KUSA - We apologize for the programming interruptions Saturday and earlier in the week. We try to minimize the disruptions to our programming schedule. When there is impending danger to the people who live in our viewing area, we have a deeper obligation and commitment to informing people about that danger for safety reasons.
9NEWS is primarily a news organization, focused on covering important stories, but especially on emergency news and weather events.
When severe weather happens, this can lead to us interrupting programs to broadcast warnings about tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, high winds and flooding.
The September 2013 flooding event was proof of how damaging and life threatening these situations can be.
We understand that some viewers will be frustrated by having their program interrupted, whether it's a sporting event or an entertainment program.
9NEWS broadcasts on four channels (9.1, 9.2, 20.1 and 20.2). Sometimes we put emergency weather alerts on all four of those channels, since viewers obviously only watch one channel at a time, and might be unaware of the emergency and its potential impact on them unless we put it on all the channels over which we have control. Whether we use one, two or all four of our channels depends on the nature of the emergency.
The text alerts you see at the bottom of the screen, usually in the form of crawling text, can provide some information, but when the weather becomes particularly dangerous we believe we have an obligation to provide full audio and visual coverage in order to show radar and live cameras and provide thorough verbal details of the storm's behavior, location, direction and speed.
During weather emergencies, decisions about whether to interrupt programming and how long to stay on the air are a collaboration among our meteorologists and news and station management. There is some judgment involved, although our decisions typically start with warnings and advisories provided by the National Weather Service.
9NEWS is obviously interested in making decisions that are in the best interests of our audience. While it's rare for viewers to unanimously agree about any of our decisions, we feel a deep obligation to provide life saving information when weather is threatening our viewers.
(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)