JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - This week we had significant severe weather. The First Alert Weather Team provided continuous coverage, what we call wall-to-wall, for more than eight hours. The storms were intense, causing extensive damage to homes and businesses. Fortunately, in Mississippi no one was killed. Sadly, there were fatalities in Louisiana and Alabama.
Monday night was the season finale of the Voice. The Voice is one of the top shows on TV and people want to see their shows. I get it, I watch the Voice every week and missed the final performances as well.
We never like to preempt programming, especially our most popular shows and sporting events. We only do that when there are tornado warnings or major breaking news. Some of you called to complain when the Voice wasn’t airing, suggesting we should move our weather coverage to another channel or that were doing it for financial gain. Unfortunately, our secondary channels are not carried across the market on all satellite and cable providers like our primary NBC channel, so many people who were in the path of a storm would not receive the potentially life saving information. Second, when we are wall-to-wall no commercials are running. We don’t make money by not running our client’s spots.
WLBT covers 24 counties in Central and Southwest Mississippi. It’s a big area, with hundreds of thousands of people. We realize it can be very frustrating when your area is not dealing with a storm. However, whether the tornado is threatening 200,000 people or 20 people, we will stay on the air until the danger has passed. That’s our #1 responsibility.
Hopefully our storm coverage this week let people know when to take shelter as tornadoes were bearing down on their communities. It meant covering up some popular programming, but maybe those warnings played a role in no one in Mississippi getting killed by these deadly storms.