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WWL-TV continues coverage despite Katrina’s devastation - TvTechnology

WWL-TV continues coverage despite Katrina’s devastation

The commission issued two public notices to help stations and multichannel video programming distributors to re-commence operations
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The station’s news, production and technical teams have overcome tremendous logistical, communications and personal challenges during this crisis.

Belo-owned WWL-TV in New Orleans has remained on the air since the arrival of Hurricane Katrina with live coverage of the storm and its disastrous aftermath — the only local station to do so.

The station’s news, production and technical teams have overcome tremendous logistical, communications and personal challenges during this crisis.

Professionals from Belo's television and newspaper media companies across the nation have stepped in to help.

WWL has broadcast from Louisiana Public Broadcasting and its Baton Rouge affiliate, WPBL-TV, and Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge since evacuating its French Quarter studios Aug. 31.

The station has been able to broadcast locally without interruption due to advance arrangements made with LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication to use its facilities in Baton Rouge. WWL personnel continued the station's live coverage using the LSU facilities and its emergency broadcast facility at its transmitter site in Gretna, LA.

Additionally, WWL's signal is being carried statewide in Louisiana and Mississippi through a network of digital channels, on all public television stations in Louisiana, and on several cable channels in local communities in the state.

Several Louisiana radio stations are also broadcasting the audio portion of WWL-TV's signal. Other Belo stations, including WFAA-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth, KHOU-TV in Houston and KVUE-TV in Austin, are also carrying WWL's live coverage. Echostar is making WWL's signal available to evacuation centers in Texas. Belo is also offering WWL's signal to all broadcasters in non-Belo markets for broadcast on their digital multicast channels. Stations in Chicago; Boston; Springfield/Holyoke, MA; Syracuse and Albany, N.Y.; Hartford/New Haven, CT; Birmingham, AL; and Panama City, FL are among those providing WWL's hurricane response coverage through this service.

The station is also video streaming its hurricane coverage on its Web site, www.wwltv.com. The Web site has experienced a surge in usage since the hurricane hit with more than 10.2 million page views, 562,000 unique users and 1.3 million total online sessions to its live video streaming broadcasts on its peak day Aug. 30.

In addition, WWL finalized arrangements to be the exclusive provider of hurricane-related Web links and video streaming coverage for Yahoo!.com's site on Hurricane Katrina: http://news.yahoo.com/fc/world/hurricanes_and_tropical_storms.

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