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Stations: Save Tapes From Your Storm Coverage

By Ed Ryan
Radio Ink Editor

February 2, 2011 -- Radio stations all over the country were serving their local communities this week as a winter storm rolled from state to state. Providing important information to our communities is what we do best. It reminded me of my first days in radio, when I was covering the storm "live" with our Marantz recorder (do they even make those anymore?). It actually earned me the key to the city of Oneonta, presented by Mayor David Brenner during a City Council meeting.
As I was listening to all the radio stations (online) cover the storm hitting their cities, I got to thinking that these are the kinds of stories that earn radio stations nominations for the NAB's Crystal Radio Awards. So I picked up the telephone, called John David at the NAB, and asked him a few questions.
Radio stations all over the country are doing an excellent job covering the storm today. What do you think?
David: It doesn't surprise me that stations across the country are doing what broadcasting does best -- which is providing timely and lifeline news and information to our listeners. Even in an era of Twitter, Facebook, and the iPad, there is nothing that can replicate the immediacy of local radio when it comes to serving a community.
These are situations that  the NAB Crystal Radio Awards were made for, aren't they? 
Absolutely. The Crystals were created to recognize those stations that represent the very best in community service. These are highly coveted awards.  Hearing the acceptance remarks of the winners is one of the highlights of the Radio Luncheon at the NAB convention in Las Vegas.  
What is the NAB looking for when it comes to this type of coverage? 
We honor stations for exemplary programming and charitable efforts that make a real difference in the lives of their listeners in their markets.
What are your thoughts on how you believe radio performs in situations like this and how important it is to the industry? I don't think there's any higher calling than to be a broadcaster whose AMBER Alert can help rescue a missing child, or whose emergency weather warning can help keep listeners out of harms way. That's what makeradio such a special profession NAB is proud to honor those broadcasting professionals who make that difference .  
Community service is  just good business for local broadcasters, but stations very often don't promote what they've done enough. I know that the NAB Communications Department is always seeking anecdotal examples of public service to help tell our story in Washington. So if your readers have examples of outstanding storm coverage, e-mailing them to Allison Kreutzjans at NAB, whose e-mail address is

(2/4/2011 6:34:10 AM)
Ed: To your question about Marantz recorders -do they still make those anymore. They certainly do.
I have a Marantz PMD 660 digital recorder here at home (and there's a PMD 661 with more features for sale). I also have my trusty Shure SM 58 at the ready. I used that in my later years in broadcasting, and we use them in our radio and podcast production classes at Benedictine College, where I teach Journalism and Mass Communications.
And, if I'm in a pinch, I have my 20 year old Marantz PMD 201 cassette recorder on the shelf-still works like a champ.

- Mike Throop
(2/3/2011 3:33:23 PM)
The sad part is that unless these stations include their storm coverage in their next quarterly report, it never happened in the eyes of the FCC. Who is going to remember the long hours and sacrifice at the next license renewal?

- Adrienne Abbott
(2/3/2011 10:00:16 AM)
Hi Ed; what a pleasant surprise to hear you came from Oneonta. I went to college there and lived in the area for several years after with my husband who grew up there. Wonderful memories from that time and Oneonta will always be close to my heart.

Been out here in Arizona for 30 years, working with "Arizona's Hometown Radio Group" for 20 years.

Just wanted to say hi to an old Neighbor! Allison

Allison Flannery
Vice President Advertising Sales
Arizona's Hometown Radio Group

- Allison Flannery

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