Radio Gets Ready For The 'Frankenstorm'
October 28, 2012 at 9:34 PM (PT)
With the so-called "Frankenstorm" fueled by HURRICANE SANDY hitting the highly populated EAST COAST TODAY and TOMORROW (and impacting millions for a few days thereafter), radio started preparing as early as late last week to keep their audiences informed.
If the storm remains on its current track, SANDY's center is expected to be near the coast MONDAY night, according to THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER. Once close to land, SANDY likely becomes a "wintertime low pressure system," and it may strengthen a bit before weakening as it moves over land.
Many businesses in MANHATTAN are closing their offices to put the safety of their employees first -- including the NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE, as well as all US stock exchanges, which late SUNDAY decided to completely close, foregoing the earlier outlined option of electronic trading.
NAB EVP/Media Relations DENNIS WHARTON tells ALL ACCESS that their offices in D.C. are closed as is the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
Radio Is Prepared To Serve
CCM+E VP/Marketing & Communications ANGEL ARISTONE told ALL ACCESS, "We reach more than 9 million NEW YORKERS weekly through our stations, and it's a priority for the CLEAR CHANNEL MEDIA + ENTERTAINMENT/NYC cluster to keep its listeners as up-to-date and informed as possible on HURRICANE SANDY.
Beginning FRIDAY, CLEAR CHANNEL’s NY stations, including 103.5 KTU, Q104.3, Z100, 106.7 LITE FM and POWER 105.1, have been providing frequent storm updates at least twice an hour 24/7, and will continue to do so. We have staff working around the clock monitoring and tracking HURRICANE SANDY and will increase updates for our listeners as the storm heightens.
"With potential power outages in towns and cities across the EAST COAST, radio will play a critical role as the main source for news ... not only keeping residents aware of developments, but working with local emergency personnel, the RED CROSS and other organizations to solicit important information to communities if need be, so be sure to stay tuned to your local station and stock up on batteries for your radio. Get local weather updates even when the power is out by using a battery powered radio or the free iHEARTRADIO app. Also iHEARTRADIO will continue to provide up-to-the-minute coverage and information via FACEBOOK and TWITTER. iHEARTRADIO is also providing coverage on 24/7 NEWS and breaking news on HURRICANE SANDY can be found here.
"Our listeners can also visit their radio station websites to find the latest tracking details of HURRICANE SANDY and the latest maps, information and emergency contact information in your community.
CCM+E RVP and PHILADELPHIA OM BRIAN CHECK told ALL ACCESS, "PHILADELPHIA is using a combination of our local news and traffic team, our HARRISBURG CCM+E news hub, and our partnership with 6-ABC TV to provide frequent updates.
"WISX will be simulcasting 6ABC's wall-to-wall coverage in the height of the storm, as a service to those without power. And naturally, we have all personnel standing by, with plans to stay overnight as SANDY passes through."
And, sister Top 40 WIOQ (Q102)/PHILADELPHIA is on top of things with an emergency page, featuring the track of HURRICANE SANDY, and local school and business closures, as well as other vital emergency links.
BEASLEY Country WXTU/PHILADELPHIA PD SHELLY EASTON said, "All full time staff is working throughout the duration of the storm. We have a primary anchor and reporters from THE JERSEY SHORE area and PENNSYLVANIA suburbs reporting each hour. We have built a storm micro site and will use TWITTER and FACEBOOK.
"In the event of a massive power outage, we will join forces with our ABC TV affiliate to simulcast in the interest of public safety. We have also made provisions to broadcast from our transmitter site if necessary. We are doing everything within our power to remain live and local for the duration of the storm and serve our community."
GREATER MEDIA Adult Hits WBEN/PHILADELPHIA PD CHUCK D'AMICO said, "GREATER MEDIA/PHILADELPHIA stations are partnered with ABC NEWS locally to be able to bring up to the minute news and weather information to our listeners. In extreme situations we are equipped to carry the local ABC NEWS feed live on all of our stations. The four GREATER MEDIA/PHILADELPHIA stations are Rock WMMR, Adult Hits WBEN, Classic Rock WMGK and Sports WPEN."
TOWNSQUARE MEDIA Talk WKXW (NEW JERSEY 101.5)/TRENTON isn't waiting for the storm to arrive, with PD ERIC JOHNSON telling ALL ACCESS that the station is dropping the usual weekend Classic Hits format as of TONIGHT at 7p (ET) to go with its weekday Talk format and a heavy dose of news, weather, traffic, and storm prep information.
Meanwhile, up the road at GREATER MEDIA Talk WCTC-A/NEW BRUNSWICK, the station is planning all-day coverage MONDAY with morning host JACK ELLERY and PD/midday man BERT BARON joined by fill-in hosts TOMMY G and ALAN DAVID STEIN and News Director BRUCE JOHNSON.
GREATER MEDIA AC WJRZ (MAGIC 100.1)/MONMOUTH-OCEAN, NJ PD GLENN KALINA said, "We are on full throttle alert and have been preparing for a few days now. Generators are charged and fueled, available air staff ready to go, lines of communication have been established with local townships and state agencies, and meteorologists.
