August 1, 2014

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Pre-recorded Radio Weather

An area radio station is airing week-old weather forecasts as if they are current.

Let me be clear about this,  I'm talking automated radio here...not television.

Recently an alternative newspaper in my town ran an editorial in which the editor (a man I respect a lot) pointed out that a local radio station is out of sync.

Let's just call them "WMPO Radio" just to make up a name.

It appears that this AM station, which is basically just a repeater for satellite sports talk radio, pre-records everything, and then inserts it on an automated basis.

Commercials, public service announcements, Legal IDs, the weather.... the works.

There is not a live announcement or DJ in the entire day.

So imagine his surprise when listening to the weather forecast and hearing,  "Partly Cloudy and 85 Today, High 90 Tomorrow, and Saturday 88 and Sunny again."

The problem is that this is only Tuesday... and tomorrow is Wednesday and then Thursday.  Saturday doesn't even enter into it.

He figured out that WMPO was airing pre-recorded weather forecasts at least a week out of date, on the wrong days, regardless of what the weather ACTUALLY is.

Think about this for a minute.  If there was a Tornado Watch, listeners wouldn't know it.

If there was a 90% Chance of Severe Thunderstorms or flooding, their listeners would not know it.

In fact, they might be told that all is well and warm, when all is NOT well and dangerous.

This is why weather is not supposed to be pre-recorded.  This is why the News is supposed to be read live.

In fact, this is a very good reason for the FCC to get involved. Besides issuing a "show cause" order to explain why and how this was happening and leveling a fine, the FCC could pull the license from the broadcast station.

This would mean fines, penalties and ultimately, loosing their business.  It's not likely that it would progress this far on the first time... but if this is the amount of attention that WMPO puts into their station...

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