Live Twitter feed can be costly


A TV station's live Twitter feed on a billboard is a prime example of how costly -- and unintentionally funny -- such news can be to someone's career.

Next to three photos on a billboard of two of WPMI-TV's anchors and its chief meteorologist ran the live Twitter feed headline "3 Accused of Gang Rape in Monroeville" under the headline "Right Now on Twitter."

You'd almost think it was a billboard put up by The Onion, a fake news and satire site.

The billboard and Twitter feed were meant to promote the Mobile, Ala. station's breaking news, but the snafu with the electronic billboard has led to the station's general manager and news director being suspended from work for a week without pay, according to the Web site Lagniappe.

The NBC affiliate, which calls itself "Local 15," covers Alabama and part of Florida.

Whoever is in charge of the station's Twitter feeds must now be keeping in mind that photos of three of its employees are next to the live feed, since more mundane tweets such as "Cat Food Recalled Over Thiamine Deficiency" and "Utility Bills May Go Down" are going up.