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We Will Rebuild; If You Can Find Us

610 WIOD Miami 940 WINZHurricane Irma decimated many broadcast facilities as it moved up Florida and into Georgia.

The FCC stated on Tuesday that at least 51 stations or translators were off the air (a few others are not even listed here) due to flooding or other damage caused by the storm. While some of these stations have since returned, what has quickly struck out is that not a single one of these stations has acknowledged being off (or in one case where they moved temporarily) on their websites.

Some of them have posted notices on Facebook directing listeners to stream the stations if possible.


Or even a sister station in an adjacent market:

But many others have left their listeners in the dark about the status of the stations not even replying to inquiries.

From “99.9 Gator Country” WGNE Jacksonville

to “Q92” WMFQ Ocala

as well as a number of other stations on the FCC list of silent stations.

The worst offender was iHeartMedia’s News/Talk 610 WIOD Miami.


Nowhere on WIOD.com or any of the station’s social media platforms is it mentioned that iHeartMedia was airing WIOD’s programming on 940 WINZ Miami. If not for a Miami Herald article about the damage WIOD took at its tower site on an island in the Biscayne Bay, nobody would have known where to find the station in the aftermath of the storm. Particularly an older skewing audience that still tunes to AM rather than the iHeartRadio app. Nor was it mentioned to WINZ’s audience that its programming was being pre-empted.

WIOD did resume broadcasting this morning via an STA with 1/4 of its normal power and parts of its directional array out of commission. Yet for a station that took a massive PR hit earlier this weekend when an apparent miscommunication with WTVJ-TV led to that station’s meteorologist curse them out on live television for daring to air their own radio coverage across the iHeart Miami cluster as opposed to a television simulcast. In that regard WIOD did the right thing, but could’ve saved themselves some headaches by putting the TV programming on one of their five FMs in the market that were all rebroadcasting 610.

We’re in the communications business. In the 21st century that means reaching out to an audience that relies on you on multiple platforms. Yet many in this communications industry are forgetting to do the communication part of their duties.

Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

6 Comments


  1. I am not a fan of everything iHeart does but I would take live local on air talent talking about a storm and taking calls then just potting up a TV station audio… There must have been some miscommunication between iHeart and their partner TV station and that should have not happened. I know some stations just let the automation run with normal music (sans air talent) during the height of the storm. I understand employees wanting to stay safe with their families but when AM/FM’s job is to serve the public you should have some voice on air if your studio is still standing and in a safe place. If the WideOrbit is still working it must be still safe enough for your air talent to be in the building on air LIVE. Stations running automated music or potting up TV audio and locking the door are the exact reason people don’t listen to radio anymore – I can get the top40 hits off Spotify – Radio must give me something I can’t get elsewhere.


    • Except that Elvis Duran from New York was co-hosting said “live/local” coverage on WIOD. Which I guess is to be expected when the station is little more than a syndicated conservative talk dumping ground after 12pm.


  2. Any word on how the EAS PEP, SP and LP stations fared in the disaster areas?


    • the only two stations (TV, not radio) that actually had their EAS activated during the storm were WSFL/39 (CW) and WHFT/45 (TBN)…Ironically, these were pretty much the only two that didn’t have actual news coverage of the storm and continued with regular programming…..


  3. Cox Radio’s entire Orlando cluster did simulcast the audio of WFTV 9 early that Sunday afternoon as power outages throughout the market necessitated the move. Mind you, WDBO/96.5 was all-live, all-local for days on end, working side by side with WFTV’s weather department (and at some points, simulcast with WOKV/690-104.5 Jacksonville).

    That would be my argument for a TV audio simulcast that is done the right way.

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