NAB touts stations response to Charley

Since localism is a key topic at the FCC these days, NAB chairman Eddie Fritz wasted no time in touting the good works of Florida television stations during Hurricane Charley.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Michael Powell, Fritz noted that Florida broadcasters “dedicated tremendous resources to keeping citizens aware of Hurricane Charley, and are now playing a lead role in the clean up from this deadly storm.”

Fritz said that while the National Hurricane Center was still predicting a Class 2 hurricane would come ashore near Tampa, FL, a number of local television weather forecasters had upgraded the storm’s intensity to Class 4 and warned viewers that the storm had turned sharply to the east.

He cited a thank-you e-mail from a viewer of one station who wrote the following: “Many thanks to the meteorology team who dared to veer from the National Hurricane Center’s predictions. I am certain that you are responsible for saving many lives. You gave many area residents like ourselves a golden hour, or half-hour in some cases, to prepare for the completely unexpected!”

Fritz said the broadcasters’ coverage of Hurricane Charley serves as a textbook example of the continued public service commitment and relevance of our nation’s broadcasters.

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