Recorded by Webmaster Steve West…
Continuing our weekly analysis of radio coverage of ‘Superstorm’ Sandy, here’s another segment of coverage on WCBS 880.
Pausing for a moment, we’d like to dedicate this portion of coverage to the team of meteorologists who spent days sweating over weather maps and tried, successfully, to persuede authorities to take this storm seriously in the face of so many who say weathermen hype up storms that don’t always live up to their billing. In particular, the team at the Weather Channel (although I’m not terribly happy with NBC Universal for dismantling the 24/7 weather engine this channel was in favor of mildly interesting shows like Ice Road Truckers, etc… shows surrounded by weather updates), and in particular, the teams of LOCAL meteorologists such as Craig Allen.. these people tirelessly worked bringing the storm track to the attention of people who never expected a ferocious storm such as Sandy to ever hit the New York Metro or LI/Southern New England and NJ coastline such as it did.
Of note, public officials DID pay attention. In particular, CT Governor Dannel Malloy, NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg and NJ Governor Chris Christie were uncharacteristically blunt in telling those in vulnerable areas to get out or else not expect help for days. That word, the live news conferences on TV and radio helped tremendously in getting the word out – and undoubtably saved hundreds of lives.
Radio played a huge role in helping the public survive Superstorm Sandy (we should be careful in not calling it a ‘hurricane’, since so many insurance companies won’t cover homeowners if a hurricane strikes, and this was technically a ‘tropical storm’ as categorized by the National Weather Service at landfall south of Atlantic City) – even though the barometric pressure was that of a Cat 3 hurricane turning to mountain blizzard and extra-tropical Nor’easter… Such details! Perhaps storm of the century is more like it. Amazingly, AM radio was where coverage was best. As mentioned in previous segments, many FM stations were voice tracked automated jukeboxes, although some did simulcast a TV station and in NYC in particular, WCBS 880 simulcast on FM as did sister All-News WINS 1010 – both fearing that their AM transmitters would be flooded out, and the FMs were on top of the Empire State Building. Did radio do a ‘good’ job? We feel that those that covered the storm as WCBS did, did EXACTLY as they should have. As for the others? You decide, then comment below.
This segment runs almost 2 hours.