Going Live

Local radio powers through pandemic

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Local media continues to prove its worth during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

From area to national news, outlets like CVL Radio in Crawfordsville are dedicated to relaying the facts during the Age of Information and the era of COVID-19.

Dave Peach, general manager of CVL Radio, spoke with a group of Rotarians Wednesday as the club’s guest speaker, touching on topics from pandemic struggles to Christmas music at the station.

“I’ve always wanted to be in radio; it’s what I always wanted to do,” Peach said. “I really consider myself lucky to be here in Crawfordsville, to be in this community. Before [the pandemic] happened, we were really on a chart upward. I think we’ll be back there when we hopefully get to this April.”

Peach depicted a strong yet fluid atmosphere during the pandemic at the station, which broadcasts 106.3-FM (WCVQ), 103.9-FM (WIMC) and 92.1-FM and 1550-AM (WCVL). Each has had to adapt to news and event coverage that is still in a constant state of change.

“It’s crazy what happens in a 24-hour period these days,” Peach said. “When this thing broke in March, we would try to record some stuff but it would be outdated within minutes, so we went live. And that’s kind of the theme of what we’ve done this year — it’s got to be live.”

Peach and others at the station have had to rely on their broadcasting education and seemingly outdated techniques that have proved useful once again thanks to the pandemic.

“I can hear people I worked with in radio in the ‘70s and ‘80s ... telling me what to do now. It’s amazing,” Peach said. “You go back to the fundamentals. You go back to just focusing on what’s in front of you. I tell everybody, ‘Don’t give up. Don’t worry about what happened yesterday. Just focus on what is in front of you.’”

And at the front lines of the pandemic have been local leaders, such as the mayor of Crawfordsville and health officers with the Montgomery County Health Department.

“We’re trying to do as much as we can as far as local news and getting the information out there,” Peach said. “We’ve had Mayor [Todd] Barton on more times this year than we ever had, and Dr. [Scott] Douglas over and over again on a rotation.

“And that’s what we’re trying to do — to try to help the public, inform the public and be a comfort and an encourager and an entertainer as well,” he added.

Fortunately, Peach said, access to student events for radio coverage has remained largely the same. Save a few distant schools, CVL Radio has maintained its reputation for sports coverage.

“The schools have been very nice to us,” Peach said. “There are some away schools that are now allowing us in ... but locally, they’re all letting us in and COVID has not really been an issue with access.”

But Peach and his coworkers — Brad Pendleton, Codey Emerson, Dave Long and Haley Edwards — are still looking forward to the future and any challenges it may bring.

“Ninety percent of people still listen to the radio every week in one form or another,” Peach said. “In a small market like this, I’m amazed at the feedback people get for being on the radio.

“It’s pretty amazing here.”

For more information about CVL Radio, visit www.wcdqfm.com, www.wimcfm.com, www.wcvlam.com. Those with questions may also call the station at 765-362-8200.

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