Radio Prepares For Hurricane Matthew
October 6, 2016 at 10:32 AM (PT)
HURRICANE MATTHEW, described as the most powerful ATLANTIC tropical storm in almost a decade, has many EAST COASTERS prepping for rough weather. The storm is hitting THE BAHAMAS TODAY (10/5) after flooding parts of HAITI and CUBA before turning NORTH.
NBC NEWS reports, "MATTHEW, a powerful storm with sustained winds of 140 mph, made landfall in HAITI just after 7a (8a ET) TUESDAY. With communications down across much of the island, it remained too early to accurately assess the damage WEDNESDAY morning, but civil defense officials said many homes had been destroyed or damaged in the SOUTH."
iHeartMedia Staff Converges At Studios For Coverage
iHEARTMEDIA/MIAMI RSVP Programming & National Top 40 Brand Coordinator ALEX TEAR and Dir./AM Programming MIAMI/FT. LAUDERDALE & National News/Talk/Sports Brand Coordinator GRACE BLAZER told ALL ACCESS, "iHEARTMEDIA/MIAMI, iHEARTMEDIA LATINO in conjunction with WIOD (NEWSRADIO 610) will be servicing our South Florida community before, during, and after HURRICANE MATTHEW. OPERATION STORMWATCH is in full gear as we prepare our audiences for a category 4 hurricane up and down the Southeastern Florida coast. Our brands are united as a team and it’s all hands on deck.
The entire WIOD staff and many other staffer are moving in beginning at 6a TOMORROW morning. Yes, we have stocked up with plenty of food, and are ready to stay on-air with emergency generators, too.
•WIOD in extended hurricane coverage. Carrying all live press conferences. Added 5 hour of live and local programming tonight.
•FM breaking news carts updated hourly by WIOD in English and Spanish + added weather
•Partnership with NBC 6 and TELEMUNDO 51 + Meteorologists.
•Cluster wide breaking news alerts as needed.
•WIOD digital billboard running.
CBS On Alert
CBS/MIAMI SVP/Programming ROB MORRIS oversees Top 40 WPOW, Country WKIS and Sports WQAM-A and he outlined steps to keep the community abreast of things in the face of HURRICANE MATTHEW.
"The storm will hit our area starting sometime TOMORROW (THURSDAY). We are providing continuous updates on the storm track and evacuation information. Closings and shelter information is also constantly being provided and updated. On-air and via social we are reminding listeners how to prepare before the storm – such as supply lists, family plan, securing your property/yard, pets and overall safety during and after the storm.
"Plus, we will be manning the phones, either via request lines, text or social media. Our sister CBS TV station, WFOR-TV (CBS 4) will be a prime source of information and coverage for us as the storm approaches. CBSMIAMI.com for specific updates.
"After the storm, we will be looking to provide information and support to the SOUTH FLORIDA community where needed. Lastly, just as a customer service announcement, our huge POWER 96 concert with THE CHAINSMOKERS, DAYA and ZARA LARSSON, which was scheduled for THURSDAY (tomorrow/today) has been postponed until FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2016."
Cox Media Group Ready To Serve
COX MEDIA GROUP/MIAMI Dir./Branding & Programming for Top 40 WFLC (HITS 97.3) and Urban WEDR (99 JAMZ) JILL STRADA reported to ALL ACCESS, "We had a team huddle this morning to prepare all of the details for this potential storm. We have a hurricane preparedness plan that consists of internal planning and on-air programming operations.
Internal Plan: "CMG's first priority is our people and their families, so we've made sure everyone has gotten themselves personally prepared. We're also getting our building prepared for those of us who will be hunkering down through the storm. We've set up phone lines and websites for communication as it relates to emergencies. We have a COX Info Line that updates employees on what's happening daily. We also have a 'COX I'm OK' Line that is a check in line for our employees. This helps us keep all employees accounted for. There's a sales emergency number for our clients as well."
On-Air Programming Plan: "We program in stages according to the hurricanes severity. We're consistently updating listeners with storm information as well letting them know where they can get supplies, evacuation routes, traffic updates etc. We partner with Ch. 7 for official weather updates.
"And we're also planning on post storm needs of our listeners.
"COX MEDIA GROUP/MIAMI is working with our sister properties in ORLANDO, JACKSONVILLE and our corporate headquarters in ATLANTA to make sure to keep communication open during this storm."
The approach of HURRICANE MATTHEW has had ENTERCOM/MIAMI's ROB SIDNEY, Dir./Programming for WLYF (101.5 LITE FM) and Marketing Dir. VON FREEMAN on their toes preparing for the storm, telling ALL ACCESS, "The ENTERCOM/SOUTH FLORIDA stations -- 101.5 LITE FM, 102.7 THE BEACH, 790 THE TICKET and 104.3 THE SHARK -- continue their multi-year partnership with MIAMI ABC affiliate WPLG-TV (LOCAL 10) – home of hurricane specialist MAX MAYFIELD, former director of the National Hurricane Center.
"Since TUESDAY, the stations have been carrying hourly updates from LOCAL 10 – with the frequency increasing as the storm gets closer to MIAMI and FORT LAUDERDALE. A full emergency roster is in place on all four stations, with live talent offering guidance around the clock on storm preparation, and info on closings and cancelations."
Preparations In Other Markets
MERIDIAN BROADCASTING Active Rock WXNX/(93X)/FT.MYERS-NAPLES, FL APD/MD ANTHONY “ROACH” PROFFITT chimed in, "As far as programming,we continue to update listeners as we get updates, but we are still playing music. If we were in a Hurricane warning scenario (we are in a Tropical Storm Watch), we'd go to almost all news and info, but for now, we keep rocking and keep an eye and ear on any new situations. Hopefully, we can just keep rocking!"
ALPHA MEDIA Active Rock WFXH (ROCK 106.1)/SAVANNAH PD GABE REYNOLDS told ALL ACCESS that the station has been running updates (both produced and live) since YESTERDAY, and those will continue into the weekend. They created a specific Hurricane MATTHEW page on their website and have been updating that whenever they get new info. WFXH is working closely with their TV news partner WJCL and also have an in house news person CLAIRE BEVERLY who is reporting.
HORIZON BROADCASTING Hot AC WHLG (101.3 THE COAST)/FT. PIERCE-STUART-VERO BEACH, FL PD/morning host LARRY MCKAY tells ALL ACCESS, “We are preparing for HURRICANE MATTHEW to arrive on the TREASURE COAST THURSDAY night and early FRIDAY morning. Our generators are ready to go and we will take calls and air audio coverage from ABC affiliate WPBF-TV (CHANNEL 25) during the hurricane. We are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.”