Date Posted: 3/31/2020
The Rutherford Group’s WGNS-AM/FM Murfreesboro, Tenn., has dedicated all of its morning programming (4:00 -11:00 a.m.) to focus on the local impact of COVID-19. This includes daily guest conversations with local parents, area physicians, and elected officials, including Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland, Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron and Murfreesboro Police Chief Michael Bowen. Health experts cover the fluid changes in the types of coronavirus testing recommended by the Rutherford County Health Department. Three to four times each week McFarland has also gone live on WGNS to talk to the city about the changing news.
WGNS continues to emphasize increased handwashing, social distancing and shopping locally. The station also covers how local business owners use "out of the box" thinking to stay open; speaks with lawyers, judges and District Attorney General about how COVID-19 impacts the courts; and airs information on solid waste and spring related issues. In addition to over-the-air coverage, WGNS has seen a 200 percent increase in web traffic.
On April 2, Chief Medical Officer Julian Yang, MD, of St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital answered listener questions via phone calls and text messages during a one-hour program. A frightened 30-year old mother sent a text and said she felt she had coronavirus and was isolated from her children, but there have been no results of the test she took on March 9. After the broadcast, WGNS connected her with help.