SCETV/South Carolina Public Radio and WUFT Announce Emergency Network Partnership

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Sept. 10, 2018-- South Carolina ETV (SCETV)/South Carolina Public Radio and WUFT, Gainesville-Ocala, Florida, announced today a partnership that will provide heightened hurricane, tropical storm and other weather emergency content to South Carolina residents and visitors across the state.  

Available immediately, listeners to South Carolina Public Radio stations have access to updates related to storms and other significant emergency events, including Hurricane Florence, on radio and social media. To track updates on social media, follow @SCETV and @SCPublicRadio on Twitter and Facebook.

In the months to come, coverage will expand to include enhanced online, social media and television content.  

SCETV continues to see the value in continually improving the services they provide to the state. Building on existing relationships with state emergency agencies, and with adding the unique meteorological services of UF, SCETV’s goal is to give citizens anywhere in South Carolina one place where they can get the information they need when they need it most. SCETV is committed to providing reliable, accurate information on hurricane, tropical storm and other significant weather warnings and advisories.  The focus of this advanced initiative is to provide the state of South Carolina with live and breaking information related to natural disasters and other types of significant weather events through South Carolina Public Radio stations, the website and social media channels, and eventually the SCETV television stations.

WUFT, housed at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC), will provide the hurricane, tropical storm and other significant weather content for the Network.  WUFT is the founder and host station for the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN), a project that provides hurricane and tropical storm coverage to 13 independently operated public radio stations that cover the state of Florida.  FPREN produces online and social media content for each of Florida’s 13 stations, in addition to the Florida Storms app, and employs a staff of meteorologists and experienced digital content producers. FPREN was recognized for its coverage of Hurricane’s Irma, Maria and Matthew, among other events.

“We realize how important it is for our citizens to get accurate and reliable information during times of emergency,” said Anthony Padgett, President & CEO of SCETV.  “S.C. Public Radio already provides a wealth of information during times of need. This is an expansion of that service and is designed to be more inclusive of the needs of our audiences during those times.  Things are already stressful enough during a hurricane or other natural disaster; finding helpful, unsensationalized information should be easy.”

“Our team at WUFT is honored to partner with SCETV and South Carolina Public Radio to further enhance the public safety messaging available throughout the state,” said Randy Wright, executive director of WUFT.  “SCETV is one of America’s leading public media state networks and WUFT’s experience leading emergency messaging projects for public media make this initiative a particularly exciting one for everyone involved.”

Throughout fall, WUFT and SCETV will roll out various multimedia platforms and unique tools, including the installation of eight remote weather stations and camera systems, new and enhanced website elements, plus severe weather and emergency messaging upgrades to SCETV’s social media accounts.  SCETV began serving the state on Sept. 1 with targeted services to support potential needs during hurricane season.  All enhanced services are expected to be fully operational by Dec. 1.

About WUFT and SCETV/South Carolina Public Radio

South Carolina ETV and South Carolina Public Radio are the state's public educational broadcasting network.  Using television, radio and the web, ETV's mission is to enrich lives by educating children, informing and connecting citizens, celebrating our culture and environment, and instilling the joy of learning.  ETV provides national and local content to classrooms via Internet services, LearningWhy, and PBS Learning Media.  SCETV also provides teacher training and re-certification in face-to-face and online settings.  SCETV currently presents A Chef’s Life, Expeditions, Reel South, and For Your Home on public television, in addition to national radio productions Song Travels, Piano Jazz and Chamber Music from Spoleto Festival USA.  SCETV began in 1958 in the library of Dreher High School in Columbia, S.C., teaching French and Plane Geometry classes to multiple schools via closed-circuit television.  Today the network comprises 11 TV stations, eight radio stations, and a statewide tower network that serves schools, hospitals, and emergency management teams.

WUFT, part of UFCJC’s Division of Media Properties, is one of seven television and radio stations that produce award-winning news, weather and sports information for north Florida and the state. In 2018, WUFT’s Innovation News Center received more than 100 awards for excellence in journalism, and won an Edward R. Murrow award for the best small market radio website in America. FPREN was founded in 2013 at WUFT, and the FPREN StormCenter operation has been recognized for its coverage of 2016's Hurricane Matthew and 2017’s Hurricane’s Maria and Irma, when FPREN provided live, ongoing coverage for more than 80 hours to the state’s public media. WUFT is currently a finalist for a National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award for 2018 Non-Commercial Radio Station of the Year.