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Residents Tune-in to Local Television During Storm (WGRZ-TV, WIVB-TV, WKBW-TV)

Topic: Disaster Relief and Recovery

The Buffalo Broadcasters Association reports that Gannett’s NBC WGRZ-TV provided non-stop coverage during the storm, pre-empting its schedule beginning early on Nov. 18. Morning hosts John Beard and Melissa Holmes were on-air for more than nine straight hours. LIN Television’s CBS affiliate WIVB-TV and E.W. Scripps’ ABC affiliate WKBW-TV aired storm coverage in place of regular morning news shows, and offered expanded news programming throughout the day. TV and radio stations also aired live news conferences featuring Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

Ratings soared for the early evening newscasts in Buffalo. WGRZ-TV, WIVB-TV and WKBW-TV had a combined rating of 37.9, which is equal to or greater than the ratings for many Buffalo Bills games this season. FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly said later, "I think when all broadcasters are put to the challenge, they step up and meet their obligations and the community needs. This time it was Buffalo that was challenged but I see that throughout the country through all kinds of crises that they face."


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