CNN meteorologist Chad Myers touched off a debate about weather forecasting today when he said local news directors often tell meteorologists to hype a storm to get viewers to tune in.
In a live report during Reliable Sources this morning, as Myers was driving around New York City covering the blizzard, Brian Stelter asked: “Is there a different dynamic for a national broadcaster than a local one?”
Myers said: “I’ve worked at many local stations. I’ve worked in Columbus, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Oklahoma City, and news directors will always say, ‘Hey, bump up your numbers a little bit, make it sound a little more juicy.’ We don’t do that at CNN because we don’t have to, because would have to bump up everything.”
He continued: “Now. Yes, there are places across the country, that say ‘make this sound a little bit better.’ But clearly we don’t do it nationally.”
NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen questioned the comment on Twitter, which got other meteorologists to chime in:
Go to 1:55: CNN weather guy says local news directors would tell him to "bump up" the numbers so storms sound juicy. https://t.co/MWTd42Mz0o
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) January 25, 2016
— Ryan Vaughan (@ryanvaughan) January 25, 2016
Never had my News Director say to "make the numbers more juicy", @chadmyerscnn. Accuracy (and trust) is better for ratings than "juiciness".
— Jacob Wycoff (@4cast4you) January 25, 2016
Total BS… IMO https://t.co/CqBkJiE9lf
— Sean McLaughlin CBS5 (@SeanOnTV) January 25, 2016
Thank you to all the local #meteorologists who work tirelessly to bring the best forecasts to their viewers. I appreciate you. ❤️
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) January 25, 2016