Q: Does WFIR really have weather every 30 minutes, all the time?

  • A: Well, almost all the time. There are a few exceptions, such as during football or basketball broadcasts, during special block programming early on Sunday mornings, or during Presidential speeches etc., when there is no logical place to break. To be one hundred per cent accurate, our phrase “weather every 30 minutes all the time” is shorthand for “almost all the time.” We’re not trying to be deceptive; we’re trying to be brief!

Q: Why is there a short pause, often during a newscast, at exactly the same time every morning and evening?

  • A: That pause is due to an operation called pattern change, which happens every day at about sunrise and about sunset. Due to certain laws of physics, AM stations can interfere with distant AM stations on the same frequency under nighttime atmospheric conditions. Therefore the FCC requires most AM stations to change their directional pattern between sunset and sunrise. We are required to set our controls for the exact time prescribed by the FCC and that’s why there can be a glitch during a newscast. Pattern change times change once a month. They happen latest in the morning and earliest in the evening during the winter months when the days are the shortest.

Q: You always air ABC News on the hour and half hour, but your Fox newscasts come on anywhere from 46 past to 58 past. Why?

  • A: That’s because we air the newscasts during breaks in our syndicated talk shows. The talk hosts take their top hour and half hour breaks at fixed times, but the times of other breaks vary from host to host and also vary hour to hour depending on the flow of the show, and as a result, so do the times of the Fox newscast.