Industry Views

Radio to the Rescue: Maui KAOI Radio Stations Air 24/7 Disaster Coverage

As Southern California radio is currently diving into the process of serving its communities with supportive coverage of Hurricane Hilary’s devastating floods and wind damage, Hawaiian radio stations have stepped up the plate and offering vital support to its listeners. Once again, the medium of radio provides reliable and accurate information to populations under the threat of natural disasters.

The KAOI Radio Group on Maui consists of six legacy Maui County stations, four FMs – KAOI-FM, KDLX-FM, KNUQ-FM, KHEI-FM, and two AM stations, Maui’s only news/talk station KAOI-AM, and Hawaiian music KEWE-AM. The group has translators further solidifying its coverage all of Maui County.  The group is locally owned by Visionary Related Entertainment, based on Maui since 1988.

Coverage of the fires began when the first alert was issued for the Lahaina fire and later confirmed as “contained” only to have it restart later. Local coverage of the “up country” fire in the Kula area continued non-stop with intensive service to Lahaina as soon as the fire was confirmed as having restarted. The stations relied on coverage by AM station morning newsman Jack Gist, afternoon and evening host Garry Forsberg, and group president/GM/owner John Detz. Live reports around the Island were supplied by local talk show hosts including head of the Maui Chamber of CommerceMaui Humane Society, local attorney David Cain, Maui Mayor Richard Bissen, and many others. All stations have remained on the air 24/7 reporting breaking news and community resource information.

TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison obtained an exclusive interview with group owner John Detz conducted yesterday (Sunday 8/20). Listen to their conversation here.