Weather Channel draws ire over colorful coverage

Cable television staple increases revenue while others struggle

By Alana Semuels

Los Angeles Times (MCT)

Published: Monday, July 15 2013 1:30 p.m. MDT

"There's a lot of anecdotal evidence that certain stations put a guy on the beach to get good visuals, but it's not necessarily the smartest thing to do," said Jeffrey Lazo, an economist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, who studies the public's demand for weather forecasts. "It can be hard to separate the hype from the public service part."

Back at Breezy Point, Abrams has tried to inform viewers about how to prepare for hurricanes each time she has been on the air. She interviews the local fire chief about how candles can start fires, encourages people to have flashlights rather than candles, warns inland residents about the dangers of inland flooding and tells coast dwellers to send their family photos away during hurricane season.

She's not trying to scare anyone but wants to prepare them, Abrams said.

"I think it's all in the tone and the way you present it," she said. "A lot of it is in the delivery."

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