The ice storm of 1998 is over and Q-106.5 did not make the news. The radio station was never threatened by a loss of power. It has full, automatic power generators at both its studio and transmitter. The National Guard did not have to deliver propane. The station was well prepared with two weeks worth of fuel already on-site. Its staff did not have to work heroic hours. It is one of only two Bangor stations that still has a live, local air staff around the clock. (WKIT is the other.)
Political leaders did not have to call the station. Q-106.5 called them. The station operates the largest radio news department north of Portland. Kudos to all area broadcasters who operate properly maintained facilities and rely on professional staffs, not volunteers. You were prepared. Your efforts were not reported in the Bangor Daily News. You are competent enough to be taken for granted. Bob Duchesne General manager Q-106.5, Brewer
Your editorial, “Eye on the storm” (BDN, Jan. 20), does a tremendous disservice to the many employees of area radio and television stations who worked long hours to provide storm coverage to their listeners and viewers during the recent emergency.
No broadcaster in this market takes anything away from WVOM or WWBX-WABI for their flake-to-flake coverage of this storm. They apparently filled a need for folks who felt compelled to share their woes with, and to dispense advice to, their radio neighbors. Some folks also got a chance to do good deeds for others. We encourage that and applaud both the stations’ and the listeners’ efforts.
However, virtually every other radio and television station in the market altered their formats to report on cancellations, safety and health issues, including shelter locations and the do’s and don’t of handling multiple days without power.
We also worked hard to provide our loyal listeners and viewers with some of the entertainment they typically expect from us. I hope it does not come as shock to you that not every listener or viewer wished to know every detail of every person’s storm-related woes. For example, a number of people called one of my stations to make sure we were broadcasting the Green Bay-San Francisco game. These folks did not have cable service and their only access to the game was via radio. They wanted to be entertained by a football game. For them, the storm of the century became less stressful for at least a few hours.
As a broadcaster, I am proud of the manner in which my industry responded to the state of emergency. I offer my thanks and appreciation to all area broadcasters who did the best they could under difficult circumstances. All of these stations provided reliable and responsible storm and emergency information to their listeners and viewefs, while also delivering the many other programs and features that have made them important community institutions. These broadcasters did not panic in the face of adversity. It is very likely that their audiences followed that lead. Christopher Spruce Executive vice president and general manager WKIT-WZON, Bangor