By Roger McKinney
During what could be a month off the air, KSNF-TV anchors and reporters are keeping busy.
The news goes on, they say.
The station’s 1,017-foot tower collapsed during the May 8 storm that carried at least one wind gust that was clocked at 93 mph. The tower on West 16th Street in Joplin fell on two houses and four vehicles. No one was injured.
Those at KSNF want viewers to know they’re not on vacation, though. They haven’t gone fishing, and they’re not playing golf.
“We’ve never worked harder,” said Tiffany Alaniz, assistant news director. “We’re trying to get the word out. People think if we’re not on the air, we’re not working.”
What the news staff is doing is five-minute webcasts every two hours between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., for a total of 35 minutes of news per day. Some of the webcasts are a little longer. Alaniz said it was an effort to keep in touch with viewers.
“It’s more news than usual,” she said. “It also gives us an opportunity to expand our Web site in the time that we’re down.”
She said deadlines for reporters are more frequent and earlier under the arrangement. She said previously, some reporters didn’t arrive at work until 3 p.m. and now they might have a 2 p.m. deadline.
“One of the biggest adjustments is much earlier deadlines,” said Alaniz, who usually co-anchors the 5 p.m. newscast.
News director and anchor Jim Jackson said Wednesday that some people who have contacted him were still unaware that the tower had collapsed.
“I am so proud of this staff and what they have accomplished,” Jackson said. “By no means is this a vacation for the staff of KSN.”
Jackson and Alaniz said that during the down time, a crew of carpenters also is building a news studio.
Jackson said everyone was thankful no one was injured by the tower collapse.
“It’s just a new situation,” Jackson said of being off the air. “It’s been a stressful situation. It is a good learning experience. We roll with the flow. We’re making the best of what we have.”
Last week, John Hoffman, general manager of the television station, said there were too many variables to pinpoint exactly when the station would be back on the air.
“Right now, we’re looking at 30 days as the time frame,” he said.
The KSNF-TV webcasts can be found on the Web site KSNF shares with KODE-TV at www.fourstateshomepage.com.