Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Like a Kid on Christmas

Here it is, Tuesday morning...the tail-end of my One Day Weekend. I stayed up most of the night watching the storms advance across the state via the miracle of webcams and the internet. Certainly this was far more compelling viewing than the two weekends of NFL Playoffs have been!

I woke after my nap Monday in time to plug into the evening news blocks on the local TV stations. My GoTo station is Sacramento's KOVR Channel 13, the CBS Affiliate. KOVR has a huge block of time dedicated to local newscasts spread between their CBS outlet and their WB Channel 31 All told, KOVR covers 04:30 thru 10AM every morning, and they run Early Primetime, so their afternoon block runs from 4PM through 7PM before doing an hour of Local News at 10PM. Thanks KOVR, I can watch two weather forecasts on work nights!

KCRA Channel 3, Sac's NBC Outlet has Mark Finan, Sacramento's Senior Meteorologist and I trust his forecasts more than most other weatherpeople in the market. Finan clearly loves his job, and I suspect he's one of these "Super Achievers" who gets by fine on four hours of sleep! I follow him on Twitter, and he's always updating the weather forecast, observations, models, and even chain controls. I like that I get timely intel when I'm not in the DaveCave, online. Finan is clearly "Value Added"

Back on KOVR, they've really embraced the Social Networking Revolution. Their "Good Day Sacramento" morning news magazine relies heavily on the viewers. They regularly feature their viewers photos, e-mails and now Skype to enrich their content.

This morning the Wind is the Lead Story. Heavy rain and high winds are lashing the Big Valley. Viewers are connecting to the News Studio via Skype and walking outside with their laptops and webcams to provide live remotes of the wind and weather from their neighborhoods. This Interactivity sets GDS apart in the market, and really adds a "Wild Card" of spontaneity to their show.

Monday night, I watched the local's Storm Coverage. It was weird...KOVR aired at least six different upside-down cars during an hour! There was even one that made National News when an Off-Duty Security Guard skidded off a bridge and into a canal. His SUV quickly sank into the 50F water. As he was going under, the Security Guard used his sidearm to shoot out the window to make his escape! Totally un-nerved was the Good Samaritan who was getting ready to jump into the canal to help!

After an hour, I switched over to KCRA...their storm coverage didn't have any upside-down vehicles. They were specializing in video of vehicles stoved into snowbanks and into guardrails! Man, whatta mess! D-Day on the Freeway goes the old song...

Ahh, now the Truckee Schools have called a Snowday. It's like Christmas for the kids...until June when the missed day is tacked on to the end of the School Year, delaying the start of Summer Vacation!

Back on GDS, they're doing a Live Remote from Natomas...the story? A huge pile of tumbleweeds blew in overnight and piled up against a chain-link fence! The reporter is bustin' a gut laughing outloud. Hundreds of tumbleweeds...comedy gold...

I just watched the second Skype Report from a moving vehicle...yikes- careful you don't get upside-down now! They're following up with one of their On-Air Talent Skyping from his vehicle...he's headed out to the Yolo Causeway, where the wind really blasts across Interstate 80...his commentary is how it's almost impossible to keep his car in it's own lane!

There was a little color in the sky at sunrise, before the cloud deck descended on the DaveCave. I'm all jacked up now, too. Tonight I get to go play in a bunch of new snow. I can't wait!

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