Radio Hit ... And Responds ... To Colorado Fires
June 14, 2013 at 4:00 AM (PT)
Local radio is in "first media responder mode" in the COLORADO SPRINGS area, where the uncontrolled Black Forest Fire raged on the outskirts of COLORADO's second largest city, REUTERS reports. At least 360 homes northeast of the city have been destroyed, and 38,000 people were evacuated.
It has also impacted CUMULUS' COLORADO SPRINGS cluster. "The special telephone line connection that News/Talk KVOR-A uses to get audio from our TIFFANY SQUARE studios to our transmitter in Black Forest is DOWN due to the fire," OM BOBBY IRWIN told ALL ACCESS. "The provider, Century Link, is working to trace the problem for us. In the meantime, we are providing regular KVOR programming, including coverage of the fires and other important news-of-the-day on AM 1300 and at KVOR.com.
"Our FM stations (Country KATC, Classic Rock KKFM, Top 40 KKMG and AC KKPK) are offering reports from listeners who are in the mandatory evac area, as well as those who have lost their homes, in addition to cut-ins from our KVOR-A newsroom and reporters on-the-scene."
KVOR's transmission line was damaged by the fires, and the station has moved its programming to the signal of sister Sports KCSF-A (AM 1300 THE ANIMAL).
"We are using our talent to connect evacuees with the help they need," KATC PD MIKE DYLAN added. "The community is really stepping up to help those affected with supplies, shelter and for that area in particular, hauling animals and keeping them fed. We are raising money for The Care and Share food bank to keep the firefighters and other personnel hydrated. Luckily we have the resources of our KVOR-A News Team for extra news coverage, including on-site reports especially on changing wind patterns and expanding evacuation areas. Our GM, KENT HILDEBRAND, had to evacuate yesterday so we’re hoping his home is safe."
Station Personnel's Homes Evacuated
SALEM Christian Contemporary KBIQ/COLORADO SPRINGS MD/afternoons JACK HAMILTON tells ALL ACCESS, "Most of us at the station are okay. Some who live closer to the area are on pre-evacuation notice. It’s already bigger than last year’s fire! We are collecting non-perishable items here at the station, where people can also sign a banner, thanking the firefighters and all helping to put it out."
A Christian label, INTEGRITY MUSIC, is based in COLORADO SPRINGS. Dir./Publicity & Media Relations SHANNON WALKER notes that "ROBERT BRENNER said their home is okay, which is a miracle because the fire started about a half-mile from them. Just talked to him five minutes ago and he said that our CEO's home is in the path. But we haven't heard more. Lots of friends and coworkers were evacuated. But it may be a while before they know the status.
"As you probably know from the news, yesterday it doubled back and took homes that were originally spared. (Over 300 homes destroyed so far.) The fire was moving north and a little west which is why they evac'd NEW LIFE and the area nearby including where SHEILA WALKER lives, but I think the houses are safe. The last I heard was that it was following the wooded area that runs parallel and east of I25, just consuming forest. And SHEILA lives in a neighborhood that's more "plainsy" than forested. As of last night, they were extending the evac zones north, including areas in MONUMENT. So, it seems to be heading north away from COLORADO SPRINGS.
"I believe we're safe; we're south and west of where the fire started. So, unless something drastic happens, we are okay. Though all of COLORADO SPRINGS is under heavy smoke."
KRDO Shares TV Sister's Coverage
NEWS-PRESS AND GAZETTE News-Talk KRDO-A-F/COLORADO SPRINGS is preempting regular programming and simulcasting the audio of continuous coverage of the fires from sister ABC affiliate KRDO-TV.