For immediate release
May 20, 1998
NPR And Its Member Stations Pull Out All The Stops
To Keep Programming on the Air
Amidst Satellite Crisis
Washington, DC — When the Galaxy IV satellite experienced technical problems at 6:15 last night, National Public Radio® (NPR®) swung into action to find alternate ways to deliver programming to more than 600 radio stations nationwide. NPR quickly set up a live Real Audio® Internet feed of All Things Considered®, which was in progress when the satellite outage occurred. ABC, PBS and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation helped the public radio community by posting NPR programs on their satellites, and member stations also had the option of picking up programs through an ISDN phone line. NPR staffers worked through the night, calling stations to offer technical assistance and pass along the latest updates.
"The atmosphere was like the war room of a political campaign," said NPR Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Peter Jablow. "It was an all-hands-on-deck effort to assist our stations in keeping NPR programming on the air. And the public radio community has really pulled together to weather the storm - some stations are even creating daisy-chain phone-line systems to feed programming to each other."
Besides delivering its own programs to 600 member stations nationwide, NPR operates the Public Radio Satellite System, a shared, cooperative enterprise which transmits programming from a variety of sources to public radio stations.
Satellite services company PanAmSat Corporation has said it will shift its satellite operations to the Galaxy VI satellite in a few days. In the meantime, NPR today repositioned satellite dishes at NPR headquarters in Washington to uplink transmissions to the interim Galaxy 3R satellite.
Overseas, however, NPR programming continued without a hitch - NPR Worldwide's 24-hour international feeds are distributed via the ASTRA satellite. NPR Worldwide delivers flagship programs such as All Things Considered®, Morning Edition® and Talk of the Nation® to more than 30 million cable and satellite homes throughout Europe and Japan.
Renowned for its journalistic excellence and providing standard-setting news, information and cultural programming, NPR serves a growing audience of 13 million Americans each week. National Public Radio, a membership organization of nearly 600 public radio stations nationwide, produces and distributes the award-winning programs All Things Considered®, Talk of the Nation®, Weekend Edition® and NPR's Performance Today®.