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August 25, 2020
Scripps’ WPTV West Palm Beach provided viewers with weather coverage of Isaias for more than 20 hours. The COVID-19 crisis caused WPTV to update the usual in-person all-hands-on-deck approach, including food planning and sleeping arrangements at the station. They directed, produced and edited stories remotely, while maintaining safe social distancing at all times. View coverage here.
As tropical storm Isaias approached the East Coast, radio stations began implementing preparedness plans. Entercom’s WLYF-FM and WMXJ-FM Miami launched a “Tracking the Tropics" resource page on their websites’ homepages that included links to the National Hurricane Center, to BH Media Group’s WPLG-TV and to Miami-Dade and Broward county government websites. WLYF and WMXJ also provided regular, live updates during the storm, while also reminding listeners to keep checking the “Tracking the Tropics” page.
Beasley Media Group stations across the East Coast prepared extensively for Hurricane Isaias. They issued an overview by market of how stations were preparing for the storm and ensuring they provided continuous updates to communities in Wilmington, Del.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Augusta, Ga.; New Jersey; Philadelphia; Tampa; Ft. Myers, Fla., and Boston, Mass. All Beasley clusters monitored the storm closely, provided critical updates over the air and created dedicated pages on their digital platforms.
Television and radio broadcasters in Connecticut provided extensive coverage of Isaias, beginning days before the storm made landfall. As the storm approached, stations interrupted regularly-scheduled programming to provide wall-to-wall coverage and activated the EAS system due to the threat of tornadoes. For most stations, the coverage contained little or no commercial inventory. Tropical storms are unusual in Connecticut, but broadcasters rose to the occasion to serve their communities, as always.
Former FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate recently penned a blog post regarding the importance of local media during times of emergency such as Hurricane Isaias. In his blog, Fugate expressed support for the Local News and Emergency Information Act, which would allow many broadcasters and newspapers to access forgivable federal loans that will help them stay on the air and continue serving their communities.
Your local broadcasters are committed to providing a lifeline during emergencies, offering support and resources to their communities and shining a light on the issues that impact our lives, even as stations struggle from a steep decline in advertising revenue. Read more stories about broadcasters’ public service here.
More than 2.47 million American jobs depend on broadcasting, and the local broadcast radio and television industry - and the businesses that depend on it - generate $1.17 trillion annually for the nation's economy.