LAURINBURG — Gary Gallman has seen numerous challenges since taking ownership of WLNC radio eight years ago, but Hurricane Florence last weekend and Hurricane Matthew just 23 months earlier probably presented him with his toughest challenges.
“Two years ago, we were unprepared for what Matthew did to us,” he said. “We were caught off guard, because we had our primary and backup system both go off at the same time.”
That forced the station to go silent for about 24 hours.
“We didn’t want to go through that again, so we bought a new generator,” Gallman said. “But we had to learn how to use it first.”
That generator, aside from a brief moment, kept WLNC up and running.
“It gave us all we needed to run our equipment — along with one light bulb,” said Gallman, who spent one night at the downtown Laurinburg station to monitor the generator. “So we feel a little better this time around, but it was still an adventure.”
During the early stages of Hurricane Florence, much of WLNC’s regular programming was pushed aside by regular weather updates and important information for area residents. Those regular programs to fall away included the Richard Bailey Show on Monday, two high-school football games, an N.C. State football game and three days of the “Live on Main”show early in the week.
“Losing the sports shows were pretty tough on us,” Gallman said. “That’s where we really get the listeners and revenue.”
But just like the weather, programming for WLNC looks bright.
The regular “Scots Sports Saturday”show is expected to return Saturday at 9 a.m., as will the N.C. State football game at 5 p.m. Gallman also expects WLNC to make a return to streaming its morning and sports shows beginning Saturday.
“We’re not quite at 100 percent yet, but I would say we will be by early next week,” Gallman said.
WLNC can be found at 95.1 FM.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached at 910-506-3023 or [email protected]