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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Cool it, fans

Hey, we were watching the race, man! We don't care about no stupid news:

A South Bend television station is defending its decision to cut away from the finish of the Indianapolis 500 for a severe weather report.

WBND news director Aaron Ramey tells the South Bend Tribune that tornado warnings had been issued for the area on Sunday, and "public safety is a priority" for the ABC affiliate.

No tornadoes touched down in the area, but two funnel clouds were reported

Ramey says the station received complaints from "quite a few people" who missed the last-second twist finish of the 100th anniversary race, in which rookie JR Hildebrand hit the wall on the last lap and was passed by winner Dan Wheldon.

There are degrees of annoyance, aren't there? When NBC cut away from the Jets-Raiders game in 1968 for a new made-for-TV version of "Heidi," causing fans to miss a thrilling 14-point Raiders comeback in the last 65 seconds of the game, it was outrageous -- TV Guide ranked in No. 5 on the list of TV's biggest blunders.

And a certain TV station here has a habit of breaking into regular programming whenever the sky looks the least bit dark in the farthest corner of its viewing area. I won't say which station, but the interruptsions always seem to happen when I'm enjoying "Jeopardy!", OK? But I'd put that at the "merely irritating" level.

End of the 500 or warnings of possible tornadoes? Not even a close call -- no defense necessary. But split-screen technology seems to be pretty available to just about everybody these days. Why can't they keep the regular programming going in a little window while they do their public service announcements?


William Larsen
Thu, 06/02/2011 - 2:14pm

Leo, I agree with you 100%. The channels with digital now have a channel devoted to weather. In all cases where weather is getting nasty, they have a blurp in the upper left corner. I guess this is not enough and so they cut in, zoom in to areas showing a second by second blow of what the weather is doing. I think a better way is to just use the bottom of the screen for providing information "Severe Weather - x county go to channel x.3.

Bob G.
Fri, 06/03/2011 - 9:37am

I remember watching the "Heidi Bowl" back in Philly...were we ever PO'ed over that.
And NBC found us as much soon afterwards.

I agree...scroll it along the bottom (real small print, too), or split/screen it.

And while they're all at it, just do away with all the "blurbs" that pop up and tell me WHICH CHANNEL or PROGRAM I'm watching...(DUH)!

I KNOW what I'm watching (that's why I selected THAT channel, dummies), and don't need a reminder.

I'm from the "I can read a TV guide" generation - the same ones that can also READ a REAL MAP, program any electronic device, and know WHICH way to park on any given side of a street.
Amazing we made it this far...isn't it?

Good call, guys!