WTOP, TV Broadcasters Tell FCC About Blizzard Coverage
March 23, 2010 at 4:59 AM (PT)
Representatives from four WASHINGTON radio and TV stations told the FCC's Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council about their coverage of the recent blizzard in the region in a presentation MONDAY, with BONNEVILLE News WTOP's MIKE MOSS noting that the station went to around-the-clock live emergency coverage and dropped $140,000 worth of commercials while spending an additional $50,000 to cover the situation.
"But this is nothing new to WTOP," said MOSS. "We made the same commercial sacrifices to provide breaking coverage of Hurricane ISABEL and its legacy power outages, the attacks of 9-11 and the frightening sniper and anthrax scares that chilled WASHINGTON. For well over 100,000 people who lost their power in the storm, WTOP was a lifeline. That's not what I say. That's what they told us."
NBC O&O WRC-TV (NBC4) anchor JIM HANDLY said that his station and other local broadcast outlets "were the eyes and ears during the blizzards. We served as the pipeline for those calling the shots for public safety and first responders to get up-to-the-minute critical information out to residents. Viewership was enormous. It was a captive audience, hungry for the latest information and live pictures. For most, the local broadcast stations were their first and only source for immediate information from emergency declarations to safety tips."
Also appearing at the presentation were GANNETT CBS affiliate WUSA-TV Chief Meteorologist TOPPER SHUTT and FOX O&O WTTG (FOX 5) News Director PHIL METLIN, joined by NAB EVP of Television MARCELLUS ALEXANDER.