Lately, I have noticed more and more people ripping into TV stations, news anchors, and meteorologists for breaking into their favorite TV programs when a weather emergency is occurring, like a tornado warning, or major snow event. Every time a tornado warning is issued down here in Alabama, someone will complain on Twitter that they are missing their favorite TV program, and I know someone talks about it on Twitter, because I have a Twitter list of meteorologists and weather folks I follow when a severe weather outbreak is happening.
Well, a TV news anchor got tired of the people who were calling, e-mailing, or writing letters to the station for complaining about missing their favorite TV programs. KSFY-TV anchor Nancy Naeve went into a short rant about people complaining about missing their favorite TV program because meteorologist Shawn Cable was covering a tornado warning which was producing a tornado during the time Once Upon A Time was on. And here’s how the weather coverage was saving lives, KSFY interviewed someone who saw the coverage on TV, and alerted her mother before the tornado struck her home. Here is the video of the interview, and the great rant!
So, for the ones who are complaining about missing their TV shows, here is something you need to know. Every TV station broadcasting on the air has a FCC license. And the terms of holding their FCC license requires TV stations to break into programming if an emergency situation happens, it’s the law. For example, a tornado warning, major life threatening situation, major breaking news, and other major events would require a TV station to break in. If a TV station decides to blow off that major tornado or life threatening event happening in downtown for entertainment shows like Dancing With the Stars or other TV shows, they could lose their broadcast license! Yep, if the TV station lost their FCC license, no more shows for you!
In South Dakota and many mid-western and western states, TV stations are mostly a part of a network, for example, KELOland is a statewide CBS network with broadcast antennas in Sioux Falls, Pierre, Rapid City, and Florence. Their coverage area covers all of South Dakota and parts of Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, and North Dakota. For a station like that, they could break into one market for severe weather coverage, while the other markets see regular programming. But for KSFY-TV, they only operate in one market, Sioux Falls, and they can not split their feeds like some other stations could do.
For the ones who still complain after learning a station has to talk about life threatening situations because their FCC license tells them too, you know you could watch your favorite TV shows on the internet, surprise! The broadcast network websites, along with Hulu often has the latest episodes available the next day. And most TV stations will often repeat the missed TV shows at a later time, usually overnight. So you are not going to miss your TV shows, never! Let’s put it in simple terms. Would you want to know if a deadly tornado was heading straight to your house? I would! TV stations exist to inform the public, not to keep you entertained, end of story!