Ok, here's the thing. I've worked in radio now since around 2006 or so, and I've seen quite a lot of things throughout my time in the business. From hacked-together solutions (that became permanent over time) to equipment that is 30+ years old, radio is one of those jobs that is certainly unique with the ability to learn Windows 11... and how to use a machine from the 80s.

Credit: Canva
Credit: Canva

By The Power Of Thor

However, new or old, it all needs... POWER. Good ol' electricity. The thing we severely take for granted every day of our lives.

Mark Wilson, one of the Breakfast Flakes on Cat Country, wrote about this today... and how this is the first time he has experienced something like this working at the DoubleTree Hotel (Townsquare Tower) on the 23rd Floor.

What did Mark and Paul do during the outage? Go to Stella's, across the street, who had power (strangely). Even Aaron Flint (NewsTalk 103.3 & 970) decided to join them for coffee.

Credit: Aaron Flint, TSM
Credit: Aaron Flint, TSM

So... why did we lose almost ALL Radio Stations and TV Stations at once?

Simple, my dear Watson! If you look south of town (from the Downtown area), you will see a battery of antennas atop Sacrifice Cliff/Coburn Hill. Those Antennas are broadcasting not only the Townsquare Media signals... but almost EVERY radio/television signal for Billings.

Like who? Well, our friends in Media at KGHL, Desert Mountain Broadcasting, Mojo, Hot 101.9, KULR-8 & more all lost signal this morning... thanks to us all being buddies up on the hill.

What is the solution?

It's a simple, yet expensive, solution. Backup generators. If you were sitting in your car this morning, thinking... "It can't be THAT hard to get a radio station online"... think again. It is quite a mess to accomplish it... and finding the money to add backup power (for all the stations in Billings even) would be one EXPENSIVE undertaking.

Not to mention, adding battery backups to every critical piece of equipment in the chain, per station...

But... do we need it? Mark said this was the first time in his history here to experience something like this, however, the power to the tower clusters has gone down in the last 5 years more than a handful of times.

Personally, I think we need it. Not just here at Townsquare, but all the stations. Why? Well... what would have happened if it was more than "just" a power outage? How would we get the word out to you, our listeners, ASAP?

Well, we have the App, but that requires YOU to have the app. Speaking of... have you downloaded it yet?

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The streaming audio *kinda* worked this morning during the outage, thanks to our power backups at the studios, and gave *some* insight into the issues being experienced.

Otherwise... do we grab a blowhorn and scream from the 23rd floor? No. But... this does highlight a BIG issue for Billings Broadcasters. In an emergency... what do we do?

What are your thoughts?

Did you know all of this already? Do you think FREE broadcast media should be ready 24/7/365 for anything? Let us know on App Chat or on Facebook.

(P.S. We got ALL of your app messages, from EVERY station during the outage, and know we were just as... impatient... as you were about the issues. But, thanks for sticking with us. We tried our magic wands, but all the magic was already in use on the air. So, instead, we sat twiddling our thumbs with you.)

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