The weather in South Central Texas can get pretty repetitive, especially in the middle of the summer when the thermometer rarely dips below 100 degrees.
And no one knows that better than KSAT meteorologist Kaiti Blake in San Antonio. Rather than figure out yet another way to say ‘Tomorrow’s weather — just like today’s!’ she decided to try something completely different.
One day last March, Blake went up to the roof of her station armed with just her cell phone, an intern and an idea, and “Rooftop Weather“ was born.
She started out recording the segments on her cell phone, and then edited them when she could, usually between the things she was supposed to be doing in the newsroom. As she began filling in for other meteorologists on Thursdays and Fridays, she wasn’t sure she’d be able to keep up with “Rooftop Weather” though. “For a while there it was touch and go,” Blake said.
Despite that difficulty, and the frustration that came with it, Blake found motivation from her fans on social media. “I quickly found out that if I missed a week, people tweeted at me,” Blake said. The segment had garnered a following, and she felt responsible to her fans to produce something consistent — “something people looked forward to at the end of each week.”
So Blake reached out to KSAT Digital Producer Andrew Wilson. That led to a new routine of Blake and Wilson going up to the roof on Thursdays to record that week’s segment with a DSLR camera.
This push for innovation is not something that stops with Blake. As KSAT News Director Bernice Kearney explained, it’s a culture she tries to foster at the station. “My whole thing, [is] we want people to feel empowered to do things like this,” Kearney said. We want to “give people the freedom and flexibility to see what works for them.”
The videos themselves feature what Blake calls “well-placed GIFs,” parkour scenes, dance breaks, emojis, wildly colored headlines and — oh, I almost forgot — some actual weather. Blake says the whole idea is to allow her followers to relate to the content in a more “organic” way than a traditional weather segment.
According to Kearney there’s definitely an appetite for content produced in new, exciting and different ways. Sometimes people have a preconceived notion of what news — and weather — have to look like, but “you don’t have to have a formula to have an impact,” Kearney said.
Do you have your own examples of creative weather segments? Just send them to us and we’ll check them out. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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