Marathon Morning

“Good Morning America” fans may have been a bit disappointed.

Those normally tuning into see Robin, Diane, Sam and Chris were greeted instead by Kelly, Melanie, Demetrius and Andrew. Channel Four Action News this morning extended its hours to cover this multi-part winter storm that landed on Western Pennsylvania this morning.

It’s not something we normally do, but circumstances were far from normal. A snowstorm drop 5 inches of snow overnight and led to ridiculously long delays. Then, just as the roads were getting clear, round two of snow showers and what Demetrius calls “frizzle” arrived by 9am.

You have heard our title of “Pittsburgh’s Official Winter Weather Station”. We take that title very seriously and that’s why we extend our coverage when the weather turns. There is nothing more important and more serious than when severe weather hits.

Of course, it also takes some determined people to do nearly five straight hours of live television without a script. We have quite a team in the morning, and with the emergency edition of Erin Kienzle and phone calls from our reporters and even our news director out in the field, we were able to tell viewers what was happening and what to expect.

For Kelly and me, our job goes from being anchors who tell you what’s what to a pair of air traffic controllers who direct traffic and add color to the commentary coming from many sources. While it may look easy, it’s a demanding dance for the two of us. TV news anchors are seen as people who simply read a teleprompter. Nothing could be further from the truth on a morning like this. We tossed out the script after the first hour — and basically did TV without a net for the final 3.5 hours.
That being said, I love it when we cover an unfolding story like this. It reminds me of my days doing play-by-play of a sporting event, only it’s much more serious and people really depend on the information. It’s days like this that I know I made the right decision by switching jobs.

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