Nexstar Broadcasting Group announced its owned or affiliated television stations in Arkansas have brought together their local resources and personnel to aid the greater Little Rock community that was impacted by the recent tornadoes and severe storms. Local reporters and staff members of KARK-TV (NBC) / KARZ-TV (MNTV) and KLRT-TV (FOX) / KASN-TV (CW) are providing round-the-clock essential, accurate and timely local information and weather coverage to ensure the safety of area residents and are spearheading fund raising and other relief efforts to support the local community.
Said Perry Sook, Nexstar CEO: “In the aftermath of this week’s extreme weather events, Nexstar’s four Little Rock area stations and their knowledgeable local reporters, served as a relied upon resource for essential, lifesaving news broadcast over-the-air. The combined strength of the weather teams at KARK-TV and Fox16, quickly brought residents vital details they needed for safety and to protect their lives, and our teams did a tremendous public service to the greater Little Rock community before, during and following this weather emergency.
“The stations in three markets coming together to launch a state-wide telethon and other relief efforts to immediately render aid to those affected by the storms is a point of excellence, differentiation and pride for Nexstar. I am very proud of and grateful to Vice President and General Manager, Mike Vaughn and the News Director, Austin Kellerman, as well as the exceptional news teams and support staff for the work they have done, and continue to do to serve this exceptional community.”
With the combined resources of local station operations across four markets, Nexstar was able to deliver extensive coverage of events and developments for the 48 hours following Monday’s tornadoes to keep citizens factually informed and safe. Due to the mission critical nature of this weather emergency, KNWA-TV (NBC) in Fort Smith/Fayetteville, Arkansas, KOLR-TV (CBS) in Springfield, Missouri and KTAL-TV (NBC) in Shreveport, Louisiana dispatched employees from their local news operations to assist in the efforts. At the same time, KOLR-TV and KTAL-TV provided live morning and evening reports across the group.
In addition, the combined news operations at KARK-TV and Fox16 quickly set up a telethon that aired exclusively on Nexstar and Mission Broadcasting stations in Little Rock and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Monroe, Louisiana to aid relief and recovery efforts in the wake of the severe storms and tornadoes that impacted the region. Additional funds were collected through the digital properties of sister stations KTAL-TV in Shreveport, Louisiana, WANT-TV in Memphis, Tennessee and KOLR-TV in Springfield, Missouri. To date, the stations have raised more than $200,000 for the Salvation Army’s relief and recovery efforts in Arkansas.
Brian Jones, Executive Vice President, and Co-Chief Operating Officer added, “Broadcasters play a critical role in times of emergency, both as witness to breaking developments and as rallying points for the communities they serve. KARK-TV and Fox16, with knowledgeable local Little Rock reporters, played a crucial role as a relied upon source of essential news that is broadcast over-the-air and delivered to local residents online at ArkansasMatters.com. With the stations’ combined efforts, the Arkansas Storm Team was in full force with five local meteorologists on the air warning people about the approaching storms and providing the greater Little Rock community with vital information during the weather emergency. Immediately after the tornadoes tore through Arkansas, KARK-TV and Fox16 simulcast more than seven hours of live local coverage featuring some of the first reports from the hardest-hit tornado zones as well as live press conferences from local community and law enforcement officials and first responders.”
Jones concluded, “In addition to providing local residents up-to-the-minute information and non-stop coverage of these events, we are extraordinarily proud of our stations for quickly setting up a telethon to help raise funds in support of the relief and recovery efforts of the greater Little Rock community. KNWA-TV, KFTA-TV (FOX), and KTVE (NBC) aired Tuesday’s telethon, allowing donors from across the state to contribute to the tornado relief efforts. Our local reporters and meteorologists live in the local communities they serve, and through the combined resources of KARK-TV and Fox16, Nexstar was able to put more Arkansas-based reporters in the field than any other station in the market and we are extraordinarily proud of our station managers, reporters, anchors, meteorologists, and other personnel who will continue to deliver exceptional service in our markets.”