Power outage forces WMC Action News 5 to get creative

Power outage forces WMC Action News 5 to get creative

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Well that was...interesting...different...fun?

A Midtown power outage forced thousands of homes and businesses into the dark. One of those businesses was WMC Action News 5.

The outage happened just before the 10 p.m. newscast. The generators at WMC Action News 5 cut on and powered some of the building for a while, but eventually the entire building went dark.

The WMC Action News 5 engineering team said a pump on the generator failed, keeping it from starting up properly.

The generator failure Tuesday night was something Joe Birch and Jarvis Greer said they had never seen in their nearly four decades of working at WMC Action News 5.

"Over 38 years here at WMC, I've seen us have a number of power outages, but always the emergency generator kicked back on," Birch said.

Without power, the 10 p.m. crew grabbed their phones and did the best they could to get the news out to the Mid-South.

"I just saw everyone going into to action, from our executive producer to our director," Kontji Anthony said. "Everyone just making sure we got on air someway, somehow."

Without high-tech graphics, Meteorologist Spencer Denton used a drawing to talk about the rain in the forecast.

"It's raw--it was behind the scenes--but we did well," Digital Content Manager Cameron Clinard said. "I mean, people enjoyed it. We had nearly 25,000 people watch; we had 1,200 comments."

Thanks to Facebook live, the news continued (albeit a bit darker than usual):

So WMC, the first Memphis station to broadcast a TV signal in the Mid-South and the first in high definition, became the first Memphis TV station to broadcast a regularly scheduled newscast solely on Facebook Live.

Though WMC Action News 5 operations crews were able to get the power back up late Tuesday night, a few problems lingered Wednesday morning. Namely, our crew was a little toasty with no air conditioning in our control room or in our studio and our audio board was acting a little funny.

Despite the audio and air conditioning gremlins, our morning anchors refused to give up. They took to Facebook to produce their own livestream while on the air.

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