Broadcasters' Public Service
 Special Edition: Orlando Massacre
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Broadcasters Provide Solace Following Orlando Massacre
49 Dead and 53 wounded at massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando

At 2 a.m. on June 12, a gunman opened fire inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla. The gunman, who had pledged allegiance to ISIS, killed 49 and wounded 53 in what authorities have deemed the worst mass shooting in United States history. Local radio and television broadcasters in Orlando and across the country aired wall-to-wall coverage, with station groups sending news teams from other cities.

"Broadcasting's importance is only magnified during moments of national tragedy," said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. "NAB salutes the radio and TV stations in Orlando and elsewhere who provided continuous updates and a source of solace in the wake of this unspeakable massacre."

Radio Provides Extensive Coverage of Unthinkable Terror Attack

Radio Covers Orlando terror attack

Radio Ink and Inside Radio provided details on broadcast radio stations' response to the tragedy. CBS Radio brought personnel from all of its morning shows to help WQMP-FM and WOMX-FM Orlando. As listeners asked how they could help, CBS provided information on where to donate blood.

Westwood One sent two reporters, Alan Scaia and Scott Kimbler, to Orlando on June 12 to cover the massacre. Scaia and Kimbler stayed in Orlando all week to cover the aftermath and President Obama's planned trip to Orlando on June 16.

iHeartMedia Orlando's WFLA-FM, WXXL-FM, WJFF-FM and WYGM-AM preempted programming to air extensive news coverage produced by WFLA-FM and partners WOFL-TV and WESH-TV. "The LBGT community is well represented within our on-air talent and so there was poignancy to many of the talent exchanges," iHeartMedia's Chris Kampmeier said. He added that radio has a unique ability to "allow and embrace listeners calling in to share their feelings and any direct knowledge of the situation they may have...they want to feel like they are part of the community, and being on the radio and/or hearing those who are helps everyone feel connected and involved."

"Watching radio doing just that with its audience during such heartbreak these past few days was another reminder of the value of our storied industry and why radio talent matters," Cumulus and Westwood One Vice President Lori Lewis told All Access. "The Orlando radio market, along with cities across the country, shined in the darkest times."

Radio Covers Orlando terror attack

"Where radio distinguishes itself and what truly spotlights its niche among all media is/was and will continue to be, its distinct ability to reach out, dig in and be part 'of' the community," said Radio Ink Publisher Deborah Parenti.

Cox Media Group's (CMG) Orlando stations WPYO-FM, WCFB-FM, WMMO-FM, WWKA-FM and WDBO-FM worked with CMG's ABC affiliate WFTV to simulcast live coverage and provide reports to stations nationwide. Morning show hosts from all stations gathered at WDBO for an on-air roundtable discussion, allowing listeners to react while the news team gathered and distributed information. CMG Orlando staff members worked around the clock, providing 12 hours of wall-to-wall coverage on June 12.

"We knew that this story would capture the community, the state and the nation and we wanted to provide a way for listeners to learn, share and connect with each other and with our on-air team," said Operations Manager Drew Anderssen. "[We were] getting very diverse calls, most from concerned listeners who want to be able to contribute in some way to the needs of the community. Many are sharing their stories from loved ones and their families/friends."

“We are an extension of the community and we are here for our listeners to vent, cry and share their feelings,” WQMP-FM and WOMX-FM Program Director Dennis Martinez told Inside Radio.

Television Networks Provide Wall-to-Wall Coverage

49 Dead and 53 wounded at massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando

Broadcasting & Cable provided details on network television coverage of the massacre. The television networks main anchors - CBS’s Scott Pelley, NBC’s Lester Holt and ABC’s David Muir - all flew to Orlando on June 12 to broadcast special evening newscasts. ABC sent six reporters to assist those already in Orlando, with NBC dedicating four reporters to the story. Charlie Rose and Gayle King of "CBS This Morning" also broadcast from Orlando. Coverage in the days that followed included special editions of "Dateline NBC" and ABC's "20/20" that were devoted to the massacre.

Television Station Groups Unite to Cover Tragedy

Television stations unite to cover Orlando massacre

TVSpy reported on television station groups collaborative efforts. Cox Media Group's CBS affiliate WJAX-TV Jacksonville, ABC affiliate WSB-TV Atlanta, Fox affiliate WFXT-TV Boston, CBS affiliate WHIO-TV Dayton and its Washington, D.C., bureau sent reporters, photographers and producers to support ABC affiliate WFTV Orlando.

Hearst's NBC affiliate WESH-TV Orlando was joined by team members from its Washington, D.C., bureau, ABC affiliate WPBF-TV West Palm Beach, plus NBC affiliates WBAL-TV Baltimore, WXII Winston-Salem, N.C., WYFF-TV Greenville, S.C., and WGAL Lancaster, Pa.

Fox-owned WOFL-TV received support from stations in Tampa, Philadelphia and Chicago during wall-to-wall coverage from 6 a.m. to 11:40 p.m. on June 12. On June 13, WOFL focused on the police investigation and the effect on the community from 5-10 a.m. and in special hour-long newscasts at noon and 4 p.m.

“It does give you pause for what this business is all about, which is providing a service and information to the public,” WOFL Vice President of News Jeff Zeller told Broadcasting & Cable.

Graham Media Group's (GMG) NBC affiliate WDIV-TV Detroit told TVSpy that all GMG stations made an effort to assist CBS affiliate WKMG-TV Orlando, as the station provided wall-to-wall coverage. "Our hearts go out to the people of Orlando. WKMG is part of the Graham Media family and we all support each other," said WDIV General Manager Marla Drutz. "I can't imagine what they and their viewers are going through."


Broadcasters Support Orlando Community Following Massacre

Broadcasters provide community support following Orlando massacre

Radio Ink reported on CBS Radio and Cox Media Group's efforts in the week following the attack.

CBS Radio's WQMP-FM Orlando hosted a blood drive on June 13, also collecting donations of water, sports drinks and orange juice for blood donors. CBS Radio also worked with the city to plan and promote a candlelight vigil. Stations provided complete live coverage of local vigils across the country.

Cox Media Group's Orlando stations broadcast and streamed on June 13 a two-hour roundtable discussion "Orlando Terror Attacks. Our City Reacts," during which on-air hosts discussed the massacre and took calls from listeners. WWKA-FM and WRDQ-TV will host a benefit concert on June 21 for the City of Orlando's OneOrlando Fund.

OTA Broadcasting's MyNetworkTV affiliate KMIR-TV Palm Springs, Calif., invited the public to attend a special live event "Standing United," held on June 17. The Palm Springs mayor, LGBT and Islamic officials and other local faith and community leaders will participate in the event. "Standing United" will air with no commercial interruptions and stream live on and Facebook LIVE. "We heard the community loud and clear at Sunday night's vigil in Palm Springs," said KMIR News Director David Reese. "They want to come together after this tragedy and KMIR News is committed to doing our part to make that happen."