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Topic: Disaster Relief and Recovery
When a snow and ice storm left hundreds of thousands in the dark and caused a statewide emergency declaration, radio stations WBIO-FM, WXCM-FM, WLME-FM, WKCM-AM and WVJS-AM in Owensboro, Ky., and WTJC-AM/FM in Tell City, Ind., powered on. Throughout the day and the night, the sister stations broke from all regular programming to get crucial information out to their listeners, many of whom had no power, no heat and no other means of getting emergency information. Phones at the stations began to ring; callers needing kerosene and generators got word out through the radio. The stations stayed on air continuously with updates until the crisis passed. “People will come up to me and thank us for being a lifeline, because there was no other way to get information," said Mike Chaney, news director for the seven stations. "When the power is out, you have radio."
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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.