KSLA Severe Weather Policy
(KSLA) - The KSLA First Alert Weather Team is committed to your safety in times of severe weather. Our goal is to provide you with the critical information during dangerous weather that you need to protect your family and property. This sometimes means that we have to interrupt your favorite television or sports program. We understand how that can be frustrating, but in our opinion, providing potentially life-saving information is more important than any television program.
We provide severe weather coverage not only because we feel we have a moral obligation to do so, but as a television station operating on the public airwaves, it also fulfills a requirement of our license to broadcast. According the Federal Communications Commission, “In exchange for obtaining a valuable license to operate a broadcast station using the public airwaves, each radio and television licensee is required by law to operate its station in the ‘public interest, convenience and necessity.’ This means that it must air programming that is responsive to the needs and problems of its local community of license.” There is no greater service we can provide for our community than passing along emergency weather information.
Our guidelines for interrupting regular television programming are the following:
If a Tornado Warning is issued by the National Weather Service, or we have reason to believe that a tornado is occurring or imminent, we will provide continuous weather coverage until the warning expires or the threat to lives and property has ended. In most cases, this continuous weather coverage will replace our regularly scheduled programming. During live sporting events, we may opt to use a split screen so that you can see and hear the weather information, but still allowing you to watch the event.
At other times when the threat to life or property is lesser, we will provide on-air weather information in the form of a continuous crawl at the top or bottom of the screen. You can expect to see occasional, but brief programming interruptions to pass along the latest information. During these lower risk weather situations, more comprehensive information can be found on our website, our mobile weather app, and on our social media pages.
Here are some FAQs:
I live in Shreveport. Why are you interrupting my favorite show for weather that’s in Texas or Arkansas?
KSLA’s local television coverage area includes 26 parishes/counties across four states. That’s more than 20,000 square miles! We are the local CBS affiliate television station from Idabel, Okla. to Natchitoches, La. to Marshall Texas, to Arcadia, La. and everywhere in between.
People throughout the ArkLaTex count on us to track dangerous storms. Just because it’s not storming where you are doesn’t mean that the weather is not affecting someone else in our coverage area. You can be assured that the next time severe weather is in your backyard, we will provide the same coverage for you that we do for your neighbors.
You already crawl weather information at the top and bottom of the screen; why isn’t that enough?
The technology that we have available to track storms allows us to pinpoint down to individual streets where the most dangerous part of a storm is. We cannot provide that sort of precise information through an automated crawl. Plus, at times, there may be multiple damaging storms occurring at the same time and storms can strengthen and weaken over time. So much information scrolling on the screen without explanation would get very confusing, potentially putting lives and property at risk.
Are you going to re-air the show that I missed because of weather coverage?
If we completely preempt a first run program, we often will re-air it at a later date and time. The rebroadcast date and time will be announced during our newscasts.