A Busy Day At The TV Factory

I walked in the newsroom this afternoon and ran into Joe Furey. I was in early, but he was in late… very, very late. Joe has a dual role at FoxCT and the CBS Radio station in the Hartford area. He was holding down the radio fort.

It was obvious something was brewing. There wasn’t enough to mention tornadoes Thursday night, but as I got ready for work and scanned the radar I knew we were going to get soaked if not worse. A Tornado Warning on Long Island was an attention getter!

I led the 4:00 PM News on FoxCT with a watch already posted for our six eastern counties. While live in my normal weather slot a Tornado Warning was hoisted in Connecticut.

When there’s a Tornado Warning in effect that’s what we cover! Everything else is blown out. It’s our policy. I didn’t even check with the producer (I should have since she runs the show) before explaining on the air we were going to stay with weather.

At this point things come at you quickly. Radar is close to real time. Storm reports are always delayed. My job was to stay in front of the weather.

If I wait until I see a cell over a town it’s too late!

Bridgeport had 1.6″ of rain in an hour. New Haven had over 2″. A wind gust near 60 mph was reported in Madison.

Being able to place towns from memory while sight reading a map is helpful here!

What began as a well planned show turned free form. If Joe walked out of the radio booth it meant he had info for me. He was on-the-air ASAP. No waiting. Just do it.

I began to ask the director and producer for external cameras. To their credit they totally understood. You’ve got to have the team pulling together, even if we’re not always sure where together leads.

Because of Joe’s diligence we were on-the-air showing the potential tornado in Glastonbury as the warning came up! He saw it in the radio booth and came out.

We switched to the Doppler function of the radar–unusual to see most days. This was totally Joe’s doing and I’m glad I trusted my instinct to let him lead the way. It was powerful TV for people in the storm and everyone else. His experience was showing.

As the point guy for our 2’ish hours of live coverage I hope a lot of people watched. In the end it was a day to reinforce what we have… how we do what we do… our style and sensibility in coverage. We tried to make friends.

I hope you watched.

9 thoughts on “A Busy Day At The TV Factory”

  1. Not only did I watch – I was impressed by your ability to keep talking and talking about what was happening on the radar – I kept waiting for you to take a breath!

  2. Great job, Geoff and Joe. Both of my sons have friends in the Hartford area and my oldest lives in Vernon. I’m waiting to see some additional photos from the area (Manchester in particular).

  3. Geoff – I got home from work around 3:30 as things started to pick up in Haddam – after we got settled and I realized how bad the storm was getting my first thought was to tune in, but unfortunately we lost power around 4:30 and it didn’t come back until 8:30 – friends and family were raving on FB about your coverage and I could do nothing but be jealous of their access to cable TV!! Great job!

  4. I sure did watch, Geoff. We were going out to dinner. Just to North Haven from Hamden, but that tornado watch included us. So I was glad to hear from you that our area was okay. I then felt okay about leaving my dog home alone!1 (Where are those smiley faces when you want them???) You and Joe did an amazing job. And whoever Sam is….he did pretty good, too!! It takes a village…

  5. I tuned in before 4 to get the weekend weather and saw the scroll. Stayed with you during the whole time. Warned my daughter in Pawcatuck and she hung around there until it cleared and then came home. also sent a text warning to friends in Wethersfield. I think you and your team did a fantastic job. Especially with the tornado warning before it was offical. Well done.

  6. I was not able to watch was driving home from a day of caring for my grandkids in Naugatuck to Branford, the flooding once we got to New Haven was terrible but we made it home. Geoff you and Joe are the ultimate professionals and know your stuff. We are lucky to have you both.

  7. I was VERY impressed that FOX CT NEWS took the lead in reporting the weather. These are the times when you feel safer that somebody is watching out for your safety. Also, it was impressive that Al Terzi led you into dialogue to answer questions that viewers like myself would want the answers to. You did a fabulous job and kudos to your team.

  8. My son was watching from our home on the Hebron/Lebanon line as my husband and I were on our way to the grocery store. He called to say – tornado warning in Hebron! and we turned around and went home!
    The sky was scary!

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