Three Gray Broadcasting TV stations in Alabama and Georgia collaborated on a 12-minute video to show what their stations did before, during and after the tornadoes on March 3. Collin Gaston, WBRC’s general manager, said it’s “a compelling story for Washington on how to handle broadcasters going forward, that there’s good value in local TV and they should be on our side.”
“Your life is in jeopardy.”
Not what you want to hear from your local TV meteorologist.
But that’s the warning Josh Johnson had for viewers on the afternoon of March 3 when he could see on radar that tornadoes were on the ground in Lee County, Ala. Johnson is the chief meteorologist for WSFA, Gray’s NBC affiliate in Montgomery.
That tornado killed 23 people and according to Johnson, it was so powerful that it sucked debris up to a height of 18,000 feet.
Three Gray TV stations in Alabama and Georgia — WBRC, the Fox affiliate in Birmingham; WSFA, the NBC affilliate in Montgomery; and WTVM in Columbus, Ga., about 80 miles east of Montgomery — collaborated on a 12-minute video to show what their stations did before, during and after the tornadoes on March 3.
The video, Beyond the Forecast, came about after a conversation between Collin Gaston, WBRC’s general manager, and Brad Streit, Gray’s SVP.
“We thought the stations’ coverage was a defining moment that illustrated why local TV was more important than ever,” said Gaston.
He added it’s “a compelling story for Washington on how to handle broadcasters going forward, that there’s good value in local TV and they should be on our side.”
Gaston said the video will be a centerpiece of a presentation to be shown to local civic leaders, Alabama state representatives and federal congressional members who regulate the broadcast industry.
“We want viewers to know what we know about those teams — that they’ve made an exceptional commitment to their communities and provided a service that they cannot find anywhere outside of local television broadcasting,” said Josh Morey, WBRC marketing director.
Morey, who produced the video, said he hopes it conveys the story of what it means to be a local broadcaster, and why it is important that broadcasters have a voice in congressional leadership.
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