Tornados pummeled parts of the U.S. last week. Although no TV towers were toppled by the tornados as of Sunday morning, one radio broadcast tower fell prey to the storms. WTNV-FM 104.7 in Jackson, Tenn. lost its 580 foot tower to a tornado Sunday night, May 4. Broadcasters have a reputation of helping each other in emergencies and most engineers I know will gladly loan another TV station, even a competitor, parts it needs to get back on the air. The story in this Sunday's The Jackson Sun News described how WMXX let WTNV use its tower to get back on the air Friday. The article quotes Gerry Hunt, owner of WMXX: "I am just trying to help them get back on the air. I am not a hero or anything." Scott Bebout, general manager of WTNV, said "First, there's no words to express our appreciation to Gerry Hunt. He has bent over backwards to help get 104.1 back on the air. That just shows the camaraderie that radio companies have around Jackson. Second, an icon in Jackson is gone. The pit in our stomachs when we saw that tower fell is hard to explain." The self supporting tower had stood since 1947.
The newspaper article, available at http://miva.jacksonsun.com/miva/cgi-bin/miva?NEWS/news_story.mv+link=200305104974707, didn't talk about the work the engineers at the two stations did to get WTNV-FM back on the air at the WMXX site. Any engineer in the broadcast business who has been through a hurricane, earthquake or tornado can imagine the effort that was required. Take a moment to reflect on what radio and TV engineers in the communities affected by the storms are going through and help out if you can.
As with RF Current and my TV Technology RF column, your comments and story leads are appreciated. Drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
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