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Radio Fundraisers Spring Up in Harvey’s Wake

“We couldn’t set the phone down without it ringing again immediately”

Station service update: Tuesday’s DIRS report from the FCC lists seven radio stations out of service due to Harvey, down from nine the day before. Listed as off were KXAI, K224EH, KKTX, KPRC, KKPN, KKWV and KAYK. Note that KUNO, KMKS, KZFM, KKBA and KEYS were removed from the list since Monday while KXAI, K224EH and KKPN were added. Also, KUQI, a TV station in Corpus Christi, was out of service.

Broadcasters around the country are engaged in trying to help people in Texas and the Gulf Coast.

“We couldn’t set the phone down without it ringing again immediately,” says J. Pat Miller, director of marketing and innovation for Milwaukee Radio Operations at Scripps Media. The “Taking Action for Texas” Phone Bank fundraiser was conducted Monday afternoon by TV station “Today’s TMJ4,” WTMJ Radio and 94.5 KTI Country.

“Eight phones were full for over three hours,” Miller said. “Our grand total was $69,095 for the Red Cross to continue their amazing work for the people of Texas.” Their team is shown.

In Missouri, E.W. Scripps stations in Springfield were raising money Tuesday morning support the effort of a locally based effort called Convoy of Hope, which is working in Texas. Its stations are 94.7 Today’s KTTS, 104.1 KSGF, Power 96.5 and 106.7 The River. They called for donations to be dropped off, and offered a Krispy Kreme doughnut and a coffee from Classic Rock Coffee with each $5 given. A larger donation earned two invitations to the KTTS Springfield Country Music Awards Show.

Vice President Mike Pence, himself a former broadcaster, had high praise for broadcast stations in the wake of the storm, according to RW sister publication Broadcasting & Cable. In an interview with KTRK-TV Houston, the vice president said: “[L]et me thank this station, and all the great local media that has been working, I know, around the clock, to get real time information to those that are struggling in the aftermath of landfall for Hurricane Harvey and now dealing with the historic flooding.” Then, in a subsequent interview with radio station WOAI San Antonio, the former talk radio host said: “Thank you so much for the way that this station has leaned into this effort to provide timely information to people all across the region. It’s the very best of public service, and we commend you for it. We truly do.”

Broadcasters themselves may have suffered personal losses, and to help staff of public media stations who have sustained losses, the organization Greater Public is doing a fund drive.

All of those tax-deductible donations go “directly to the staff of public media stations who have sustained losses due to hurricane and subsequent flooding throughout the region. In the past, contributions to the Colleagues Helping Colleagues Fund have been used to help cover the costs of food, clothing, shelter, and repairs.”

The Society of Broadcast Engineers urged its members to make financial contributions to the Red Cross, Salvation Army or other appropriate disaster relief agencies. “We recognize the broadcasters in the region who are working around the clock to bring emergency information to the public, with special recognition to the broadcast engineers who are working to keep those stations on the air,” said President Jerry Massey in a statement.