For a visual indication of how closely a radio station can touch the lives of listeners, especially when other services like phones and power are unreliable, look no farther than this photo, passed along by NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton as such a reminder. It came from John Wharff, the second-generation owner, president & promotions guy for WMOA(AM) in Marietta, Ohio, who saw it while out delivering battery operated radios after the late June derecho storm. Writes Wharton, “The photo is another reminder of the value of local broadcasting during times of crisis.”
The station website has this mission statement: “Generations of Marietta residents have come to depend on AM 1490 for news coverage. When severe weather strikes, an industrial accident occurs or the Ohio River floods, the WMOA staff goes on alert to keep Marietta informed.” The 1 kW station went on the air in 1946 from a garage in Williamstown, W.Va.