OK, so it’s not cool to make fun of the size of somebody’s Doppler. I did this spot back in 2000 when WRGB erected their own Doppler radar outside their studio in Niskayuna. They went on the air claiming Doppler superiority —and we wanted to let folks know that their radar was more like a toy than a mighty tool for deeply probing the weather.
WRGB had just started airing a spot with meteorologist Steve LaPointe actually scaling the steel tower and then rappelling down. It was a meaningless but memorable stunt that demanded a firm response. Here it is:
It never aired. Management was leery of pointing and laughing at WRGB’s little radar —and since the consultants in Iowa agreed it was killed. That’s probably best. I don’t think anyone wanted to hear Channel 6 explaining that it’s not the size of your Doppler that matters, but how you use it. Even the weather war has rules of engagement.