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Tone of Coverage Changes at WTSP-Ch. 10, Amid Delayed Recovery of Weatherman After Stroke



Dickfltcher It's a tough subject for folks at WTSP-Ch. 10 to talk about. But news director Darren Richards admitted today that the recovery of weatherman Dick Fletcher, who was found in his home Monday suffering from a stroke, is not going well as they had hoped.

Initially, staffers at the CBS affiliate were optimistic that Fletcher's recovery might go the same way as in 2003, when the longtime forecaster had a minor stroke and was back at work in weeks. But the station posted an update on its Web site today noting that "despite the best efforts of doctors and all your prayers, Dick is not making the kind of recovery we’d hoped for."

Still, Richards could not answer the toughest question about this situation: Is Fletcher's condition still life-threatening?

"I hate to veer into speculation about this," said Richards. "We've reported what we know on the Web site."Wtsplogo

The tally of public comments on WTSP's Web site now stands at more than 700 messages; mostly well-wishes and hopes for a speedy recovery. WTSP has revealed which hospital is treating Fletcher, struggling to inform the public about his condition without violating laws regarding the confidetiality of employees' health information. So far, Fletcher's family members have not decided to speak with the media, Richards said.

But even as fans wish fervently for Fletcher's quick rebound, staffers at WTSP are steeling themselves for the possibility that the weatherman's return may be more complicated and difficult than they first realized.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:44pm]


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