February 21, 2003
"Public" Airwaves MIA

The NY Times reports that ClearChannel has consolidated to such an extent that in emergencies, their radio stations don't even have people there to run the emergency broadcast system.

"Senator Byron Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, had a potential disaster in his district when a freight train carrying anhydrous ammonia derailed, releasing a deadly cloud over the city of Minot. When the emergency alert system failed, the police called the town radio stations, six of which are owned by the corporate giant Clear Channel. According to news accounts, no one answered the phone at the stations for more than an hour and a half. Three hundred people were hospitalized, some partially blinded by the ammonia. Pets and livestock were killed."

Posted by Mary Hodder at February 21, 2003 12:27 AM
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