Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan passed on information received from Cromwell Group owner Bud Walters, whose radio stations remained on the air in Owensboro, KY and were the only local communications in what has been designated a federal disaster due to a severe winter storm. Cell phones aren’t working. Landlines aren’t working. Cable isn’t working. But radio remains the only link to emergency information for local citizens.
“If there ever was a case for FM receivers in cell phones, this is it,” Walters declared. “Everyone has a cell phone – now useless. The cell phone would not be useless if it had an FM radio in it,” he noted.
Smulyan and others have been lobbying the FCC and cell companies to include radio receivers in all cell phones as a way for the cell companies to comply with a government mandate to create an emergency notification system.