Indianapolis…The radio and television stations of Emmis Communications (Nasdaq: EMMS) are commemorating the anniversary of the September 11 tragedies in a variety of ways.
“September 1, 2001, provided a stirring example of the power of local media, as radio and TV stations across the country dropped their scheduled programming and provided their communities with the information and inspiration they needed at a dire moment in our nation’s history,” Emmis Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan, said. “This year, Emmis stations will observe the anniversary of this terrible tragedy by offering their listeners and viewers the opportunity to reflect on how the event has affected their nation and their own individual communities.”
A sampling of what Emmis’ 21 radio stations and 15 television stations are planning for September 11:
New York City’s CD 101.9 (WQCD FM) will have moments of silence at 8:45 a.m. Eastern (the time of the first plane’s impact with the North Tower) and at 10:28 a.m. (the time of the South Tower’s collapse). Celine Dion’s “God Bless America” will follow the 8:45 a.m. moment of silence and Whitney Houston’s version of the “Star Spangled Banner” will follow the 10:28 a.m. moment of silence. CD 101.9’s music on 9/11 will feature smooth jazz versions of patriotic songs. Sweepers into these songs will respectfully reflect on 9/11, paying homage to those who died and offering inspiration, hope and healing. CD 101.9 will be commercial-free on 9/11/2002.
On the evening of September 10, KISS FM (WRKS 98.7 FM) in New York is presenting a night of healing and remembrance at The Beacon Theater with New York City clergy and major gospel artists including Donnie McClurkin and CeCe Winans. Proceeds from the event will go to charity. On September 11, KISS FM will air a commercial-free day of reflection. The Tom Joyner morning show will broadcast live from downtown New York. All day long, KISS FM will feature inspirational R&B and gospel music. Listeners will have the opportunity to reflect on the events of 9/11 on the air, while the KISS news team will be reporting from events around the city.
Hot 97 in New York (WQHT 97.7FM) will observe a moment of silence at 8:45 a.m. Eastern when the first plane hit the World Trade Center, and will broadcast commercial-free the entire day. The station will also suspend all contesting and promotional mentions.
WIBC (1070 AM) Indianapolis will broadcast live from 6 a.m. until noon central time on Sept. 10 and 11 from the Embassy Suites Hotel, overlooking Ground Zero in New York City. The hotel was just recently reopened to the public after being used as a triage center. WIBC will also offer reports to other Emmis Radio stations around the country. In addition, WIBC is running a 10-part series on the work of state/local emergency management agencies in the last year, plus other reports throughout both days.
At Power 106 (KPWR, 105.9 FM) in Los Angeles, morning personality Big Boy will recall the morning’s events when he was on the air a year ago. He will discuss briefly the effects of that day on Power 106 listeners and share comments from major hip hop artists and listeners as well.
Los Angeles’ KZLA (93.9 AM) will play several versions of the national anthem at the top of the hour and have top Country acts talking about the impact of Sept. 11.
Chicago’s Q101 (WKQX 101.1 FM).will be doing artist interviews and morning personality Mancow will be taking phone response from the listeners asking how 9/11 changed their lives. Mancow sidekick Turd will be flying to Vegas and back to Chicago on National Airlines to show that America has recovered. There will be call-ins from Ground Zero, and the station will also be recording and airing listeners’ reaction.
KKLT-FM Phoenix (98.7 FM) will be commercial-free the entire day, with vignettes and remembrances produced by Emmis-Phoenix with a focus on patriotic music. Listeners will be invited to share their thoughts and how they have handled the past year.
Also in Phoenix, KTAR (620 AM) will emphasize the local reaction and community’s feelings on Sept. 11. The ceremonies in New York will be covered live via ABC and sister station WIBC-AM. Local ceremonies will also be covered live, with a series of local features on the effects of 9/11. Coverage of events will be commercial-free, and other hours of talk programming will have reduced commercial load. KTAR staff will be handing out car flags at different locations in the community, including KTAR-sponsored open houses at local fire stations.
The five Emmis St. Louis radio properties plan to observe a moment of silence at 7:46 AM Central Time and follow with the song “One” by U2… very appropriate lyrics for that day.
Also in St. Louis, KFTK (97.1 FM) afternoon drive show hosts Dave Glover and Tom Terbrock will be spending time with local firefighters, going out on calls and spending the night at the fire station to grasp what these guys do on a daily basis. On Sept. 11, they will play interviews with the firefighters and relay their thoughts one year later.
St. Louis’ KIHT (96.3 FM) will be a “Commercial-Free WorkForce,” 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Snippets of the Steve & DC show from a year ago will mix with snippets of listeners relaying their thoughts about the year since the attack. There will also be a focus on patriotic songs such as Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” and “Let’s Roll” from Neil Young. The All Request Lunch will revolve around listeners calling in with their thoughts about the day.
Terre Haute, Indiana’s WTHI-FM HI-99 (99.9 FM) will observe 9/11 with special Country patriotic songs in an hourly rotation as well as a moment of silence that morning followed by Faith Hill’s version of the national anthem. Listener comments will be featured throughout the day, and that evening WTHI will team with sister station WWVR “The River” (105.5 FM) for an hour-long tribute at a park with music from a local high school combined chorus, Indiana State University marching band, short prayer and candle lighting.
KGUN in Tucson (Channel 9, ABC) is planning a half-hour special “Tucson Remembers,” looking back on how the Tucson community responded to the tragedy and how life has changed in the past year. The station is also partnering with several agencies and media outlets to build 11 Habitat for Humanity homes, with the actual construction beginning on September 11. Additionally, KGUN will be producing and airing a series of 30-second spots and a montage of comments from Tucson residents reflecting on the significance of this first anniversary.
WALA Fox 10 News in Mobile/Pensacola (Channel 10, Fox) will provide special programming, including reporters and anchors covering numerous community groups in a “Day of Caring.” Volunteers throughout the area will participate in helping more than 50 schools and non-profit groups as a way to give back to the community and honor the caring and compassion that has come as a result of the tragic events of September 11. Many Fox 10 station employees will take part in the community projects going on that day, culminating in a gathering of all volunteers at the end of the day at Hank Aaron Stadium.
KMTV Omaha KM3 News (Channel 3, CBS) will join forces with the community of Bellevue, the home of U.S. Strategic Command (which oversees America’s nuclear arsenal), for a 9/11 Memorial “Together We Stand.” President Bush flew into Stratcom on 9/11 just hours after the attack to be briefed. KM3 will broadcast live the ceremony that will include local military, police and fire personnel. Patriotic music will be interspersed throughout the hour, locals who lost loved ones are expected to give testimonials, NYPD and FDNY folks will be honored, and there will be a dedication of a memorial (twin flag poles, lighted, set in pentagon-shaped base incorporating a flower bed). In addition, the 6 p.m. KM3 News will be pre-empted for a KM3 News special, which will be commercial-free and will look back at on Sept. 11, 2001 from “locals” in their own words.