Tucson TV Stations Mobilized to Cover the Shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords B&C

Tucson TV stations were pressed to their limits over the weekend when the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords--that killed six and injured 20--happened in their community.

Reports B&C, "The stations typically went live at 5 a.m. Sunday morning, and stayed local for much of the day. It was, of course, all hands on deck in the newsrooms at the likes of KGUN, KOLD and KVOA, with all available reporters dropping everything to pitch in...."It feels like hurricane coverage," says KGUN News Director Forest Carr, who formerly worked in Tampa....Journal Communications' KGUN, Raycom's KOLD and Cordillera's KVOA contributed content to CNN. Carr says KGUN has gotten an assist from corporate sibling KTNV Las Vegas, which has pitched in with a reporter, photographer and Web producer, along with a live truck."

Carr added that KGUN "relied heavily on the viewers themselves to pitch in with reporting, whether it was eyewitness accounts or photos or testimony from those who knew the suspect, Jared Lee Loughner," the story says.

One dilemma KVOA faced was whether or not to air the NFL over the weekend. According to the article, KVOA President/General Manager Bill Shaw "says he was besieged with calls from both football fans and devoted local news consumers prior to the two Saturday contests, both parties fully expecting their preferred programming would air on the NBC affiliate. "It was not fun," he concedes. (KVOA aired the games, but took the pre-game, halftime and post-game slots from the network to provide viewers with updates on the shootings)."