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Re: attacks on Afghanistan have begun

----- Original Message -----
From: "Donna Halper" <dlh@donnahalper.com>
To: <boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org>
Sent: Sunday, October 07, 2001 8:05 PM
Subject: RE: attacks on Afghanistan have begun

> (I would imagine this
> sort of event is especially tough for the weekend crew, none of whom are
> trained to make these decisions, plus most music stations only do news in
> AM drive during the week anyway...)

I work for Saga in Portland and since programming returned to normal after
the September 11th attacks there has been a memo posted in every studio with
numbers of management personnel to call if anything happened.  All the night
and weekend staff were encouraged to call if there was any possibility of a
need for continuing coverage.  I agree with Donna's point about part-timers
possibly not knowing what to do, but management shouldn't leave the decision
to them.  It's not like today's attacks were a surprise.  Every station
should have had a procedure in place for when the inevitable happened.

5 of 6 Saga's Portland stations had continuing coverage on before 1:00 PM.
WZAN stayed with the Patriots games.  Two members of management came in to
help.  The decision was made to return to music after 3:00 PM, with regular
updates each hour.   WGAN, of course, stuck with continuing coverage.  I had
a perfectly good show done on the hard drive, but came in and did my 3:00 PM
to 9:00 PM show live on Oldies 100.9 so we could have news updates three
times each hour.

When I got in the car around 2:00 PM, all of Citadel's Portland stations
were running continuing coverage.  WMTW's WTHT and KISS 99.9 were running
music.  They were the first Portland stations to return to regular
programming after the September 11th attacks.

When I came home tonight, Citadel's WBLM, WCLZ and WCYY were carrying
continuing coverage from Fox News, while Citadel's WHOM and WJBQ were
carrying normal music programming.  I wonder why they decided to stick with
coverage on three stations but not the other two?

Dan Harris is in Pakistan for ABC.  He worked for WLBZ in Bangor and WCSH in
Portland in the early/mid 90's, before going to Boston for the cable news
network.  I got to know Dan when he covered a congressional campaign that I
was managing in 1994.  He's a good guy and good reporter.  I'm happy to see
he's got a high profile position with a major network.

-- Dan Billings, Bowdoinham, Maine