Friday, February 12, 2010

School Closings 101

I figure I'll take the opportunity to explain how our school closings alert system works, brag on it a little bit, and rant a little bit.

(My rant is about the incessant callers who are too impatient. More on that later.)

School districts must give us their assigned pin number before we report the schedule change. It's very secure.

(Aside: a couple years ago, a Dallas station got a phone call that DISD was closing. The call apparently had DISD on caller ID. It was fake. Half the kids stayed home. Epic fail.)

We enter the information directly into the tickers that you see at the bottom of the screen and the tickers automatically populate our website. That gives you three ways to find out about school closings: instantly on the web (don't have to wait for alphabetical order) or flip back and forth between KTAB and KRBC and one of them will be closer to your school than the other. Less waiting time.

(Speaking of waiting, this is the most adorable video ever!)

View more news videos at:

Anyway, we are extremely proud of our efficiency and accuracy of our school closings systems.

Now to my rant.

On days like today, from about 5:30 to 6:30 a.m., the phone rings off the hook. Schools, day cares, businesses, organizations... everyone calls to let us know what their plans are for the day and asks us to announce them. Awesome. That's why we are here. BUT our phone is constantly tied up by people who are too impatient to wait for the news. So we repeat over and over and over, "Hello? No, AISD has not yet informed us of their decision." "Hello? No, AISD has not yet informed us of their decision."

Then AISD calls. Within 90 seconds we have it online, on the tickers, and the anchors on both stations are saying it out loud exactly every 5 minutes. We then spend the next 30 minutes saying, "Hello? Yes, AISD has delayed two hours." "Hello? Yes, AISD has delayed two hours."

In the time it took you to look up our phone number, call, go through the automated line to get to us, we've probably said it it on air and run it across the ticker. Patience, people! The fact that they're calling us means they know who we are. We are a television station. TURN ON YOUR TV!

(That's my rant. I'm not really mad. Just trying to be funny. Sort of.)

Enjoy your shortened Friday!

1 comment:

  1. AISD puts a recording regarding closing or postponing school on their answering machine and their website as soon as the decision is made. And we still field calls throughout the day as people rant no matter what that decision is. Seems to me a little patience would serve all of us well.
    As a schoolbus driver, that decision is most often delivered to me after I am already at work. And from my point of view, most often the danger driving the kids to school is not the weather but other vehicles on the road.