Beasley Media Group Stations Prepare for Hurricane Isaias
|RADIO ONLINE | Friday, July 31, 2020|
Beasley Media Group's stations across the East Coast of the U.S. are busy preparing for Hurricane Isaias. The company issued an overview by market of what BMG teams are doing to make sure the local communities served continue to be well informed and up-to-date with the latest information.
WJBR-FM Program Director Eric Johnson and his team are busy doing hurricane preparation in Wilmington, Delaware. The station plans to be live from 5:30am through 7pm on Tuesday during the time (subject to change) the storm is anticipated to pass through and will provide important timely updates after that. Over the weekend, air personalities will be passing along storm track updates as well as sending listeners to wjbr.com for more coverage. From an engineering perspective, the station's generator will be ready to go in the event there is a loss of power.
According to Randy Bliss, Operations Manager at Beasley Media Group Fayetteville, the staffs at the BMG stations are prepared and ready to go for the Hurricane. The digital team is finalizing a Hurricane Central Section on the station websites and apps. This section will have up to date information on the storm, its track and potential impact on the Fayetteville area, which is anticipated (subject to change) to be Sunday evening. The on-air teams will monitor and provide updates all weekend as well as send listeners (using both live and recorded announcements) to the Hurricane Central area for the latest information.
The staff is on alert and prepared to execute the cluster's Storm Plan, which includes coming in to the station to handle coverage, information and outreach to the community. If the area experiences any kind of direct hit, the station will have a number of options, including using local TV partners to help with information, and simulcasting its stations in a combined effort. In addition, the engineers are busy checking fuel levels in generators and making sure the stations are prepared to get them fired up to remain on the air as well as reviewing its remote access system to make sure the on-air teams can work offsite if necessary.
According to Beasley Media Group Augusta Vice President and Market Manager Kent Dunn, it has staff meteorologist watching closely to see if the storm changes its track. The radio cluster will be ready if the storm changes its track and heads towards Augusta. The stations are also in the process of posting a hurricane tracking map on all of its sites. In addition, the staff will be on standby, if needed, at any time during the weekend.
Beasley Media Group New Jersey Senior Vice President and Regional General Manager Dan Finn and his team have a strong track record regarding storms and being prepared in each of the company's New Jersey markets. The stations have always remained live and local. They will continue this trend by furnishing local information during the pending hurricane both on-air and through their digital platforms. In addition, all standby generators are being retested. In the event of a hurricane, all facilities will be prepared with food, water and sleeping bags for staff to ensure its commitment to providing its local New Jersey communities with all necessary information.
According to Beasley Media Group Philadelphia's Chuck Damico, the stations are in the process of finalizing a deal with a local television news outlet to locally simulcast if necessary. The Philly cluster's engineering team had all backup equipment checked and serviced. The stations are also in the process of working with a local hotel partner to keep essential staff close to its facilities (much like they would during a major snow storm). In addition, the on-air team will share updates they receive on a local level. The team is also exploring partnerships on a local level on the digital front to have updates on the station websites as well as on social platforms.
Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL
According to Vice President and Market Manager, Steve Triplett, the Beasley Media Group Tampa radio properties are busy making sure they are ready if the storm's track changes and heads towards the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg area. This includes:
- Checking and topping off all generator fuel supplies
- Checking all primary, secondary, and tertiary STL links
- Primary talent on all stations equipped with remote voice tracking gear
- Pre-produced weather update beds, breaks, and production elements prepared
- Coordination with its TV weather partners for real-time updates
- Digital and social channels ready for weather update messaging
- Engineering team on standby for staggered shifts to cover 24/7 needs.
Fort Myers, FL:
According to the Beasley Media Group Southwest Florida team, the staff is busy making sure the generators are full of fuel and procedures are in place as part of its overall preparedness plan in the event the storm changes its current anticipated path. If that were to happen, beginning three days out, the stations would provide timely updates that would lead into wall-to-wall coverage (day of). In addition, designated team members would remain in the station to make sure everything is running properly and the cluster would partner with NBC-2TV to simulcast coverage. At this time, on-air personalities and station personnel are ready to go and on-call (to shift in any way possible) if the storm track changes in order to provide constant updates on the air and via the cluster's digital and social platforms.
According to Mary Menna, vice president and market manager of Beasley Media Group Boston, in the event the hurricane tracks towards Boston, the stations would be ready to go with their preparedness plan. This includes putting on-air teams up in hotels near the station, stocking the office with food and water. In addition, we would keep an engineer in building/or hotel walking distance as well as at the transmitter (standbys), make sure the generator is filled up, test all back-up systems and have remote equipment ready to go in the event on air personalities need to work from home.
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