Since Saturday afternoon at 4:00 PM, CBS RADIO Houston has been hard at work connecting local area residents to relevant and timely information during hurricane Harvey. The cluster is running a four-station, commercial-free simulcast of long-form coverage across KILT-FM/AM, KHMX-FM and KKHH-FM featuring storm updates, evacuation information, disaster relief resources and taking live calls.Sports station KIKK 650 has been turned into a continuous loop of evacuation information, routes and shelters. The station was granted Special Temporary Authority by the FCC to run for 24 hours during this emergency period. Spanish station KLOL-FM will air a commercial-free simulcast of Telemundo until further notice.
Once the live simulcasts began running across the stations, the phone lines were inundated with questions and needs that CBS RADIO Houston is helping to answer and connecting residents with immediate help. KILT, KHMX and KKHH are the only FM stations in Houston broadcasting continuous live storm coverage.
Employees, many of whom can’t make it home, are camped out in the CBS RADIO Houston offices or in a nearby hotel. Food and water were stockpiled ahead of the storm and local residents and grocers have even brought food to the office. Chief Engineer Robbie Green has been continuously onsite since Friday and any and all on-air hosts that were able to make it safely to the stations were pulled in to provide continuous live updates: George Lindsey, Cowboy Dave and Mo, Nick Russo and Erin Austin from 100.3 The Bull; Geoff Sheen, Sarah Pepper and Lauren Kelly from Mix 96.5; Sean Pendergast, Mike Meltzer and Paul Gallant from SportsRadio 610.
Evacuation and shelter updates are also being offered on the stations’ websites and social media pages. Over the past 24 hours, The Bull’s Nick Russo has reached over 251,000 people on his Twitter page while the station has reached over two million. The combined reach of the stations, on-air and online, is massive.
CBS RADIO Houston SVP/Market Manager Sarah Frazier stated, “Our employees are 100% dedicated to broadcasting the latest information to help evacuate Houston residents, keep them safe and connected to loved ones. This is a difficult time for everyone in the area but we are all working together to get through it. In emergency situations such as this, the power of local radio is undisputed, unparalleled and reaches everyone in the community. We are all proudly #HoustonStrong.”