My Turn: Why we break into programming during severe weather - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

My Turn: Why we break into programming during severe weather

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We interrupt this program to bring you a very important message. I know those eleven words are enough to invoke some strong reactions from viewers.

It happened recently. We had a tornado warning in our area and we had to cut into Jeopardy. We heard from dozens of viewers who were upset at the timing of our interruption.

First, let me tell you - we don't like to break into programming. We want to see our program schedules run as planned. Dealing with interruptions costs us both time and money.

But for me it's as simple as this. When there is a tornado warning in our coverage area, bad stuff can happen quickly and we need to be ready to impart that information as it develops. That's tough to do with a simple crawl at the bottom of the screen.

I don't know about you, but I couldn't live with myself if someone in our area gets killed by a tornado because we didn't do all we could to warn viewers by sticking with the storm and reporting its every move.

I'm sorry for the interruptions, but timely public safety information is an obligation we don't take lightly.

That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at


Emailed comments from viewers:

People will complain about anything but covering severe weather?  The rest of us thank you for letting us know when to take shelter.  Of course, there ARE people who stand outside to watch lightening. 


I complained because of the weather man saying at 8 p.m. That we had not missed anything.  it was a dumb comment to make.  Of course you need to cut in!


My husband and I want to THANK ALL OF YOU for putting our safety ahead of a Television Program.  Anyone who criticized a break in the programming due to the announcements on severe weather information needs a lesson on hurricane and tornado disasters.  The faster you know the faster you can save yourself or someone you love.  Keep up the GOOD WORK.


I just saw people were upset that jeopardy was interrupted by a tornado warning. I can't believe the lack of compassion for their fellow neighbors safety of a threat of their lives in a furry of nature. If a tornado was approaching my neighborhood I would be infuriated that the local news channel didn't interrupt my local program to warn me. It's a public duty and service for a news station to try to warn and save as many people as possible. I love the fact that your station is so in loved on sending out warnings for severe weather it may be what saves my life one day!


Understand the need to notify people of the weather event.  We watched the news the next day and it was announced that Jeopardy would be shown at 3 in the morning.  We taped the station at the time and the program was not on at that time.  We never saw the end of the tournament of champions and never knew who won.  The follow up was a let down.


I find it absolutely absurd that people are complaining about Jeopardy being interrupted to broadcast a weather warning/watch.  Please continue to keep up the good work.  I would be interested to know what age group did the complaining?  This leads me to believe people's intelligence is declining instead of getting better.  Thanks for letting us know about bad weather in any way you can.


Could not agree more!


Hey heres a solver for everyone! Make it a small box at the bottom corner. It should be our decision how we want to react to these warnings anyways. If you do that than you can say you did your part. Its not that big of a deal to make the interruption a small box. A lot of people pay big money for tv and I for one dont like to be interrupted. I could deal with a small box in the corner though. Or even a script running at the bottom. I mean are you guys going re-air the tv we miss because of that and if so will it be a convenient time for everyone? Prob not. Just my 2 cents.


I am thankful for the program interruptions during severe weather. No tv show is more important than the safety of my son, husband and myself. I think it's a wonderful thing y'all do for us. Don't let that small portion of people who see tv more important, to ruin the good thing being done.


BRAVO to you sir!  Thank you so much for telling how things are done, I'm so sorry we do have a segment of society that just can't see past the nose on their face and we need more people like you to speak out.


We just moved from Connecticut (60 years there) to North Carolina...

I am very pleased that you do inform the people about the severe weather. Sometimes I think you don't have enough coverage on it. In Connecticut the weathermen would be on the station full coverage all day long if needed. Many times interrupting all programming. Please keep up the great work, and the people that comment about the interruption would feel so much better that you did do in if it happened to them.


In spite of the fact that it is, in actuality, special safety information for the public, which I whole-heartedly agree, there just is no excuse for cutting off a program or interrupting one, when a simple crawl across the bottom of the picture will do.  Everyone reads those crawls, and if you want to highlight them or parts of them in some way, fine...but please don't mess with our beloved programs.  We see enough weather reports on each newscast anyway; far too many minutes are devoted each night to weather so that we receive virtually no other news at all.  Most of us have obediently prepared for the worst, own one of the weather radios, and have to sit through at least three weather "reports" each and every night.  We deserve better from you, public safety or not.

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