Reporting on Local Television News Since 1981
Covering the Home Front
"The liberation of Kuwait has begun."
--- President George Bush
January 16, 1991
As the bombing raids began on targets in Iraq and Kuwait in 1991, stations
immediately moved into action. News crews were positioned at military institutions,
visited families of military personnel in the Gulf, and generally covered how their
communities were reacting to the news.
Many stations dropped commercials for the first 24 hours and stayed on all night,
supplementing network coverage with live local cut-ins.
HUT levels for President Bush's speech explaining the start of the war were very high.
In Detroit, it was 84.
In Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, it was 80.6.
In St. Louis, KSDK's network and local programming averaged a 32 rating and a 43
In Dallas, WFAA-TV had a 29.3/40 from 7 to 10 p.m. And in Minneapolis, WCCO-
TV had a 27.4/37.
War plans were ready
There were many effective special formats and devices created to report on action that
was on the other side of the world.
Some of these included:
Basics arranged in advance. The assignments inside the newsroom and
outside in the community, the graphics, sets, and special programs were ready.
There were lists of expert guests and relatives of the troops willing to talk.
File tape of military weapons, the personalities, and the terrain were on