Fueled by adrenaline, caffeine and a sense of civic duty, Minneapolis stations are working around the clock to provide coverage of the bridge collapse that struck around 6:05 p.m. yesterday. "[The newsroom] recognizes a big story when it happens," says KMSP V.P./News Director Bill Dallman. "The people here feel a sense of responsibility to help the people in their community."
After cutting to network programming around midnight last night, stations here resumed local coverage at daybreak today. They’re getting a helping hand from sister stations in neighboring markets, such as the crew from WITI Milwaukee that’s pitching in at fellow Fox O&O KMSP. They’re also helping out with the network news figures, such as Katie Couric and Greta Van Susteren, as they arrive in the Twin Cities and prepare for tonight’s newscasts.
Area stations are reporting huge numbers online. CBS-owned WCCO has gotten around 10 times’ its normal Web traffic, says V.P./G.M. Susan Adams Loyd, with around 4.2 million page views since the incident occured.
With numerous staffers out on vacation, Loyd is attempting to pull them back to the newsroom–which isn’t a hard sell for hardcore news gatherers. "You live for moments like this," she says, "when you can serve your community and do your best to disseminate relevant information."