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Connecticut Broadcasters Help Residents "Weather" Winter Storms

HARTFORD, Conn., Feb. 10, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As Connecticut was hit recently by four winter storms, the state's radio and TV stations made it their priority to continuously inform residents about what to expect, how to keep safe, and what was going on as it happened.

The January 26-27 blizzard, in particular, compelled Governor Dannel P. Malloy to activate the state's Emergency Operations Center and use Connecticut's statewide network of broadcast stations to communicate with residents. Here are some of the things stations did during that storm:

  • Hartford's WTIC-AM made sure its generator was ready for multiple days of service. It arranged for announcers to broadcast from home and for staff to stay in nearby hotels in order to keep the station on the air. WTIC-AM dedicated two full days to storm coverage, providing up-to-the-minute reports about weather, road conditions and closings, and safety tips on wind chill, propane heaters, and generators.
  • WFSB-TV 3 assigned news staff and meteorologists around the clock at the station and in the field. A reporter was stationed at the state's Emergency Operations Center, and it provided customized weather and field reports for various communities around the state. Over 21 hours of storm coverage had viewers thanking the station for keeping them informed and safe.
  • In Eastern Connecticut, Hall Communications' six radio stations provided storm updates twice an hour, carried the Governor's press conferences, and had the New London Mayor and local Emergency Management Directors on several times. Staffers stayed overnight at local stations or nearby hotels to remain on the air.
  • NBC Connecticut used breakthrough technology to bring viewers live reports from across the state. Live and Drive technology provided real-time live road conditions and the All-Terrain One "AT1" news gathering vehicle enabled live reports from some of the most hard to reach areas significantly impacted by the storms. Local coverage was expanded with additional reporters and staff working day and night with coverage on-air, online, and via social media.
  • Danbury's WLAD-AM put staffers up in a nearby hotel and expanded local programming with live weather and traffic information, and interviews with officials from Danbury, Ridgefield, Bethel and Brookfield. In addition to broadcasting the Governor's news conferences, WLAD had listener calls on the air to share storm stories.
  • In the Connecticut River Valley, WMRD-AM and WLIS-AM stayed on the air by having someone sleep at the stations. They provided hourly weather updates and interrupted programming with storm-related news and information. Among other stories, they were able to report on a local power outage caused by a snowplow knocking down a power pole.
  • Putnam's WINY-AM gassed up an all-wheel-drive vehicle to get radio personnel to work, contacted local police to serve as potential back-up transportation, tested station generators and fuel levels, and provided meals for staff in nearby hotels. One employee even stayed with his grandmother who lives two miles from the station.

Connecticut Broadcasters Association: www.ctba.org, 860-305-2038.

CONTACT: Laura Soll, 860-688-4499, laura@sollpr.comSource:Connecticut Broadcasters Association