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News for broadcast and electronic media leaders | November 8, 2012

  Top Story 
  • Opinion: Broadcast plays "critical" role during emergencies
    Policymakers and regulators have lately been acting like "television broadcast is a thing of the past," but the key role broadcast played during and after Hurricane Sandy showcased the medium's ability to "deliver critical emergency information," writes Phil Kurz. "What is critical ... in the hours of the storm and the days and weeks ahead is [delivering] emergency alerts, bulletins, and information to help [people] survive. That's precisely the stuff of the public interest obligation broadcasters around the nation take seriously." Broadcast Engineering /Broadcast Engineering Blog (11/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Covering Sandy -- Radio 
  • Radio was a refuge for many as hurricane swept N.Y.
    New York City's radio stations stayed on the air during Hurricane Sandy and proved a vital point of contact and source of information for many listeners when other media failed, according to this article. "If everything else is gone, people still have a radio. It's not just information, it's a connection. Even music provides companionship and a sense of calm," said Tim Scheld, news director at WCBS-AM. Daily News (New York) (11/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Radio endures as "original wireless" platform
    Radio has become the main communications platform for millions of people in the Northeast without power or reliable cellphone connections in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, according to these articles. Radio is virtually storm-proof, with towers that are constructed to survive hurricanes and that have backup power for eight to 10 days. "We are the original wireless communication. We are there in the house for most people, and we became a critical lifeline of information during this storm," said Steve Jones, vice president of ABC News Radio. Advertising Age (tiered subscription model) (11/2), Broadcasting & Cable (11/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Covering Sandy -- TV 
  • Local TV news stations shine with Sandy coverage
    Local TV news crews in New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Boston on Oct. 29 fielded round-the-clock coverage of Hurricane Sandy and made plans to keep following the story as the storm abated. "Everybody left home ... prepared to be gone for five to seven days," said Michelle Butt, news director at Hearst's NBC affiliate WBAL-TV in Baltimore. "You don't stop covering the storm just because the sun comes out." TVNewsCheck (free registration) (10/30), The Baltimore Sun/Z on TV blog (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  • NAB: TV station sites provide "need-to-know" information
    The websites of TV outlets in states hit by Hurricane Sandy from Oct. 28 to 30 tallied 10.4 million unique visitors, a more than 100% jump over their usual numbers, the NAB is reporting, based on research from Worldnow and Internet Broadcasting. "This data surrounding Hurricane Sandy suggests that local TV station websites have become an equally important source of information [as the stations]," said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. "It's a broadcast-broadband world, with millions of people either tuning in to local television stations or accessing similar 'need-to-know' information on TV stations' websites in lifeline situations." Radio Business Report (11/5), TVNewsCheck (free registration) (11/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • ABC affiliates set digital records for storm coverage
    WPVI-TV, ABC's owned-and-operated affiliate in Philadelphia, on Oct. 29 set a new digital high with 13.1 million page views online and on mobile devices. The station also tallied 9 million page views on Oct. 28. WABC-TV, the network's O&O affiliate in New York, also scored its most online page views with 7 million on Oct. 29. The mobile applications for both stations also were among the top 10 free news apps for the iPhone on Oct. 30. Broadcasting & Cable (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Recovery & Relief 
  • NBC telethon for hurricane relief a big success
    The live, one-hour telethon for Hurricane Sandy victims on Friday night that aired on NBC and other NBCUniversal networks brought in almost $23 million in contributions for the American Red Cross. "Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together" generated a greater amount of phone calls and online activity than any Red Cross telethon since 2007, according to the organizations. Multichannel News (11/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Other Industries 
  • Another big storm, another big mobile breakdown
    The group Public Knowledge hopes that yet another emergency during which cellphones lost service will spur lawmakers to require providers to install backup power sources for their towers. The mobile industry successfully defeated a push by regulators to require backup power following a similar failure after Hurricane Katrina, according to this article. "The biggest issue is they have not wanted to invest the money in hardening their networks sufficiently against a catastrophic event," said Harold Feld, senior vice president of Public Knowledge. The Huffington Post (11/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Government & Regulatory 
  • NAB: Sandy offers further proof of broadcast's viability
    Hurricane Sandy offers another reminder of the key roles TV and radio continue to play in providing critical information in times of crisis and the importance of maintaining broadcast's "one-to-many" system, according to the NAB. "We've made the case that lawmakers don't have to pick a winner or loser," NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton said. "It's both a broadcast and broadband world." National Journal (10/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • NAB: Local stations showed mettle during emergencies: NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith praised the response of radio and TV stations to Hurricane Sandy, noting that federal officials recommended that people get information from those stations. "In times of emergency, there is no more reliable source of information than that coming from local broadcasters," Smith said. Broadcasting & Cable (10/29), Radio Ink (10/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Opinion: TV stations do their part -- will FCC notice?
    New York's TV stations "did another extraordinary job" in warning the public about the impending danger of Hurricane Sandy and followed up with thorough post-storm coverage, writes columnist Harry A. Jessell. "It is a black mark on the record of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski that he almost willfully refuses to see the full value of what TV stations do in emergencies," Jessell writes. "He will occasionally praise broadcasters for the service, but it's all talk. He has done nothing to strengthen the medium by, say, relaxing ownership rules or by imposing a moratorium on new regulations." TVNewsCheck (free registration) (11/2) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  NAB News 
  • Hurricane Sandy: Special Edition of "Licensed to Serve"
    This special edition of NAB's "Licensed to Serve" highlights the outstanding work of local radio and television broadcasters during Hurricane Sandy. Broadcasters braved wind, waves and water to provide lifesaving information, even when the power went out. In Sandy's wake, broadcasters support local communities through Red Cross fundraisers, cleanup efforts and other recovery activities. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
I was watching some media and they were telling people to go to Facebook, and I thought, 'Wait a minute, when the power goes out, within eight hours your charge is gone, your Internet is out, your phone is probably out. What do you have to rely on? A battery-powered radio.'"
--Eric Rhoads, publisher and CEO of Radio Ink, as quoted by Advertising Age

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