Maui radio stations serving as a lifeline for island residents
As reported earlier, radio served as a lifeline for thousands of Hawaiians and tourists as wildfires tore through the island of Maui. A beacon of information on the island during the deadly natural disaster was Pacific Media Group’s six-station cluster, which remained on the air throughout the active fires and is continuing to provide news and updates today.
“We have been able to remain on air with our six radio stations and have been the main source of communication especially to West Maui where they are without any access to TV, apps, websites, and social media,” VP/GM Sherri Grimes tells Inside Radio.
PMG’s corporate offices and the Maui radio studios are in Kahului in Central Maui, miles from the West Maui wildfires that devastated Lahaina and the South Maui Wildfires near Kihei. “So, we are fortunate to be here for the County of Maui and share much-needed information,” Grimes continues.
The company employs a full-time news department and a staff that “has been in this community for generations with relationships within all government entities,” Grimes says. News and information about the wildfires is broadcast on all of the Pacific Media Group stations on the island. “We have news alerts scheduled around the clock and also have coordinated a message from the mayor’s office at 9am, Noon, and 3pm daily,” she adds.
With power and cell service unavailable for a majority of the island, especially near Lahaina, citizens and tourists alike relied on local radio for information.