A Little Side Income while In the Field

There are a number of you I know work deals with local TV stations and with the national for your storm footage. I'd like to offer you and others the opportunity to be paid for your knowledge, as well -- and not have to dash back to a TV station or Wi-Fi site to do it!

A friend and I provide custom local news and weather programming for a growing network of staions across the nation. We'd like to offer a severe weather package to stations who have never considered it before. Ryan (the meteorologist) and I (the news guy and chaser) will be doing cut-ins for stations in the path of the storms...and we'd like to make those of you who are interested iin getting your voice on the radio part of it!

From your viewpoint, here's how it would work: we would set up a group through Tyler's www.spotternetwork.org, and anyone who choses to be part of the group would also join. On a chase day, we'd post on our web site where we felt we would most need people -- you could take this into your plans if you chose, or not.

If you ended up chasing in the area of one of our stations, we would call you from time to time (and you'd have our number, too) to get a short "what's happening" audio bit -- something to the effect of "I'm looking northwest and seeing a short rop funnel trying to touch down about 5 miles away." or "Getting large hail here...what you're hearing on the car is about the size of baseballs!".

Basically, we're looking to integrate whoever's in the area into our on-air coverage -- without restricting you to covering in our area. It's pobbile you could do reports for us on Monday in Kansas, on Tuesday in Iowa, and on Wednesday in northern Kentucky.

It'd be nothing more than side money -- maybe $5 a report or so. But if you have a PayPal account & debit card, we can credit the payment to you right away, so it would be something you could use while you're still on the road.

We'd view this as something subordinate to your other content (video or audio) agreements, and would not ask you to do anyting that would cause you exclusivity probems if you have existing agreements of that sort.


We do have a couple of prerequsites -- either you have completed more than one NWS spotter course, or you have at least two active chasing/spotting seasons under your belt. The primary determiner on selection will be a verbal interview -- as you'd expect, we want people who communicate well and accurately in terms lay people can follow.

In addition to the money, we can offer you another layer of nowcasting -- just give us a call.


Interested? Please PM me...I'll answer questions in general terms in the forum, but would prefer to talk specifics in PM. Thanks!

Scott Roberts
President/News Dreictor
www.CustomRadioNews.net
Storm Chaser, Former Chase Coordinator for KWCH-TV/Wichita, KS
Storm Spotter, Former Chase Coordinator for KFDI Radio/Wichita, KS
NWS Certified SkyWarn Spotter
 
$5?!

I'm not knocking you, I know you're trying to make an honest buck. I guess I didn't realize how much water the radio industry had taken on.
 
$5?!

I'm not knocking you, I know you're trying to make an honest buck. I guess I didn't realize how much water the radio industry had taken on.

It's not that. It's that we're a startup company, bootstrapping ourselves and living quite hand-to-mouth at the moment. We're trying to put together another service offering (severe weather coverage) that would help us grow. Whatever money I pay out for reports comes out of my own mouth, almost literally. I understand your point, too -- and I know even the small added inconvenience of answering a phone call and telling me what you're seeing isn't worth it to some people at this price. Others would probably do it for free, but I wouldn't ask that. We each have our own bottom line.
 
More Details

I've had a number of questions concerning how this would work, so for those of you wondering but who might not want to ask, here's how I imagine it will work at the moment.

If you happen to be active in an area where we have a station, I would give you a call when it looked from radar like you might have something to report. Sometimes, that might be that you're upstream from a storm that's warned, and you can tell it's laying down a good amount of large hail -- even though you might not be experiencing it yourself. Your phone might ring when it was incovenient to talk -- I understand that, just tell me you don't have time, and I'll call you back a little later.

You would also have my number and my partner's number, and could call us to make a report anytime you like. From being in the field, I know how far down the list of priorities that can fall, though. And if we haven't talked earlier in the day, calling us would mean you'd have to know the signal areas of all the stations we happen to be on any given day -- information I don't see any reason to burden you with tracking.

This is meant to be something simple and easy for you, and something that allows us to market a severe weather service that's different from our competitors. We know one of the down sides is that we're going to have a different set of people each time we go on the air, and there's always the chance that what's going on in our coverage areas isn't of chaser interest, so we'll have no one but ourselves.

Hope that sets out more clearly what we envision doing, and that several more people will be interested. For competitive reasons, I've discussed about all I can publicly, but will be glad to tell you more by PM or e-mail.
 
Most of the radio stations that I know of, well... at least in Oklahoma anyway, have "spotters" or even have the general public just call in with reports, etc. How are your services any different and what areas are you marketing? I see your signature mentions you're the former coordinator with KFDI there in Wichita. For as long as I had lived in Oklahoma, I do recall KFDI having one of the best teams of chasers/spotters (probably well over a dozen reporters in the field) during any given event. There are also those stations who simply switch over and use the live reports from local TV stations (simulcasting), so I'm just curious how you'll market this. Again, just questions.
 
