Radio Heavies at FCC Hearing

Radio’s vital role in emergency communications was celebrated at the FCC field hearing held to review such communications in the wake of Superstorm Sandy last week in Hoboken, NJ.

New Jersey Broadcasters Association Resident Paul Rotella called the commissioners’ attention to Illinois’s recently-passed law giving the state’s broadcasters first-responders status, noting that all broadcasters should be granted such status to allow them priority access to fuel and resources to stay on the air.

Clear Channel CEO John Hogan described how his company responded to Sandy and noted that radio is much more reliable than social media.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai mentioned a Trenton radio station in his praise of Gov. Christie’s efforts “to provide information and field questions from listeners just as Sandy was making landfall.”

Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said, “I understand the New Jersey Broadcasters Association was very instrumental in working with FEMA and the FCC to help broadcast stations stay on the air. These stations were vital to providing information to communities.”

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said, “Our nation’s communications infrastructure is a vital part of our public safety and national security. The inability to communicate with family and emergency personnel during a disaster is simply unacceptable. We must meet this moment with smart action from all sectors to ensure that communications networks are working when people need them most.”