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National Association of Broadcasters

KHNL-TV and KSSK-FM Respond to Island-Wide Blackout

Topic: Disaster Relief and Recovery

Providing a light in the dark for residents on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, local Hawaiian television and radio stations KHNL-TV and KSSK-FM in Honolulu, Hawaii, responded to an island wide blackout. The late- December blackout not only knocked power out for residents, but also for local business, including the news stations. As KHNL dispatched news crews throughout the island to get information out to viewers on neighboring islands, KSSK radio announcers were the first to go on air at 6:30 p.m. to calm listeners, especially those listening in their cars as the immediate concern was alleviating dangerous driving situations. Additionally, KSSK took phone calls from worried listeners inquiring about the cause and duration of the blackout. KSSK simulcast its broadcast on its seven affiliated radio stations and stayed on air until power was restored at 2 a.m. the following morning. During the emergency broadcast, KSSK radio announcer Michael W. Perry told listeners, “For those of you who have never been through an island-wide power outage here, we have an interesting situation in that we are an island, to restate the obvious, and we can’t tap into anybody else’s grid and we’re on our own, which means we’re gonna have to go for it as best we can and gradually get everything on.”

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