WASHINGTON — The Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers is asking for broadcasters to band together and help colleagues whose stations have been hit by the series of hurricanes and tropical storms that swept through the southern U.S. last month.
“If you are able to help in Puerto Rico or in any of the other affected broadcast communities hit hard by Harvey, Irma, Jose or Maria, please reach out to your local broadcasting stations,” said AFCCE President and John M. Lyons. “They are all trying to either stay on the air or get back on the air and they provide the vital day to day information necessary to help the affected communities.”
Lyons, who is also director of broadcast communication for The Durst Organization, wrote that AFCCE member and NAB VP of Advanced Engineering David Layer has been in contact with Puerto Rico Broadcasters Association Executive Director José Ribas. According to Layer, Ribas and colleagues “are desperately seeking assistance in getting Puerto Rican radio stations back on the air. With virtually all of Puerto Rico’s radio stations off the air, the population, those with electric power, are not able to get vital information at this time.”
Those interested in helping are encouraged to email Layer, who will facilitate contact with Ribas.
“I vividly remember the help that poured into New York City from the broadcasters nationwide after 9/11 for which I personally will be forever thankful,” said Lyons.
According to the Oct. 2 DIRS report from the FCC, WQBS, WCMN(FM), WMIO, WPRM(FM), WNEL, WPRP, WIPR(FM), WZAR and WUNO (all in Puerto Rico) are reported as being out of service. However, many stations are still off the air but have not been able to report their status. The commission also shared that some stations are now back on the air in Puerto Rico, according to informal reports. These include: WKAQ(AM), WPAB(AM), WIPR(AM), WAPA(AM), WISO(AM), WTIL(AM), WKUM(AM), WMDD(AM), WDEP(AM), WALO(AM), WSJN(AM), WXEW(AM), WEXS(AM), WMIA(AM), WODA(FM), WFID(FM), WAEL(FM), WNVM(FM), WERR(FM), WKAQ(FM) and WMEG(FM). Also, WVSE(FM) in the U.S. Virgin Islands appears to be back on the air.