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TV News Traffic Reporters

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Hi Everyone! Just wanted to see what the consensus is around TV News Traffic Reporters. Are their days numbered? Do they really serve a purpose on the morning and early afternoon shows? With traffic info at the palm of our fingertips thru Waze and Google Maps, information can be several minutes old by time it is reported. I do find value in the traffic reporters in the chopper as they are able to cover traffic and breaking news if needed. The traffic reporter in the studio, not so much. Here in Los Angeles, where traffic is ubiquitous, I use my traffic apps or I listen to KNX Traffic On the 5's to see where the traffic tie ups are. Thoughts?

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All of the DC-area stations feature traffic reporters who will also work as anchors/reporters, however when the main traffic reporter is out, typically a co-anchor will do traffic (except at WRC, they usually have Jack Taylor from WTOP fill in)

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I spoke about this briefly in one of the sub forums in the New York News section. I feel the problem here in New York City is not enough talent and traffic is really not a necessity in morning news drive or early pm drive at the least in New York City. I know that WCBS TV has gone away with a full time traffic reporter. However,  when you go down the dial on WNBC TV and WABC TV they have a main traffic reporter with 1 sub when the main reporter is out. I'm not 100% what WNYW or WPIX does with their traffic reporters..

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On 7/30/2019 at 6:41 PM, FiveNews said:

Hi Everyone! Just wanted to see what the consensus is around TV News Traffic Reporters. Are their days numbered? Do they really serve a purpose on the morning and early afternoon shows? With traffic info at the palm of our fingertips thru Waze and Google Maps, information can be several minutes old by time it is reported. I do find value in the traffic reporters in the chopper as they are able to cover traffic and breaking news if needed. The traffic reporter in the studio, not so much. Here in Los Angeles, where traffic is ubiquitous, I use my traffic apps or I listen to KNX Traffic On the 5's to see where the traffic tie ups are. Thoughts?

I would say that LA traffic in the AM requires a dedicated anchor/reporter. Ginger Chan at KTLA is one of the best in the business and the show would be missing a huge key factor without her reports. When she isn't there typically Lynette Romero or Wendy Burch will fill-in for her.

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Unless if you're Ginger Chan, Sal Castaneda, or another well-known personality with a lot of viewer loyalty, the future of TV traffic reporters doesn't look good.

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I think it's funny that two Green Bay stations have added traffic reporters: WBAY and WLUK. Aside from a few hiccups on the highways, there really isn't that much unpredictable traffic in the area.

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30 minutes ago, hfiles said:

I think it's funny that two Green Bay stations have added traffic reporters: WBAY and WLUK. Aside from a few hiccups on the highways, there really isn't that much unpredictable traffic in the area.

 

It's simple, consistent, cheap filler. Have a 'weathercaster' cover that report and you shave 5-7 off your newscasts.

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37 minutes ago, ABC 7 Denver said:

 

It's simple, consistent, cheap filler. Have a 'weathercaster' cover that report and you shave 5-7 off your newscasts.

That's what baffles me: WLUK has a dedicated person doing these traffic reports. WBAY has a third anchor that basically splits duties between news and traffic.

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1 hour ago, hfiles said:

That's what baffles me: WLUK has a dedicated person doing these traffic reports. WBAY has a third anchor that basically splits duties between news and traffic.

 

Here's the question about the WLUK reporter. What does s/he sell on the side? Real Estate? This cannot be a full-time gig. Check their LinkedIn page.

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Some traffic reporters are part-time, paid by the traffic map/drive-time provider. Some are just on-air talent who turn a couple of stories after the morning show ends, do feature segments elsewhere in the morning show, and so on. My youngest brother, who barely watches news, uses Waze. I suspect most prefer that or a similar app.

Edited by TheRob
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5 hours ago, C Block said:

Unless if you're Ginger Chan, Sal Castaneda, or another well-known personality with a lot of viewer loyalty, the future of TV traffic reporters doesn't look good.

Nothing beats Jennifer York. She was tough and good in KTLA’s SkyCam5. Once in a while she would in during news @ ten during breaking news 

4 hours ago, ABC 7 Denver said:

 

It's simple, consistent, cheap filler. Have a 'weathercaster' cover that report and you shave 5-7 off your newscasts.

KSWB does that with their weathercasters doing Weather and Traffic.

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1 hour ago, SFTV said:

Nothing beats Jennifer York. She was tough and good in KTLA’s SkyCam5. Once in a while she would in during news @ ten during breaking news 

 

We still have Jennifer York in LA. She does traffic for All News KNX-AM during morning drive. Still smooth as ever. The only 2 traffic reporters I trust in LA are Ginger and Jennifer. Alysha Del Valle at KNBC has a following as well. She was at KABC for several years. Like I said, though, Ginger and Jennifer are legit!

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A lot of the traffic reporters stations add to the fold nowadays have some other role. Anchoring the noon or later morning show, fill in WX, transportation reporter, etc.

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On 8/2/2019 at 2:32 PM, TheRob said:

Some traffic reporters are part-time, paid by the traffic map/drive-time provider. Some are just on-air talent who turn a couple of stories after the morning show ends, do feature segments elsewhere in the morning show, and so on. My youngest brother, who barely watches news, uses Waze. I suspect most prefer that or a similar app.

