Stations in Dallas went wall to wall with the memorial for those killed in the explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas.
Well most of the Dallas stations...
WFAA8 acted alone Thursday afternoon. And its decision to mostly ignore the memorial service at Baylor University.
It was puzzling if not inexplicable.
D-FW’s three other major TV news providers -- Fox4, NBC5, CBS11 -- all carried the service live and in its entirety. It consumed just over two-and-half-hours, ending at 4:52 p.m. Thursday.
WFAA8, which not so long ago touted its willingness to “cross state lines” in pursuit of a story with a solid local angle, interrupted regular programming only for President Obama’s remarks. The President, who with First Lady Michelle Obama stayed for the complete service, spoke from 3:54 to 4:10 p.m. WFAA8 then immediately cut back to Katie, whose featured guest was Celine Dion. The ABC affiliate also ran its regularly scheduled syndicated 2 to 4 p.m. lineup of Anderson Live (which has been canceled for next season) and Dr. Oz.
WFAA8 news director Carolyn Mungo has not returned an email, sent several hours ago, asking for an explanation of why the station did what it did.
The memorial service was streamed on wfaa.com, but one first had to sit through a commercial. There also were problems with the video, which ran behind the live, commercial-free televised coverage on Fox4, NBC5 and CBS11.
Earlier Thursday, WFAA8 saw fit to air a live one-hour warmup show for the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. That makes its virtual blow-off of the West, TX memorial service all the more bizarre. Fox4, NBC5 and CBS11 didn’t have 9 a.m. warmup shows, but otherwise joined WFAA8 in carrying the Bush event live and commercial-free.
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