How iHeartMedia Covered The Florida Attack


iHeartMedia Orlando also provided outstanding coverage of the terror incident in Orlando. Chris Kampmeier is iHeartMedia Region Senior Vice President of Programming, Orlando. Kampmeier explains exactly what took place with the iHeart cluster of stations once word was out about the magnitude of the incident in Orlando. Here’s what Kampmeier told us…

“Our people got the first word sometime in the 6am hour and our News/Talker WFLA (WFLF) was on at 7am with our whole morning crew: anchor Bud Hedinger and co-hosts Michael Yaffee and Deborah Roberts. I got called not long after that and began firing off calls to all PDs and all cluster Air Talent with an “all hands on deck” message. We flipped the WFLA content onto all stations until their personnel got in. WTKS-FM – Real Radio 104.1 was next to go live with local talent anchored by our three main show captains: Jim Philips of the Philips Phile, Russ Rollins of the Monsters and Shawn Wasson-The News Junkie along with PD Jack Bradshaw and most of their cast members.”

“WXXL’s (XL1067) Johnny’s House with Johnny Magic, Laura Diaz, Brian Grimes, Rae and Marissa signed on about the same time and stayed on all day. The LBGT community is well represented within our Air Talent and so there was poignancy to many of the Talent exchanges. The WRUM (Rumba 100.3) morning show, John Musa and Jenny Castillo got on early and stayed for the whole day. Program Directors Jim Poling (WFLA), Brian Mack (WXXL) and Rick Everett (WJRR & WYGM) personally steered their stations efforts.”

“We also have great partner relationships with two local TV stations: Fox-WOFL and NBC-WESH. In the early hours we carried a lot of their coverage for the hard news reporting but gradually we evolved into what we do best as a cluster: being the one media platform in the market that will allow and embrace listeners calling in to share their feelings and any direct knowledge of the situation they may have. The newspaper can’t do it and the TV stations are so focused on reporting that they don’t really do it either. People need to talk and share more than anything else. 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.”

“As the day progressed we continued with a combination of TV coverage for the hard news and press conferences but mostly our main Air Talent plus listener calls. Call me old school but I believe strongly that when there’s a major story whether it’s the shuttle explosion, hurricane coverage, 9/11 or this horrendous event, every one of our stations belongs in full coverage, no matter their format, at the earliest possible moment and staying in coverage until the listener need begins to cool. It horrifies me that a listener would tune to any one of our stations and not find us on subject. The songs, commercials and contests can just wait. One by one we eased out of coverage late Sunday night. All morning shows will launch at 5am with the latest news updates, continuing coverage and, most important, lots of listeners. And although it will be different for each station depending the format we will stay in coverage as long as it makes sense.”


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