Radio And The Ukraine Crisis. Can More Be Done?


(By Buzz Knight) I woke up today like every day for the last three weeks with the crisis in Ukraine on my mind. The horrific images of destruction and the refugee crisis are forever imbedded in our heads as a reminder of how fortunate we are to live in this country.

I’ve been thinking of how helpless we all are to make a difference at this unique time in history.

Radio is always a beacon in times like this and I wondered even in the smallest way how companies are trying to make a difference.

I decided to do a quick review of what I could find stations are doing even in the smallest way of utilizing website real estate to promote initiatives associated with this disaster.

I was prompted on this analysis when I saw the great story last week about Hubbard Radio’s KTMY-FM in Minneapolis raising over 100 K to aid a Polish refugee relief effort.

Hubbard partnered with an organization called Alight which is assisting refuges with relief items and medical supplies for this fundraiser.

I randomly went to 20 radio station websites across the country.

A variety of all companies, small, medium and large were part of my sample size.

All formats were considered.

The batting average was .250 meaning only five stations out of 20 had any representation of efforts helping the Humanitarian Crisis.

I was actually quite stunned as I scrolled thru site after site looking for any hint of a station effort or at least a station promoting a larger effort.

In only one of those instances, I saw a link to the American Red Cross and their global initiative.

In none of these cases did I see an individual station such as the previously stated Hubbard example helping the greater good of the larger cause.

I found plenty of website real estate for the latest Kim Kardashian news but nothing for Ukraine.

Maybe I’m off base here but it seems like the population sentiment is united in horror of what is happening.

Aren’t local radio brands supposed to reflect the sentiment of their markets?

Mind you, I’m not even suggesting that the on-air content must support one of these initiatives even though I’m not sure why it can’t.

Website real estate has plenty of room for lots of content and this strikes me as a blatant opportunity to do what’s right.

I ran one other analysis relating to this topic.

Musician Billy Craig and some folks created a sweet song called “Tears For Ukraine” and I wondered about airplay on a national basis.

I was equally deflated when I couldn’t find any airplay for the song.

Once again, at the very least web site real estate could give this song some exposure if programmers are unwilling to play the song in rotation.

“Tears For Ukraine” can be downloaded HERE

Times are certainly very tough in our country but this crisis in Ukraine is not going away any time soon.

I believe radio can do a better job here and that radio has a heart.

I appreciate you considering how to do more.

You can learn more about “Tears For Ukraine” HERE

Buzz Knight is the CEO of Buzz Knight Media and can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]


  1. We should definitely ostracize the bad players in our industry, those radio stations that are taking Putin’s money to air his propaganda from Radio Sputnik. Two that I know of are KCXL in Liberty, MO and WZHF in Capitol Heights, MD. We don’t need our stations to be giving aid and comfort to the enemy, even if we are not directly at war with Putin’s Russia.


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