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  • Ann Marie Cumming 10:06 am on July 1, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: Broadcasters, , , , , Moore,   

    Local Broadcasters: A Lifeline for Residents of Moore, OK 

    NAB is proud to present the third installment in a powerful video series demonstrating the irreplaceable and indispensable role that local radio and television broadcasters play as “first informers” during times of emergency.  The first installment featured the tornadoes of Joplin, MO and Tuscaloosa, AL; the second featured broadcast station efforts from Washington, DC to New York in the coverage of Superstorm Sandy.

    This film focuses on Moore, OK, where in May deadly tornadoes stretching 17 miles long and measuring 1.3 miles wide ripped through the nation’s heartland, demolishing neighborhoods, businesses, a hospital and two elementary schools. Twenty-four people died, a toll that could have been far greater were it not for the efforts of local broadcasters.

    Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin thanked broadcasters in a post-storm press conference, saying, “The media has done a superb job over the last couple of days of keeping people informed about the current weather conditions, especially our weathermen and those that have been on the ground driving and calling and tracking the storm itself…I had many people come up and say, because of the media and their rapid response and reporting on the track of the storms, they were able to get to a storm shelter and be safe.”

    This 6-minute mini-documentary features never-before-seen footage of the devastation, along with testimonials from local broadcasters related to their preparation for the unprecedented weather emergency, their uninterrupted news coverage, their support for first responders and victims of the storm, and their assist in recovery efforts.  The film includes commentaries from broadcasters such as these:

    “It was no longer about having good television, and instead it was about providing life-saving information.”  Damon Lane, KOCO-TV Oklahoma City chief meteorologist

    “You have to be as descriptive as you can and paint the best picture of what the storm is doing and where the storm is.”  Jon Welsh, KFOR-TV,  Bob Moore Chopper 4 pilot/reporter

    “(Our station) was constantly getting needed, vital information…(Listeners) knowing that you’re connected like that means the world to them.” Janet, KJ103 (KJYO-FM), morning show host

    “When we really shine is when the storm has passed and the recovery efforts start.”  Brad Copeland, KATT-FM morning show host

    “Any little way that we can help make someone’s life a little easier during these tough times.  I think that’s what it’s all about.” Steve O’Brien, Magic 104.1 KMGL, program director/morning show host.

    “With the power of that storm and with the velocity that it had coming in to that Moore area; if (residents) hadn’t known, we could have lost hundreds (of lives), and we didn’t.” Linda Cavanaugh, KFOR-TV, anchor/reporter

    NAB salutes the heroic lifeline coverage of Oklahoma broadcasters. Many thanks once again to the film’s producer Media Arts Professor Scott Hodgson from the University of Oklahoma.  Working with the Broadcast Education Association, Scott and his students spent countless hours collecting footage and conducting interviews for this video account of broadcasters’ remarkable efforts in covering this horrific act of Mother Nature.

  • Rick Kaplan 11:36 am on May 21, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: Auction, , Broadcasters, ,   

    Working Toward an Effective Band Plan 

    Today AT&T, the National Association of Broadcasters and Verizon jointly posted the following blog:

    The TV broadcast spectrum incentive auction proceeding raises some of the most difficult engineering challenges the FCC has ever faced.  One thing is clear:  a successful auction must start with an effective band plan.  A band plan must seek to mitigate interference challenges to the greatest extent possible while offering blocks of spectrum best suited for deployment by U.S. wireless carriers.  Otherwise, it will drive down the value of the spectrum and likely undermine the auction’s success.

    With that in mind, broadcasters, wireless carriers and equipment manufacturers have spent an enormous amount of time, energy and expense reviewing and commenting on the optimal framework for the 600 MHz band.  Hundreds of pages of comments have been filed, two industry consensus letters have been submitted and the FCC just recently convened a day-long workshop to discuss this issue.  The result is growing consensus for adoption of a “down from 51” framework that seeks to maximize paired allocations and build guard bands only to meet engineering necessity.  This approach reflects the best collective engineering judgment of the companies most affected by the auction, including those that will spend billions of dollars to purchase 600 MHz licenses at auction and billions more to develop and deploy the spectrum in U.S. wireless networks.

    Despite these significant advances, on Chairman Julius Genachowski’s last day, a Public Notice was released seeking comment on two alternative band plan frameworks, one reversing the uplink and downlink allocations and one featuring time division duplex (TDD).  The first has absolutely no support in the record and the second adopts a technological approach contrary to the one proposed by the majority of U.S. carriers.  A fair reading of the Public Notice suggests that the FCC feels the consensus approach constrains its ability to adjust the band plan to meet market-by-market variations.  We believe, however, that this notice will consume resources better spent on dealing with other critical and as-yet-unanswered questions in this proceeding, such as how co-channel interference concerns could undermine the variability of any band plan and how the FCC plans to conduct an effective re-packing.

    Each of us of course will respond to the notice, but we don’t anticipate any fundamental shift in positions we’ve already taken in the record.  In the meantime, we are concerned about the apparent disconnect between the FCC and the various industries that will be critically affected by this auction.  Nothing about this auction will be easy, and, if we are to succeed, we must all work together to find solutions best designed to respond to broadcast industry concerns while meeting wireless industry requirements.

  • Ann Marie Cumming 10:24 am on January 31, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: Broadcasters, Crisis, , , Hurricane, , , , Public service,   

    Broadcasters: America’s ‘First Informers’ 

    Every day across America, local radio and television broadcasters serve communities in extraordinary ways: raising millions of dollars for charity, rescuing kidnapped children with AMBER Alerts, and creating awareness about important health and safety issues through public affairs programming.

    Regardless of individual broadcasters’ level of commitment to public service, there is no role stations embrace more seriously than that of “first informer.” Indeed, during times of crisis, no technology can replicate broadcasting’s reliability in reaching mass audiences. It is also during these times when an ethos prevails among broadcasters — an ethos that compels stations to go “the extra mile” for the safety and well-being of viewers and listeners.

    2011 was no exception. The year included devastating tornadoes, a rare East Coast earthquake, wildfires, Hurricane Irene and other severe storms and flooding. Through it all, local radio and television stations were a reliable lifeline, preempting regular programing with news coverage and life-saving information.

    When Hurricane Irene was creating dangerous conditions along the East Coast, local TV and radio combined boots on the ground reporting with social media updates to keep viewers informed on the storm. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate recognized this role when he told Americans to turn to their local TV and radio stations for information about the impending storm and to receive important updates from first responders.

    In April, Alabama and Missouri were devastated by the worst tornado outbreak in 40 years. In the span of a few hours, entire neighborhoods were destroyed and hundreds of lives lost. Thousands were left homeless. Radio and television broadcasters were instrumental in saving lives with tornado warnings and emergency and disaster relief information. They also played a critical role in the recovery and rebuilding of communities in the aftermath of the storms.

    These feats of courage, dedication and generosity demonstrated by local broadcasters are captured in this short film produced by talented media arts professor, Scott Hodgson, and his students at the University of Oklahoma, along with Chandra Clark, professor of telecommunications and film at The University of Alabama. Working with the Broadcast Education Association, Scott and Chandra compiled stunning footage for a video account of broadcasters’ response to these horrific tornadoes.

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