Minneapolis Bridge Tragedy: Radio Swings Into Action
August 2, 2007 at 10:25 AM (PT)
The collapse of the NORTH-SOUTHBOUND bridge of 35W that swings right through downtown MINNEAPOLIS YESTERDAY (8/1) is nothing short of a mind-blowing tragedy, with upwards of nine people now confirmed dead. That count will rise as more cars are pulled from the MISSISSIPPI RIVER throughout the next few days.
ALL ACCESS spoke to CLEAR CHANNEL/MINNEAPOLIS OM ROB MORRIS about how his cluster dealt with coverage. "Over at (Top 40) KDWB, we immediately suspended all contesting and night personality WAZZ began taking calls and sharing experiences from listeners and those who were there. We continued that this morning on DAVE RYAN's show. "
"Over at our FM Talker, KTLK, we went into long-form coverage with 35-year TWIN CITIES broadcasting legend JOHN HINES, who came in from a charity event to co-anchor coverage with JASON LEWIS on the air, and News Director JEFF MONOSSO went live to the scene. He was on with HANNITY last night and 9-11a middayer DAN CONRY, an ex-NYPD, was down there talking to the police and firemen with continuous coverage. KTLK was feeding the rest of the CLEAR CHANNEL stations for info and coverage as well.
"And, at Country KEEY (K102), they gave traffic and news updates and spoke to listeners calming their concern for loved ones who had not yet been located. Sports KFAN with SLUDGE and LAKE covered the developing news coverage with KTLK's LANGDON PERRY, and over at CITIES 97, JASON NAGEL gave updates in and around the scene and provided listeners with traffic information."
At the same time, CBS RADIO AC WLTE (102.9 LITE FM)/KZJK (JACK FM) PD JOHN LASSMAN tells ALL ACCESS that "News/Talk WCCO-A is providing around-the-clock coverage, while WLTE has added News updates and extended traffic. Both WLTE and KZJK (JACK FM) are directing listeners to their websites to help those directly affected by the disaster through the RED CROSS."
MORRIS went on to talk about the immediate future for the city. "This bridge collapse will cause major problems through downtown for a long time to come. It only took me an extra 10 minutes to get to work today, as I assume many left early or stayed home. This could be a potential traffic nightmare.
"On the air, we are encouraging folks to donate blood right now to the RED CROSS, as there are a lot of injuries. we are assessing the other needs of the city and our listeners as we move forward through this tragedy. We'll probably begin to resume normal coverage tomorrow, but will be ready to shift gears as needed." For more on this, go to www.ktlkfm.com.
Over at HUBBARD News KSTP-A, GM TODD FISHER told ALL ACCESS, "It's a horrible tragedy here. AM1500, with the full support of THE TWINS, pre-empted last night's game in order to provide wall-to-wall coverage with our radio news staff and the resources of our sister station, KSTP-TV. We continue to be in breaking news mode using all of our local resources. Hats off to ABC, who has AARON KATERSKY here in town and has been filing reports on the scene for us as well."