Dearth of Despair On Douglas’s Doppler

WCCO-TV refugee Paul Douglas penned the most gracious goodbye I’ve ever seen from an unceremoniously fired newsie. This is from Sunday’s Strib weather blurb:

Yes, stuff happens. The truth? I was making too much money at a time when local TV news isn’t nearly as profitable as it was even five years ago. I wouldn’t want to be a manager at a local TV station right now…”

The truth? Yes, that’s the truth. But the truth usually hurts enough in such situations that there is at least a bit of thunder on the old radar screen. The fact that Mr. Douglas recently made $45 million off of the sale of his weather-related technology business had to have made the silver lining a little more apparent. Still, this was one classy exit.

Along with many other big issues on the table for TV news organizations, here’s another one: Does every TV news stations really need trained meteorologists conveying National Weather Service reports? They don’t use economists to communicate the Fed’s forecasts, politicians to analyze the political news of the day or firefighters to explain the latest five alarmer.

Ten years from now, will weather men and women still be meteorologists? Maybe they they will merely be weather beat reporters, folks who know their beat as well as any other beat reporter, but are not trained scientific professionals. As long as we have great professionals and technology at the National Weather Service, will we really be worse off?

– Loveland college funding kind

6 thoughts on “Dearth of Despair On Douglas’s Doppler

  1. I’m certain that I’m in the minority on this, but I despise the amount of time, energy and promotion newscasts put into the weather segments. Take 30 second to tell me what it’s going to be like tomorrow and maybe this weekend, then get the hell out of the way.

    That’s not to say that the weather reports are the biggest or only problem with local TV news programming. Again, I’m just getting a little something off my chest.

    One more thing: Who the hell cares of Channel X has a new “Super Badass Monster Storm Tracking and Important Sounding Radar” system? You find me someone who says Channel X’s weather reports are more accurate or insightful than Channel Y’s, I’ve found you a liar.

    Tangentially related: The sports section is a waste of newsprint. That’s why god invented Sportscenter and Sports Illustrated. You’re firing editorial page writers and local business reporters but keeping the sports section?

  2. Bill Dewey says:

    I agree with Mike about TV weather coverage being excessive, but disagree entirely on the sports page. Sports Illustrated is not immediate, and Sportscenter takes too long to get around to what I want to know. I’d vote for more sports newsprint — and put the in-depth weather in the paper, too.

  3. jloveland says:

    I’m with you both about weather, and Bill on sports. If you like a home town team(s), there is no replacing the home town paper. If you don’t, I can see how it wouldn’t be worth your time.

    Of course all of this is bigger than us as individuals. According to extensive market research, apparently weather and sports is much more popular with the masses than the type of content that interests me. It’s the tyranny of the marketing majority. And that is why I love TiVO/DVRs so much.

  4. By the way, Loveland, that’s a damn great headline.

    Bill, I don’t expect anyone at all to agree with either of those things I said, so considering I went 1 for 2 with you is great.

    For what it’s worth, on the sports coverage: I feel strongly about what I said but, logically, would actually tend to agree with you. I know ESPN and SI aren’t the same as daily, local sports coverage.

  5. Kelly Groehler says:

    Great… load up the papers with sports, so there’s more to read in the bathroom stalls in the morning, while the rest of news and information continues to migrate out here. I’m sure there’s a lucrative market for it…

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