their newsroom, WBRE moved the game to WQMY, the local MyNetworkTV affiliate. Fox 56 and WQMY are owned by the same company. Even though that was bad news for many NEPA DirecTV subscribers since it still isn’t available, it was good news for the rest of that wanted to make sure Drew Brees got off to a good fantasy start (me). WBRE’s studio team made that very clear around gametime and throughout the night. I would never watch Wipeout on ABC, but there are some people who would. I have no idea what happened to it, whether they put it on WNEP2 or not. And there is no mention of it on the website. Granted, I may have missed it, but it should have been included in the scroll since they had a top and bottom scroll going. I saw McCann School of Business in Dickson City was closed about a trillion times, you would think I could have found out where WNEP’s regular programming was. EDGE: WBRE

OVERALL

Never would have thought it would be a push earlier in the day when WNEP was out to a huge lead, but WBRE’s late push made it happen. Thought both news teams did an exceptional job overall. There are very few reasons to stay on the air live for a day or more, but this was one of them. Good call by both stations.Working a 24-hour shift ain’t easy in this business, hopefully those guys and gals can get some sleep tonight. Hats off from me. EDGE: EVEN

Some local stuff going on this weekend, quickly:

COTA weekend! For the first time in, like, ever, they’re getting good weather. At least it seems like forever. Whether you like jazz or not, it’s a cool vibe to walk around Delaware Water Gap and listen to it. Remember, these guys have resisted the urge about a zillion times to go corporate. They tell me all the time it’s the largest jazz festival in the country that’s completely independent, though I’ve never taken the time to substantiate that. But I’ll just go ahead and believe them until someone challenges that title. Every dollar that’s made stays local and goes to next year’s festival. So if you want better acts next year, go this year, give them money and make sure they can afford to get better acts.

Earlier this year I did a story on the surprising number of extreme-type races there are this year around here. This weekend features two of them. One is at Camelback, it’s the Civilian Military Combine’s first Race for Tomorrow, which is designed to look like a military basic training exercise, from what I understand. It’s a seven-mile race on the mountain and includes an “pit” area with specific exercises. Also on Saturday is the Spartan Race at Blue Mountain. Apparently this one is a little different because the actual details are a secret until you get there. Oooooooo, spooky.

hook 'em horns, ryan cabrera!

hook 'em horns, ryan cabrera!

Local favorite Christian Porter is opening up for Ryan Cabrera tonight at the Sherman Theater. I couldn’t tell you one thing Ryan Cabrera sings — but I know he’s like Ron Burgandy. He’s kind of a big deal. The show was supposed to happen two weeks ago, but because of Irene, had to be pushed back. Good job by the Sherman to get it back on the docket so quickly.

Haven’t been to Werry’s in a while because I never know if it’s open closed. But tomorrow the bar in Marshalls Creek looks like it’s having a Toga Party starting at 2 p.m. I’m not sure if I’m happy or sad about the fact that I’ve never been to a toga party. I’m happy because it always seems like a poser thing to do. If you went to one before Animal House came out, it was probably cool. After that? Not so much. Maybe it’s been long enough that it’s cool again.

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