Hurricane 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
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.
— Dave Graveline (@DaveGraveline) September 10, 2017
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.