 

You're saying traffic maps companies pay the talent? Why/How does that work?

 

More importantly, traffic in newscasts is outdated. Smartphones and the internet changed that. I don't think I've ever adjusted my driving because of a traditional TV traffic report. Traffic segments just take up time, and for me as a viewer, I feel like my time is wasted with them. They are basically the same thing every day. Slowdown here, wreck there, yada yada. In today's day and age, if there is any significant traffic issue to report, the news talent can easily report it as a news story.

 

Also, PM traffic reports are even more ridiculous because people at work are not watching TV to see how their commute home will be, and I don't buy the argument that's it's useful for family at home to know if their relative may be stuck in traffic. Again, smartphones.

 

On 8/2/2019 at 9:04 PM, AJClementeFan69 said:

A lot of the traffic reporters stations add to the fold nowadays have some other role. Anchoring the noon or later morning show, fill in WX, transportation reporter, etc.

 

True. Not surprising at all, but this is evidence that hiring traffic people just for traffic doesn't have a payoff in and of itself to justify the cost, so now stations have traffic people do more things.

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3 hours ago, PTVNews said:

 

You're saying traffic maps companies pay the talent? Why/How does that work?

 

 

 

They are contract workers. When Kalyna Atrinos was the PM Traffic anchor at KABC, she worked for Total Traffic, but appeared on KABC's air. It was a partnership between Total Traffic and KABC. TT provides the talent, KABC provides the airtime. Presently, I believe Kalyna anchors at KGTV San Diego.

Edited by FiveNews

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On 8/4/2019 at 6:51 AM, FiveNews said:

 

They are contract workers. When Kalyna Atrinos was the PM Traffic anchor at KABC, she worked for Total Traffic, but appeared on KABC's air. It was a partnership between Total Traffic and KABC. TT provides the talent, KABC provides the airtime.

 

 

But how does Total Traffic get paid?

Why does TT and other traffic services even exist?

 

 

 

 

Edited by Eat News
ITZY "ICY" MV .. https://youtu.be/zndvqTc4P9I

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6 hours ago, ttvn2000 said:

 

It looks to be part time. https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissamccrady/

 

Quote

"In February 2016 I resigned from my position with the Mequon-Thiensville School District in order to stay home full-time to care for my sick child.
March 2019 I returned to television as a traffic reporter for WLUK-TV Fox 11 Green Bay.
 "

 

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On 8/2/2019 at 12:21 PM, hfiles said:

I think it's funny that two Green Bay stations have added traffic reporters: WBAY and WLUK. Aside from a few hiccups on the highways, there really isn't that much unpredictable traffic in the area.

There used to be no traffic updates until the state DOT added their sensors and traffic cameras during the continuing purgatory that is the I-41/172 reconstruction; it used to be their 'traffic reporting' was viewers calling saying the Frigo bridge was jammed up and someone had to confirm as such.

 

Especially between Green Bay and Appleton, and Appleton/Oshkosh (and a smaller extent Manitowoc/Green Bay), it can be justified; and don't forget the roundabouts we'll never get used to driving around. If anything, thank the states for adding sensors and cams that allow traffic to be tracked in smaller markets.

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Some stations like WBFF and WJLA have what they call MobileTrak. It’s a person driving around in a car (sponsored by a dealership) with multiple cameras that the driver can select and go live. 

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All New Orleans stations have morning traffic reporters except WGNO. Chief meteorologist Hank Allen does traffic with his weather segments. I believe all get traffic info from TotalTraffic N.O. The traffic reporters have helped out with hurricane coverage in the past.

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2 hours ago, PelicanGuy said:

 The traffic reporters have helped out with hurricane coverage in the past.

 

If I was a news director...

I would make  all my traffic reporters do the reports live in the middle of rush hour traffic...dodging cars...active stand-ups in the actual traffic lanes.

 

"Suck on that... Jim Cantore!"

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On 8/5/2019 at 9:23 PM, rkolsen said:

Some stations like WBFF and WJLA have what they call MobileTrak. It’s a person driving around in a car (sponsored by a dealership) with multiple cameras that the driver can select and go live. 

 

WSYX has (or had) that too. I thought it was pretty cheesy at first, but it's pretty cool in bad weather.

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11 minutes ago, DirtyHarry said:

 

WSYX has (or had) that too. I thought it was pretty cheesy at first, but it's pretty cool in bad weather.

The mobile tracks at Sinclair are odd with the odd camera box on the roof when now it could easily be accommodated inside the vehicle. 

 

The CBS station’s have Mobile (channel #). WJZ probably uses it as a live truck but whenever they do a live and drive they brand it that way. I saw inside the CBS NY garage they had three Weather Labs suburbans and three mobile twos. 

Edited by rkolsen

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While we're on the topic of traffic anchors on TV stations, why aren't there any traffic anchors on the weekend AM news?  Seems kinda weird to me to have weather but not traffic on Sat/Sun mornings...

Edited by kdex86

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