Sunday, August 28, 2011

Storm Studs

Like many other HoCo locos, we spent the better part of yesterday hunkered down at home. While riding out Irene we watched movies, drank wine and regularly checked in with The Weather Channel and a couple of the Baltimore TV stations to see how the storm was progressing. Each media outlet featured a reporter, standing in the middle of the storm, telling us how bad it was where they were.

Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel is the rock star of storm reporters. Jim has stood in front of a camera while Hurricanes Gustav, Katrina, Isabel, Rita, Andrew, Floyd, Mitch, Bonnie and now Irene,  raged around him. While others may run from storms, Jim runs to them. He is a storm stud.

The citizens of New York are storm studs. In a report on NBC news last night, Harry Smith reported from Times Square that, while all the Starbucks in the city had closed and the subways had shut down, the bars and liquor stores were still open.

We had local storm studs too. Sheldon Dutes, a reporter with WBAL gave reports from several locations in Ocean City during the storm. At times he had difficulty standing. Mike Hellgren with WJZ was in the thick of it too. I also noticed that the network weather guys had much nicer storm gear than these two guys.

The biggest storm stud of all, in my book anyway, is Frank Batten. Frank started The Weather Channel in 1982 and a lot of people thought he was nuts. Nobody would ever watch a station a devoted entirely to weather they said. In those early years it sometimes looked as if the skeptics might be right.

Obviously they weren’t. In 2008 Frank sold The Weather Channel  to NBC for $3.8 billion.

Frank died in 2009. He was the original storm stud.
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