UTICA-ROME and SYRACUSE -- Radio and television broadcasters in both of these Central New York markets are asking viewers to help neighbors who've been devastated by unprecedented flooding over the last several days. A joint effort between multiple Utica-area stations is planned for tomorrow, and some Syracuse TV stations have been running a telethon all day today.
Collectively known as CNY Central, stations NBC3 (WSTM-TV), CBS5 (WTVH) and CW6 (WSTQ-LP) have been running a Disaster Relief Telethon since 5:00 this morning, and it continues until 7:00pm tonight. Proceeds benefit the American Red Cross. Although the stations have been airing their normal programming throughout the day, a "crawl" with the phone number has been running on all three channels non-stop, even through commercial breaks. In case you haven't seen it, that number is 315-477-9480, and again, it'll be staffed by people who can take your donations to the American Red Cross until 7:00pm tonight.
If you're reading this story after the telethon ends, you can call 1-800-REDCROSS or donate online at redcross.org anytime.
NBC affiliate NewsChannel 2 (WKTV) and the locally-owned radio stations of the Roser Communications Network will join forces to host the "Flood of 2013: Disaster Recovery Telethon" all day tomorrow. The stations will be soliciting donations to the United Way of the Mohawk Valley and Greater Utica Area, which will in turn, make sure the funds are used to help residents of Herkimer and Oneida Counties.
Just as it did earlier this spring following another incident in Herkimer, the United Way will act as a central "clearinghouse" to distribute funds to various agencies such as the Salvation Army, the Red Cross and Catholic Charities, so that the various organizations do not need to run separate, competing fundraising efforts.
The radio/TV joint effort begins at noon tomorrow on WKTV and wktv.com, along with Roser's Kiss-FM (WSKS/WSKU), Bug Country (WBUG/WBGK) and News/Music/Talk 100.7 WUTQ. After the initial kickoff, each station will "do its own thing" for the remainder of the afternoon, but all of the stations will join each other to simulcast the final hour of the telethon, from 7-8pm.
Organizers say the flooding has been big news locally, but not nationally. In a press release, VP Steve Doerr of WKTV parent Smith Media explained, "it’s been a busy news cycle so the scope of the flooding in Central New York – from Syracuse to the Capital Region - has flown below the national radar screen. With our radio partners at Roser Communications and the support of our largest regional advertisers, we’re going to make sure this crisis gets the attention required."
"These folks aren’t just our viewers; they are our friends and neighbors ... many of whom will need help for the foreseeable future," said Steve McMurray, WKTV’s Station Manager. "Many viewers who were fortunate enough to not be impacted by the flooding are asking how they can help. Donating to the telethon is the most effective way to lend a hand."
"We will continue to extend our support and resources as the recovery and cleanup process moves forward," said Ken Roser, owner of Roser Communications. "Our many thoughts truly go out to all those affected."
According to Kiss-FM promotions director S-Dot, the phone number for donations will be announced at the start of tomorrow's telethon.
WKTV has gathered all of its "Flood of 2013" coverage on a dedicated page of its website.
Townsquare Media's four radio stations (104.3 WFRG, 98.7 WLZW, 96.1 WODZ and 950 WIBX) have been making in-person appearances at various locations throughout the area to collect donations for the "Mohawk Valley Flood Fund," which will benefit the American Red Cross.