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KDKA: PITTSBURGH'S ONLY RADIO STATION TO PROVIDE LOCAL AROUND-THE-CLOCK COVERAGE OF THE 'BLIZZARD OF '93'

 PITTSBURGH, March 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The world's first broadcast station went "wall-to-wall weather" when the tri-state area was hit with the worst storm in years this weekend...and was the only local radio station to provide continuous, comprehensive, local weather updates, weather-related coverage and delays and cancellations from Friday night through today, a spokesman for the station said.
 "We called in all of our troops to beef up the coverage, and worked 12-to-18-hour shifts in the studio and on the streets," said news director Rich Cook.
 Accu-Weather provided the local weather updates on the hour and half-hour throughout the weekend. While anchor Mike Whitely handled the KDKA news desk, reporter Dave James was on foot in the height of the storm on Saturday. James' "man-on-the-street" interviews included Port Authority Transit bus drivers, hospital and restaurant workers, stranded (or temporarily snowed-in) Pittsburghers...even those who stayed in town to celebrate after the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
 "We had talent and producers who volunteered to come in," said Cook. "Terrible East End road conditions prevented weekday reporter Barbara Boylan from driving to work; so Barbara walked two miles (hauling a change of clothes) to grab a ride with a co-worker."
 Added acting program manager Judy Yanke: "Our StormCenter cancellation/delay phones began ringing Friday evening and haven't stopped yet. On Saturday, we opted for something we've never done before...we told listeners to check with their companies or event organizers, and then we only announced events were not canceled."
 Yanke faced a dilemma on Saturday, when the 1 p.m. Bucs game in Florida was canceled (due to high winds) and the 4:50 p.m. Pens hockey game in New York was canceled due to terrible road conditions. Then 7 p.m.-midnight talk show host Mike Romigh (a Beaver County resident) called in...he couldn't get to work.
 "Weekday news anchor Bill Steinbach and news director Rich Cook co-hosted an impromptu talk show, which naturally revolved around listeners calling in to discuss their experiences and concerns about the weather," said Yanke. "Then, Rich sat in and co-hosted with Post-Gazette sportswriter/KDKA talk show host Tom McMillan.
 "Tom brought a nice angle to the show, when he got Pens player Kevin Stevens on the line to comment on the weather in New York," said Yanke. "Later, weeknight talk show host Bob Logue filled in for Romigh."
 As the roads improved on Sunday, staffing problems decreased. Yet McMillan found himself anchoring a talk program when 1-4 p.m. talk show host Liz Randolph was diverted to newsroom duty.
 "The KDKA Radio staff distinguished themselves this weekend," said station Vice President and General Manager Ted Jordan. "The tri-state was relying upon us to let them know what was happening throughout a life-threatening weather situation...and we did not let our listeners down."
 -0- 3/15/93
 /CONTACT: Maureen Durkin of KDKA Radio, 412-392-2527/


CO: KDKA Radio ST: Pennsylvania IN: ENT SU:

DM-KC -- PG016 -- 6303 03/15/93 18:29 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 15, 1993
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