Radio Reacts To The Connecticut School Tragedy
December 17, 2012 at 3:28 AM (PT)
AMERICA spent the weekend in shock, trying to make sense of the NEWTOWN, CT school shootings that took the lives of 20 children (12 girls and 8 boys) and 6 adults.
Many radio stations immediately dropped regular programming, with local outlets CCM+E Top 40 stations WKSS (95.7 KISS-FM)/HARTFORD and WKCI (KC101)/NEW HAVEN PD JB WILDE telling ALL ACCESS, "This is senseless. KISS and KC101 have been live with NBC/CONNECTICUT since 1p. COURTNEY AND KISS IN THE MORNING are talking to parents, educators, and the community on KISS. JOHN MAYER and VINNIE PENN are doing the same on KC101. We're working on ways to work with the community to help those hurting after this horrible tragedy."
95.7 KISS-FM has set up this webpage to keep its listeners informed.
RED WOLF BROADCASTING Alternative WMRQ (RADIO 104.1)/HARTFORD broke format and carried the local press. Sweepers and promos running, liners are already updated, FACEBOOK banners updated too. The station planned to be mentioning this all day and all weekend, "not just because it's local, but because 20 kids were slain -- and because it's the 2nd worst shooting tragedy in U.S. history (behind VA TECH).
COX MEDIA GROUP Top 40 WBLI/LONG ISLAND, NY PD JEREMY RICE told ALL ACCESS they created a special tribute mix of "Heaven" by DJ SAMMY & YANOU, to honor those lost in the events of FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2012 at SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. You can download and use the audio on your station by clicking here.
Former U.S. Secretary of Education BILL BENNETT, host of the nationally syndicated BILL BENNETT's Morning In America program on the SALEM RADIO NETWORK -- will preside over a 6-9a ET "nationwide kitchen table conversation" on the tragedy.
"As a former Secretary of Education and father of two boys himself, BILL BENNETT is in a unique position to preside over a MONDAY morning nationwide kitchen table conversation with AMERICA,” stated SRN VP/News & Talk Programming TOM TRADUP. "This is not a time for talk show hysterics or for wild hyperbole. With CHRISTMAS nearly upon us and the nation reeling from last week's tragedy, BILL BENNETT's perspective is quite simply the strong, reasoned voice AMERICA needs as the new week dawns and life—despite the innocence lost in CONNECTICUT -- gets back to normal across the nation."
Former ARKANSAS Governor and CUMULUS MEDIA syndicated talker MIKE HUCKABEE commented while appearing on FOX NEWS on FRIDAY, "We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?"
Conservative Christian talk host BRYAN FISCHER went further along those lines, saying "The question is going to come up, where was God? I though God cared about the little children. God protects the little children. Where was God when all this went down. Here's the bottom line, God is not going to go where he is not wanted." He continued, "In 1962 we kicked prayer out of the schools. In 1963 we kicked God's word out of ours schools. In 1980 we kicked the Ten Commandments out of our schools. We've kicked God out of our public school system. And I think God would say to us, 'Hey, I'll be glad to protect your children, but you've got to invite me back into your world first. I'm not going to go where I'm not wanted'."
CPR PROMOTIONS Pres. PAIGE NEINABER noted, "Occasionally, radio finds itself in a position to be more than background music and gossip on the :10’s. Today, sadly, is one of those days. For me? Yesterday at this time I was hosting a webinar about how radio's greatest strength continues to be community and being able to react and call an audible."
NEINABER pointed to a FACEBOOK posting from a listener in CALGARY, CANADA, who was angry at some of her local stationa for ignoring the event and continuing with music programming.
Many stations tried to address the sadness in different ways, accordinig to NEINABER"
* SCOTT PENK at JAMZ in ALBANY took clips from OBAMA's speech and laid it over FRANK OCEAN's "Think About You."
* CLEAR CHANNEL/PHOENIX had a candlelight gathering. "One of the things I suggested?" said NEINABER, "Church or school choirs. They’re all rehearsed and in prime performance season."
* "Angel" by SARAH MACLACHLAN seems to be the agreed upon song for a music bed if you are doing anything audio-ish. With that said, I have a version of "Angels Among Us" by ALABAMA, from TSM in LAFAYETTE if you’d like to hear it.
Email NEINABER at email@example.com.
* 103.3 KISS FM/BOISE stopped the morning show in it’s tracks, dropped everything and opened the phones for 4 hours. Lots of tears. MICHELE HEART jumped off the air and managed social media.
* K-HITS/TULSA pulled KE$HAS "Die Young" and replaced it with this song.
* KISS/CHARLOTTE has grief counselors on talking about how you answer your kids questions.
* CCM+E/POUGHKEEPSIE set up a FACEBOOK page about their vigil FRIDAY NIGHT.
* WPGC has a montage that runs hourly and will be hosting a candlelight vigil in D.C. SATURDAY.
* 'ZZK posted a FACEBOOK tribute image and it got shared 100 time in moments. They’re doing a vigil at a SCOTT MCCREERY show FRIDAY in BIRMINGHAM.
NEINABER also shared, "The most eloquent thing that was written today comes from MICHAEL MARTIN at CBS/SAN FRANCISCO:
"With today's tragedy the best thing we can do for our BAY AREA listeners is to do no contesting, no guest listing, no typical radio bullshit. It's a sad day and we can't crawl into a corner and we can't be afraid to play a happy song but we can let the audience SPEAK. Times like this we need each other and let your airwaves be that conduit to ease our pain as we all try to make sense of this. Just like after any tragedy LET PEOPLE TALK. Break rules and be human and open the airwaves. There will be no promotions today or this weekend and we will reassess MONDAY. For the NOW crew there will be no triple ho broadcast. I want to just let the kids talk and share."
MARTIN summed it up for a lot of people, writing "Hug your family, hug your kids, tell someone you love that you love them."