Re: Re: Re: Tornado Sirens in Racine...where is our local station?

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Posted by Jeremy Andrews on April 12, 2015 at 01:39:47:

In Reply to: Re: Re: Tornado Sirens in Racine...where is our local station? posted by TVV on April 10, 2015 at 20:52:44:

One radio station I will give props to and that station is 94.9 WDKB Dekalb, Illinois aka B95. It's a Hot AC station. Local heavy.

I scanned Rockford radio while these storms were moving thru.

WZOK had their EAS go off, but other than that it was just music. Everybody else on the dial was playing music.

Then I went to WDKB. Fairdale, Illinois (which was flattened by this storm) is 10 miles from WDKB's transmitter site. Rochelle is about 9 miles from there. Rochelle has 2 radio stations. I didn't check them, but I know they rely on satellite programming.

Back to WDKB, they were wall to wall from the start. A live guy in the studio giving information, and playing a recording of safety tips in between his updates. He was the first voice I heard that said "There is a large tornado on the ground." No idea what his name was. That radio station probably saved a few lives if anybody was listening to the warning and taking it seriously.

Locally, we have WIIL. The night guy Stu is almost always on the air when a tornado warning is issued. If he's not, the EAS box is. They were live and wall to wall on 95.1 from the time McHenry County, IL was issued a warning until the last warning in Racine County was cancelled. WIIL and their AM sister have a long history of wall to wall coverage. In the 90s, they'd simulcast that coverage.

I honestly do not remember hearing any wall to wall severe weather coverage on night. There WAS a tornado warning that happened in the afternoon a year or two ago. The afternoon drive news anchor Janet Hoff (she still works there) was live on the air giving details wall to wall and they simulcast the audio thru 92.1's board until the warning expired. Both stations have EAS. Milwaukee radio has EAS. The warning went off on WMYX, WXSS, WRIT (and likely the others)

When there was a warning outbreak, the Clear Channel stations went to an audio simulcast of WITI. This is actually pretty common in major and large markets. I've heard CC stations simulcast TV in Chicago before, Oklahoma City, etc. If there is someone in the building who thinks its serious enough, they'll get a simulcast running.

In a much smaller CC market (Sioux City, Iowa) the stations there are basically voice tracked, automated all the time except for the morning drive. There was a tornado outbreak in that area about a year or two ago. The CHR station's morning guy and PD went into work during the outbreak, started giving live updates. They even had the voice tracker in Dallas make a special voice track for the incident.

To me, it seems like the stations with the most coverage have the people with the most passion. If someone is willing to go into work to report a tornado warning (There are people who are) Then you will get quality coverage during whatever hour.

Then there's WTMJ. They always have had wall to wall severe weather coverage. Even overnight. Someone is always in the newsroom there. You're lucky to have WTMJ in that regard. They've gone as far as simulcasting the audio on 94.5 because the severe weather was so bad much of the market couldn't hear anything but lightning crackle on 620.

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