From the Corner Office: February 2013

February 12, 2013

Radio Keeps Listeners Informed

During Boston’s Blizzard of 2013

Hello everyone,Peter Smyth

I am writing from snowy Boston, where we are digging out from a near-record breaking two feet of snow over this past weekend. I’ve been watching snowplows trying to make a path through the monster drifts and they have a challenging job ahead of them.

It seems like the East Coast of the United States has become a magnet for unusual and extreme weather. In fact, the National Weather Service and the local and state governments took their forecasts very seriously and saved residents much inconvenience and suffering.

Rob Williams’ Greater Media Boston stations had a plan, and on Friday afternoon swung into action, making sure that they would provide the information and service that our listeners deserved. They used the complete toolkit of assets to make sure that anyone who had a relationship with the station was updated with necessary information. For example, Radio 92.9 WBOS took to the air with listings of concert postponements, traffic bans, power outages and transit service updates. They also duplicated that information on all of their social media presence.

Classic Hits 105.7 WROR had Julie Devereaux airing updates all afternoon Friday on the traffic and weather situation, as well as her salutes on air to the hard working snowplow drivers who were battling around the clock to keep the roads passable.

Magic 106.7 has an ongoing relationship with Fox 25 TV and tapped into their resources for hourly updates, while Country 102.5 WKLB turned their station website into a source for the latest information and invited listeners to share their experiences on the site.

Behind the scenes, our engineers and office staff worked hard to secure accommodations for air personalities who would be working the entire weekend, along with food and drink for those who performed needed functions off the air. Engineers watched for equipment or power failures and stood ready to switch to backups. There was no way to predict how 80 mile an hour winds would affect our antennas, but we were determined to stay on the air and provide what our listeners needed. Other staff members were kept busy gathering information, making calls, updating websites, answering phones giving out information; all those functions that need helping hands to make radio happen.

As the skies cleared on the weekend, the stations and the rest of Boston began to dig out and return to normal. And thanks to a dedicated staff, a good plan, pre-storm organization, and accurate weather forecasts, Greater Media Boston helped its listeners weather the blizzard of 2013. Was it an unusual weekend for the stations? Yes, but it stands as an example of the ingenuity and flexibility of our people, who are the real source of radio’s reliability and utility when the unforeseen happens, when the power fails, or when the roads are impassable.

Let it snow; we are ready for it. Our medium came through once again.

As always, I am interested in your feedback.