It's tough to keep up when news is breaking, but if you ask us, WTVT in Tampa dropped the ball during live coverage of a police shootout.
It went down Friday afternoon when cops had spotted a suspect in a number of robberies and sexual assaults. The police saw the suspect driving and gave chase. The suspect car spun out and the cops shot the guy.
It all went down live.
WTVT picked up the video live from the chopper that supplies video 3 stations in the market.
Before they threw to the video the Anchor was interviewing a Reporter. The Anchor told the Reporter that she was going to cut away. At that point the producer should have ordered the Reporter's mic killed. The Reporter kept trying to talk over the live pictures while police were firing shots.
The Anchor then told viewers what was going down and said let's watch....right then they cut back to the Anchor.
It was obvious that the station was cutting away from the dramatic because of the shooting. But the anchor never said anything and then just started to recap the story.
The live video was not graphic and other than the puffs of smoke, you really never would have figured out the police were shooting at the car.
I think the producer should have stayed with the shot. And if you're going to dump out right after the anchor says "let's watch"...... tell viewers why you are doing so!
For the record, stations WFTS and WTSP cut away from the video as those shots began as well.
We have been in the booth plenty of times for breaking news and we know how crazy it can get in there. But this was dramatic stuff and the coverage just was not very good. It's easy to produce a segment when everything falls into place, but it's when the shit hits the fan that you see just how good your Producer and talent really are.
This coverage could have been so much better.
Here's the video from WTVT: