By Paul S. Rotella, Esq.
New Jersey Broadcasters Association
MONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ — Are we ready? Of course; that’s because we usually stand ready, often prepared for anything—that’s what local radio is all about: being prepared, being nimble, and being informative, with real information our listeners need. It’s amazing how dedicated local broadcasters are, especially in New Jersey where local radio means so much to our state!
We’ve been preparing since Friday. As you know, our great NJ broadcasters have responded to extreme and hazardous weather events magnificently in the past and we expect them to continue this fine tradition of selfless service in the face or Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.
This is a perfect example of how only local radio and TV can provide the critical information our audiences need to know in times of emergency. Sure, you can get a “big picture” overview from some media sources, but our citizens need to know much more detailed and salient information that only local broadcasters can provide. I remember during Irene, our broadcasters stayed at their stations for three days straight, without commercial interruption, and without food and many of the necessitates we take for granted under normal operating conditions. I am extremely proud to be a part of this wonderful industry, which his filled with so many dedicated and talented people, all of whom continue to serve their communities and their audiences without regard for their own needs, and sometimes safety. God willing, we will all survive this storm without the loss of life or limb.
I have been in contact with local, state and federal authorities as well as with many of our stations in New Jersey for the last 48 hours; Without exception, all of the stations I have spoken with report that their entire staff is preparing for the storm with sleeping bags, emergency generators, special weather alerts, people coming in today and overnight to prep in advance of the storm. Simply amazing how dedicated people get in an emergency! This is what I love about our industry. We are resilient and we are dedicated no matter what!. We just continue to excel!”
Knowing how our great New Jersey broadcasters have responded to events like this in years past, this will once again be one of free-over-the air-broadcast’s finest hours.
We have been providing situational reports regularly as they come inform the various authorities. In addition, we have been preparing emergency “Essential Personnel ID Certifications, so our broadcasters can travel on the roads during the state of emergency, often at great personal risk, in order to make sure the information gathered in the field gets out to the diverse audiences they serve.
As usual, New Jersey’s broadcasters will rise to the occasion and provide the lifesaving information that our citizens will need to “weather” the storm. It’s what we do…it what Real Radio is all about! (By the way: if you need a little lite entertainment, try one of the computer wanna-be radio stations…I’m sure they are still playing some lovely music! I’m so grateful for their unselfish and faithful service, and for their unwavering support of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association. I know I speak for all of our members when I say they will do all things humanly possible to keep their loyal audiences informed and up to date on the storm’s progress, as well as the effort that will be sorely needed in the aftermath of Sandy. It’s not a gut feeling…it’s a mathematical certainty!
Paul S. Rotella, Esq. is president/CEO of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association. He can be phoned at 609-860-0111 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org