Earlier this week in a post about WEAU, Gray’s NBC affiliate serving La Crosse-Eau Claire, Wis., I used an account sent to me by Andrew Felix, the station’s director of promotions and creative services. His account told how WEAU performed during and after a tornado hit the area. and it was a shining example of […]
Earlier this week in a post about WEAU, Gray’s NBC affiliate serving La Crosse-Eau Claire, Wis., I used an account sent to me by Andrew Felix, the station’s director of promotions and creative services.
His account told how WEAU performed during and after a tornado hit the area. and it was a shining example of what local TV stations do best.
“I wanted to point out a couple of factual errors in the article,” said Schillinger.
“WEAU was NOT ‘the only station to have multiple meteorologist(s) on-air and multiple reporters in the field that evening for team coverage’.
“In fact, WQOW News 18 had two meteorologists live in our studio, tracking the tornado on radar during much of the evening, plus a third handling social media from her home.
“We also had four journalists in Barron County, covering the devastation the night of the tornado. One of them went live on our 10 p.m. news while the others were showing the damage on Facebook Live and other social media outlets.
“We were also the only station to show actual video of the killer tornado (submitted by one of our viewers).
“I applaud WEAU’s effort to raise money for relief…but I also want to point out that WQOW News 18 was the only station in the market to produce a 30-minute primetime special after the tornado.
“Our evening anchor, Andrea Albers, and our morning anchor, Aaron Rhody, anchored that special live from the trailer park that was destroyed by the twister. That special included a lot of information on how viewers could help their neighbors. It also included exclusive drone footage shot by our FAA-certified drone operator, Jack Hajewski.
“We were pretty proud of it. We’re a small station, with a small staff. But our team rose to the challenge of covering a disaster and performed like big-market pros,” said Schillinger.
This is another testament to what local broadcasters do best, often routinely — provide warnings about severe weather, continue with nonstop coverage and then follow up by producing a special program with information about how viewers can help their neighbors.