The High-Tech Texan Blog

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Y(IKE)S!!! The Sky Is Falling

I must say my brethren in the local electronic media have been doing a bit better with Hurricane Ike coverage than with past storms. I didn't sense as much hype and hysteria - at least earlier this week - as they, er WE, have done in the past.

But as of yesterday afternoon, GAME IS ON! KPRC, KTRK and KHOU all scrapped the national morning show feeds today and I just noticed they shook off the nightly national news from their affiliate HQs. It's all local all the time now. Let's just hope this thing blows over (and we still have power) by Sunday so they don't pre-empt any NFL games.

If you've ever wondered what it's like for reporters to cover a major storm, take a look at some of these iPhone-snapped photos from this afternoon. I was at our Clear Channel radio offices on the West Loop as our folks prepped for round-the-clock coverage, at least on NewsRadio 740 KTRH. Though our studios are on the 5th floor there are no chances being taken.

Plywood was laying in the hallway ready to board up the double-paned windows in case of breakage. Mattresses, blankets and cots were folded up waiting for reporters, anchors and producers to use them for catnaps over the weekend.

And let's not forget food and drink. Charlie Pena, the longtime office manager, made a Sam's run early Thursday and came back with a truckload of supplies to satisfy even J.P. Pritchard. Chips, salsa, cookies, water, soda and almost every other carbohydrate you can imagine is piled high in the several kitchens throughout the office. And if you can't find any batteries in the city, that's because they are all here.

Programming changes have already come down from the Big Wigs. All regular Saturday programming on KPRC is cancelled for continuing weather coverage. That means my show will not be heard this weekend. Ironically, Mayor White was scheduled to be my first guest to talk about Monday's NSTA State of the City Technology Forum which I had planned to emcee. That event was just now rescheduled for Monday, Oct. 6. I got a call from the mayor's office this afternoon with an apology for him being a bit preoccupied this weekend. No prob, Bill. You go guy!

I am on standby to go in to the studio to help anchor coverage and listener response on KPRC and KTRH but we should return to our regular show next Saturday, September, 20.

Buckle up people and be safe.

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