New Orleans 'Poseidon Adventure' During Hurricane - Radio World

New Orleans 'Poseidon Adventure' During Hurricane

New Orleans 'Poseidon Adventure' During Hurricane
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They told commissioners about what it was like "on the ground" - or maybe the term should be "on the water."
Dramatic testimony this week before the FCC from Diane Newman, operations director for Entercom's WWL(AM) in New Orleans, and Dick Lewis, regional vice president for Clear Channel Radio's Louisiana and Southern Mississippi region.
They told the commissioners of harrowing experiences they and their employees had after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast.
Newman began by apologizing for her appearance, explaining she had left the station with only the clothes on her back and her purse. The 24-year veteran of WWL said, "Understand that this story is huge. The humanity behind the scenes ... is heart-wrenching."
Four Entercom FMs and one AM remained on the air, even as the levees broke and the city of New Orleans filled with water, Newman said. To conserve generator fuel, Entercom later shut down two FMs after the storm and ran the remaining stations at a reduced power level.
At one point during the storm, the generator shut down and could not be started remotely. Two WWL employees drove to an emergency studio set up ahead of time, "waded through a snake and alligator-infested swamp to restart the generator and get WWL back on the air."
She said the experience was like "the movie 'The Poseidon Adventure,' except we were on the radio live."
Entercom engineering executives told RW Online another area FM remains flooded and off the air.

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