Broadcasting alliance vows to keep city informed.
Radio broadcasters in and around New Orleans are uniting to keep the city, and the world, informed of what's really happening right now in the ravaged city.
It's a joint effort with a proud name and one objective: to keep transmitting the news the city needs as long as possible and to as many people as possible.
They're calling themselves the United Radio Broadcasters of New Orleans. Clear Channel, Entercom, Citadel, Apex, and the Louisiana State Network are the first to join the alliance.
Clear Channel VP of news/talk programming Gabe Hobbs and Entercom VP news/talk Ken Beck have combined their efforts and staff to produce news and information that will be broadcast over nine surviving radio stations in the stricken city.
"All programming is originating from the Clear Channel studios in Baton Rouge . . . with technical distribution assistance from the Louisiana State Network and Premiere Radio Networks," Hobbs tells Billboard Radio Monitor. "We are also utilizing Entercom facilities located at the Jefferson Parish [Emergency Operations Center].
"It's the 870 WWL news staff along with some of our staffers . . . all working together on the air," Hobbs explains. "They are doing 24/7, continuous coverage of the recovery and relief effort, dispensing emergency information and broadcasting live press conferences."
"Obviously, we are relying heavily on the expertise of 870 WWL’s staff," he says. "They are pros."
Among the stations participating are Entercom's WWL and WSMB New Orleans plus WLMG Kenner, La; Clear Channel's WQUE and WYLD New Orleans and KSTE Houma, La.; Citadel's WDVW LaPlace, La.; and Apex Broadcasting's KLCL Lake Charles, La., and KJEF Jennings, La.
The Louisiana State Network is distributing the broadcasts via satellite to smaller markets stations.
"As more stations are brought on-line they will join the . . . project," Hobbs says. "We invite all of the independent broadcasters in New Orleans to pick up our broadcast as well. We are having trouble contacting them for obvious reasons."