Most of the radio stations that I know of, well... at least in Oklahoma anyway, have "spotters" or even have the general public just call in with reports, etc. How are your services any different and what areas are you marketing? I see your signature mentions you're the former coordinator with KFDI there in Wichita. For as long as I had lived in Oklahoma, I do recall KFDI having one of the best teams of chasers/spotters (probably well over a dozen reporters in the field) during any given event. There are also those stations who simply switch over and use the live reports from local TV stations (simulcasting), so I'm just curious how you'll market this. Again, just questions.


Oklahoma is a place I cannot market this year, unfortunately (contractural reasons). Next year will be a different story. Probably the best way to respond is to say "it ain't that way everywhere." Oklahoma, parts of Kansas, and parts of Texas do severe weather coverage pretty well. But it's sadly lacking from the radio in many locations outside those areas -- something we hope to change.
 
I know my local radio stations (at least the ones I listen to) do not do anything more than maybe mention the warnings, at the most.
 
For as long as I had lived in Oklahoma, I do recall KFDI having one of the best teams of chasers/spotters (probably well over a dozen reporters in the field) during any given event.

Ahh...there's the magic of radio. KFDI only has four mobile units. Add in a person or two on their cell phone from time to time, and the most I've ever heard in coverage until the past two years was 6, plus 2 in-studio.

In the past two years it has grown because the regular KWCH chasers started reporting for KFDI, too. I think I've heard up to 9 people during the course of one event now.


Between Ryan, me, and even one or two chasers in an area, we can not only sound good, but really inform people. And that's the goal of it all!
 
I think this is something worth offering if the market supports it. From my standpoint, and it's my usual medical concern as usual, is what, if anything, will you be able to do to help the public as well as the chaser. If I'm talking with you, I'm not calling 9-1-1 or NWS. Would you be willing to contact people to assist in public safety? I know that Tim Vasquez has been very helpful in relaying information when I've spoken with him in the past. I'm curious what your thoughts are there?

On a seperate note, I like your idea and your enthusiasm. I want to wish you luck on your endeavor! :)
 
I think it's a burgeoning aspect of radio...to get trained chasers who know what they are looking at to do quick "phoners". I grow very weary of general public reports of guys babbling about gust front scud. Meanwhile a guy who really has something... a report of merit of significant & dangerous weather has to wait out the other dude's fillabuster. I am willing to test this out and help Scott out when I can this spring. Money is not a big deal. I just love the chase these days and whatever comes my way...while welcome...does not really mean much anymore. I wish him well on the launch of something that may give some areas the severe wx info and reports that have been missing through the years. It's an audience building project that the slumping radio world needs. Maybe a report I make helps feed the monster, but more importantly, maybe it reaches somebody in immediate danger. That is worth it to me. NWR only reaches a sliver of the population is some areas so this would be a way to reach the threatened John Q Public.
 
I think this is something worth offering if the market supports it. From my standpoint, and it's my usual medical concern as usual, is what, if anything, will you be able to do to help the public as well as the chaser. If I'm talking with you, I'm not calling 9-1-1 or NWS. Would you be willing to contact people to assist in public safety? I know that Tim Vasquez has been very helpful in relaying information when I've spoken with him in the past. I'm curious what your thoughts are there?

On a seperate note, I like your idea and your enthusiasm. I want to wish you luck on your endeavor! :)

Well, there are a number of things I can do, actually.

1) I am on the local (Wichita) NWS e-spotter system and have used it before to file reports to other offices.
2) Damage reports or reports needing EMS/public safety response, yes I can get hold of local 9-1-1 centers in the areas. I'm a former EMS dispatcher -- so I already speak the language :D
3) I will also have speed-dials set up for the NWS offices in each of the areas where we sell the service, so I can make reports on your behalf there. In fact, if you're sending GPS data via stormspotter.org at the time, I should be able to give NWS a solid GPS location for you.

All that said, my preference has always been (and this is what I did shen in the field for KFDI) -- call the report to the or local 9-1-1 first, then get on the horn with me. Timely warning information is the most important aspect of what we do, IMO. Media reporting, including shooting video, is next.

...well, okay, personal safety has to sit on top of both of the others! :eek:
 
If there's anyone else who wants to try this -- hey, who know if we're even going to get it sold to anybody at this point -- please PM me. I'll be sending a note tomorrow to those who have PM'd me, with an information request that will help in building marketing information for the service.

Well, I take back that part about getting it sold. We were developing a custom solution for a customer when we came up with this idea in the first place! We missed the first storm of the season in Poplar Bluff, MO last night; we're due to be on there for regular weather and severe weather right around first of the month.
 
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