BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - June marks three months since the devastating tornadoes ravaged parts of Alabama. According to the National Weather Service a total of 12 tornadoes hit the state, the worst being an EF-4 that hit Lee County, killing 23 people.
Leaders at Gray-TV owned stations in Alabama created this video (below) to educate and inform our viewers about why we invest our time, money and resources into providing severe weather information.
Meteorologists at local broadcast TV stations are highly qualified and intelligent professionals that invest great sums of time and money into themselves so they can be their very best for you – our audiences. The meteorologists you were introduced to in the video are all 4-year college educated, with specialized geoscience and/or meteorology degrees. Once on the job at a television station, they all committed to furthering their expertise through additional study, testing and on-air evaluations to earn premier American Meteorology Society (AMS) seals of approval.
With business costs in the millions, it’s important to note the critical role local businesses hold in the sustainability of local broadcasting. Without the support of local businesses and the ad dollars they invest at our station’s, a local broadcaster’s ability to deliver local news to the communities we serve would be compromised. This relationship is symbiotic, as local businesses also benefit greatly by leveraging the large, loyal, local and engaged audience’s that local broadcasters can provide.
“We’d like your support and demand our congressional leaders support local broadcasting”, said Collin R. Gaston, WBRC FOX6 Vice President and General Manager. “Specifically, allowing local broadcast companies to expand their ownership of station’s within markets to create stronger operations to serve the communities in which we operate and give us the ability to compete on a more level playing field against the ‘giants’”.
In an ideal world, the news and programming a local television broadcaster provides might be set up as a public service. That would be great except for the fact it wouldn’t happen without additional taxation to fund. The “bridge” that allows local broadcasters to produce and deliver local news, weather, community and entertainment programming free of charge is the selling of advertising. This business model is under attack from unregulated behemoths like Facebook, Google, and Netflix. These unregulated companies threaten to tap into the local broadcast ad pool, diminishing our ability to grow and further invest in our operations. These companies have never delivered real-time information about a storm with their own local weather team, or following a storm, spend an entire week raising money through local telethons to help rebuild a community. This amplifies the point and calls out false narrative that local broadcasting is dying. The truth – local television stations are the last sustainable local news organization, but we need your help.