Radio Tries To Help Keep Baltimore Calm, Informed
April 30, 2015 at 3:57 AM (PT)
BALTIMORE has been a mixed emotional bag since 26-year old FREDDIE GRAY died while in police custody. His death from spinal cord injuries while handcuffed has sparked a range of responses from peaceful protest to violence in the streets. Police officers have been injured, cars overturned, building have been burned, and stores looted.
RADIO ONE/BALTIMORE PD AL PAYNE told ALL ACCESS, " Our focus has been twofold; #1 has been to touch our youth and hopefully let them see that they matter. #2 is helping to clean up these neighborhoods. When the riots first started we went stopped the music and went wall to wall coverage on our stations and just let listeners call and express themselves. Our AM Talker WOLB has been providing expanded coverage"
Veteran broadcaster and longtime BALTIMORE resident ROY SAMPSON said, "The majority of what you see is mostly the negative stuff. If you lived here you would see all the people like the 300 MEN MARCH, who literally formed a human barrier to protect the police from some of the out of control protesters. The peaceful protests far outweigh what is mostly being shown nationally. The biggest thing this has pointed out is how important local radio is. It is the way to plug into a community. Some stations are doing 24/7 coverage. Most of the BALTIMORE stations have covered the situation by letting listeners get on the air to talk and give their opinions"
CBS RADIO/BALTIMORE VP/Programming DAVE LABROZZI said, "We have a unique asset on our sports station, WJZ (105-7 THE FAN), because our morning co-host, ED NORRIS, was the former Chief of Police for BALTIMORE CITY and was Superintendent for MARYLAND State Police. All other stations in the cluster were very involved as well disseminating information and carrying addresses from the Mayor, Governor and other State/Local officials live."
iHEARTMEDIA Country WPOC/BALTIMORE PD TOMMY CHUCK shared with ALL ACCESS, radio plays a critical role as a main source for news and information for our community. We are gathering and distributing the latest facts and information providing 24/7 coverage to our listeners on air, online and via social across iHEARTMEDIA stations WPOC, WZFT, WQSR and WCAO. LEE MICHAELS, host of WCAO-A (HEAVEN 600) is conducting interviews and working with local community leaders, ministers and other organizations to solicit important and pertinent information. Yesterday morning he joined WPOC’s LAURIE DEYOUNG for a really powerful segment sharing his perspective and promoting peace in the community. To hear that interview and for the latest information visit www.wpoc.com."
HEARST News-Talk WBAL-A/BALTIMORE and its sister NBC affiliate WBAL-TV have been sharing resources on coverage and offering continuous coverage. Pres./GM CARY L. PAHIGIAN said, "Our goal is to keep the community up to the minute and a provide an opportunity to discuss and analyze the situation with WBAL talk hosts in a responsible manner. It is very fluid, so we are staying nimble and flexible."