How WOBM Responded On 9/11 [50 Memories in 50 Days]
As we're all looking back over WOBM's 50-year history serving the community, the time that most stands out in my mind is September 11th and the days following the terror attacks. Shawn and I were in the broadcast studio, prepping for our next talk break when we saw the Today Show cover the news from New York. I remember the station breaking format because Ocean County wasn't in the mood for jokes and trivia and celebrity gossip. Things were different. We needed to help our listeners get the facts and process the information. And if we were in any position to help with healing, we wanted to try that too.
I remember hearing from so many of you. We put callers on the air so you could share your thoughts and concerns with each other. We wanted you to know that you weren't alone in feeling hurt, scared, angry, etc. We wanted to provide a forum where you could express a wide range of emotions.
One of my most poignant memories was how listeners would fax poems to us. I read some of them on the air. One, in particular, was called "Letter to the Terrorists". Caught up in the emotion, my voice naturally cracked while reading the poem on the air. That must have touched the listeners because we later got requests asking if we could "replay" my reading of that poem. If my interpretation of the writer's beautiful words moved you or helped you heal a bit that day, then I'm beyond blessed. If our broadcasts helped you feel strength, support, hope, etc., then I'm proud of our work together.
Another memory of that period was the crazy long hours we were all working. Having to locate and book on-air interviews with experts on topics like grief, terrorism, and explaining tragedy to kids, we were busy well after our morning show had ended. And yet I remember not complaining about the fatigue or extra long work days. Part of me was happy to have WOBM be the place where I could channel my energies. It was my small way of feeling like I could make a positive impact on the community at a time when it was so easy to feel helpless and hopeless.
Do you remember listening to 92.7 WOBM on or after 9/11? What, if anything, do you remember? We'd love to hear from you.