‘World News’ Interviews James Spann About Tornado Warnings, But Doesn’t Acknowledge Previous Report

By Merrill Knox 

After publicly criticizing Diane Sawyer and ABC News for inaccurate reporting on the Monday edition of “World News,” WBMA chief meteorologist James Spann was featured on the program last night in a segment about the tornado warning system.

The segment included reporting on how residents were able to get to safety before the tornadoes — with Sawyer noting “it could have been far worse” — but did not include acknowledgement or clarification of the previous night’s report, which stated that residents had “no warning” of the tornado threat.


ABC reporter Steve Osunsami said Alabama residents knew what to do “because the warnings came early” (watch above).

“Their trusted forecasters started spreading the word last Thursday, days before the storm,” Osunsami said.

Video of Spann’s tornado reports, as well as a short soundbite from him on the importance of NOAA radios, was used in the segment. After the broadcast aired, the meteorologist again took to his blog to share his thoughts.

“There was no apology, or mention of the botched story yesterday when Diane Sawyer said the pre-dawn tornadoes Monday were a ‘surprise’ with “no warning,'” he wrote. “A little odd how you just go from that one day, to a story on how good the warning process was the next day.”

Still, Spann said he was “very thankful to ABC News for producing the story.”