"We have several interviews with officials of THE RED CROSS already airing regarding emergency plans and check lists. We started special programming features SATURDAY. Evacuation centers and much more also available on our website on a special page setup for HURRICANE SANDY. We'' make sure to provide FACEBOOK and TWITTER videos and updates of course. This is just the beginning!"
TOWNSQUARE Hot AC WSJO and Country WPUR/ATLANTIC CITY Brand Mgr. JOE KELLY said, "Our ATLANTIC CITY cluster has been into hurricane preparedness mode since FRIDAY. Working with our state wide TOWNSQUARE news network, we've been working to get information out on air, online, and through our texting service to our audience. We've bent our formats on our music stations a lot.... to continuously update our region. We are right now finalizing plans to switch to an all out full hurricane broadcast."
MAIN STREET BROADCASTING Oldies WLNG/SAG HARBOR, NY's BOB ALDRICH said, "WLNG is ready to continue our nearly 50-year tradition of being the 'go-to' station in THE HAMPTONS and THE EAST END of LONG ISLAND whenever it comes to any type of weather. Our entire staff, including our weekend crew, have been working non-stop over the last week to alert our listeners of the magnitude of this storm.
"Currently, we have wall-to-wall coverage, broadcasting up-to-the-minute updates not only from police, fire and power authorities, but from local officials who are coordinating the evacuation of low lying areas. We have full auxiliary power at both our Redwood Causeway studios and our transmitter site. With the unusual characteristics of this storm, though, we are concerned about losing our waterfront studio facility - the envy of many a broadcaster. However, we stand prepared to turn on a dime and relocate our broadcast to higher ground. To hear live and local radio in its finest hour, we invite you to listen in at WLNG 92.1FM or (as long as the internet gods smile on us) worldwide at www.wlng.com."
ABSOLUTE BROADCASTING Talk WSMN-A/NASHUA, NH and Sports WGAM-A/MANCHESTER, NH-WGHM-A/NASHUA (THE GAME) GM and host MATT PERRAULT tells ALL ACCESS that his stations will all simulcast WSMN's local coverage of the storm if things get bad in the area.
CCM+E's BOSTON OM DYLAN SPRAGUE tells ALL ACCESS that the cluster is on storm watch with "a combination of local live jocks today and tonight, updates from our news hub in ALBANY and updates from our partnership with (HEARST ABC affiliate) WCVB-TV. We will extend morning shows past 10a TOMORROW if needed and continue with coverage from the news hub and WCVB. If there are widespread power outages in our area we will offer extended coverage of WCVB on 1200AM (Comedy WXKS-A (MATTY'S COMEDY 1200).
"Most area schools have cancelled and businesses are following their lead so hopefully everyone will be hunkering down! But we will offer extended traffic reports across the cluster for those who are headed to/from the office. If the brunt of the storm spares BOSTON proper we will continue coverage of issues in SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND and NYC."
ENTERCOM Top 40/Rhythmic WNVZ (Z1040/NORFOLK PD MIKE KLEIN checked in and reported to ALL ACCESS, "We are live around the clock with updates on power outages, flooding and offering companionship. I'm personally on the air tonight from 7p to midnight and planing on sleeping at the station."
Meanwhile, ENTERCOM Hot AC WPTE (94.9 THE POINT) PD/MD BARRY McKAY hosted an All Request Hurricane Party on the station as the Hurricane threat died down. Requests rolled for "It's Raining Men," "Rock You Like A Hurricane," "I'm Only Happy When It Rains!" Callers picked up copies of the latest Callers picked up copies of the latest P!NK and MUMFORD AND SONS CDs.
Many NYC Offices Are Also Closing
SONY MUSIC will be closed due to the impact of HURRICANE SANDY. SONY MUSIC's NEW YORK CITY and LYNDHURST offices will be closed Monday, October 29. Employees are encouraged to remain at home. Conditions for safe travel to work on TUESDAY will continue to be evaluated throughout the day tomorrow.
Prior to leaving for work on TUESDAY morning, all NEW YORK employees should please call the SONY MUSIC NEW YORK information line at (212) 833-5111 -- or alternately, the SONY CORP. NEW YORK information line at (212) 833-8080 -- for further updates. For those located in the LYNDHURST facility, please call (201) 777-3777.
UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP's NEW YORK offices are closed. That includes INTERSCOPE/GEFFEN, ISLAND, MOTOWN, and REPUBLIC RECORDS.
UNITED STATIONS home office in NY is officially closed on MONDAY as the safety of our employees always comes first, according to VP/Programming ANDY DENEMARK. "With mass transit closures, anyone who lives outside of MANHATTAN will have no real way to get in to work anyway. Some folks who live close to the office may be in briefly, of course that depends on the weather as well as flooding and power outages.
"Our servers are all backed-up off-site and lots of folks will be able to work from home as long as power and Internet access remains intact, and our satellite distributed shows have off-site backups as well. Also, our offices in L.A., CHICAGO, DC, DALLAS and NASHVILLE should be unaffected.
If you have station or office information about HURRICANE SANDY, please click here to send it to ALL ACCESS, and push play on the video below to stay on top of the storm's progress. (iPhone users, click here).