Broadcast, Cable Team Up to Keep Public Informed

Long Island Radio Stations Allowed to Simulcast Cable News Storm Coverage
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Superstorm Sandy helped turn competitors into teammates to help keep viewers and listeners informed about the storm.

And although the online tagline for Cablevision's News 12 Long Island regional news net is "Only on Cablevision. Never on FiOS. Never on satellite," the cable operator made an exception in exceptional circumstances.

According to the New York State Broadcasters Association (NYSBA), four radio stations there dropped their formats to simulcast the cable news channel's storm coverage. A Cablevision spokesperson confirmed the operator had agreed to the arrangement with station owner Connoisseur Media, adding "it was very successful."

David Donovan, president of the NYSBA, made the point in a press release outlining state broadcaster efforts during the storm that while significant parts of Long Island were without cable after the storm, nearly all the radio stations remained on the air.

Once again, said Donovan, "local radio and television broadcasting proved the most secure, robust and important radio service during a natural disaster, thanks in part to the use of back-up generators. So long as fuel is provided, studios and transmitters can broadcast life-saving information," he said.

The FCC said Thursday that it was making access to fuel to keep communications up and running a key priority for the commission.