The International Broadcaster’s Idea Bank has awarded its annual Betty & Cary Simpson Community Service Award to KKHJ-FM in Pago Pago, American Samoa for the station’s service to the public during and after the tsunami that struck the South Pacific territory on September 29, 2009.
KKHJ-FM activated the Emergency Alert System (EAS) immediately after a strong undersea earthquake struck the area and just prior to a devastating tsunami slamming ashore in Pago Pago and other coastal villages. In the aftermath of the tsunami, KKHJ operated from makeshift studios at its mountaintop transmitter site, continually broadcasting relief information to its listeners.
The award was announced at the International Broadcaster’s Idea Bank recent convention in Nashville, Tennessee and was presented to South Seas Broadcasting President Larry Fuss. Fuss credited KKHJ General Manager Joey Cummings with activating EAS and for his Herculean efforts at getting the station back on-air from temporary facilities. Fuss (left) and Cummings are pictured with the award.
The Betty and Cary Simpson award is named for Cary Simpson and his wife Betty, longtime broadcasters in their home state of Pennsylvania.