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Radio Is Involved in Tornado Relief

Broadcasting’s first medium helps listeners aid storm victims

Stations in the areas hit by Oklahoma tornadoes continue to help victims.

Several broadcasters are helping to organize relief efforts as well as showing listeners how they can help aid efforts.

Cox Radio parent Cox Enterprises announced $1 million in support of the Oklahoma tornado relief effort, comprising $500,000 in a cash donation to the American Red Cross and $500,000 of in-kind support, including public service announcements on its stations. Cox is also hosting a series of community fundraisers.

The company has several stations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, as well as other media holdings. Cox Enterprises Chairman Jim Kennedy stated: “As a company that operates multiple businesses in Oklahoma, we are committed to helping our employees and the communities we serve recover from this disaster. In providing this assistance, we also encourage others to support the local relief and recovery efforts.”

NAB praised Oklahoma stations’ public service efforts related to the disaster. NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith said what broadcasters do “cannot be replicated by any other communications technology.”

“There is no doubt that local broadcasters face new competitive threats in the form of social media, smartphones and the latest apps,” said Smith. “But it is equally true that broadcasting’s ‘one-to-everyone’ transmission architecture remains indispensable as a lifeline service in times of danger.”

Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters President/CEO Vance Harrison credited broadcasters with getting the word out before the storm, saving “countless lives” because of “the extraordinary efforts of every broadcaster when it really mattered.”

Not everybody is singing broadcasters’ praise. Programming consultant Holland Cooke says some talk stations could have done more; read that here (PDF).