Coverage You Can Count On: Why we cut into programming for tornado warnings

WTVM Programming
WTVM Programming(WTVM Marketing)
Published: Oct. 3, 2019 at 3:28 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - It is our policy to pre-empt programming anytime there is a tornado watch or tornado warning in our viewing area.


As the first television station on air in the Chattahoochee Valley, we have been committed to serving our community and viewers since 1953.

Part of that commitment is to provide potentially life-saving information on air during severe weather events, no matter what programming is scheduled.

How To Receive Severe Weather Alerts Overnight

This is not always popular and we understand that, but our commitment to the safety of our community comes first, ALWAYS.

In addition, we are required by the federal government to broadcast emergency information. Our license as a television station is issued based on the idea that we, “must air programming that is responsive to the needs and problems of its local community of license.”

What is our viewing area?

Our viewing area is spread over Georgia & Alabama and includes almost 500,000 people. It is made up of the following counties:

  • Georgia: Harris, Talbot, Muscogee, Chattahoochee, Marion, Schley, Stewart, Webster, Sumter, Quitman, Randolph, Clay
  • Alabama: Chambers, Lee, Russell, Barbour

This is a very large area, and we are responsible to serve the entire area with Coverage You Can Count On.

Remember, if a severe weather event does not affect you, it does not mean that others in our viewing area are not affected.

What about the programming that I missed?

If at all possible, we will work with ABC or FOX to plan a time to re-broadcast any programming that was pre-empted for severe weather coverage.

However, sometimes that is not possible due to contracts or other legal obligations.

If you have questions about how to watch the programming you missed, you can call us at 706-494-5458, email us, or message us on Facebook.

One last thing...

We do not want to preempt your favorite show. We do not want to make you miss the score during live sporting events. We hope that there is never a tornado in our area and that we are all safe from severe weather for the rest of our days.

But as we saw on March 3, 2019, that is not always possible.

On that day, we lost 23 members of our community. And on that day, we were on air for hours, giving those in the path of the storms the best information we could to save their lives.

We NEVER take your safety for granted. This is our job and our commitment to you, to provide coverage you can count on.

Copyright 2019 WTVM. All rights reserved.