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FOX 17 Works to be Your "First Informer" - John Dunn

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- When severe weather strikes, you count on FOX 17 News to bring you the latest information. Stations like ours are making sure we are there when you need us.
The flood of May 2010 was one of the worst disasters in mid-state history. It destroyed homes, took lives, and even threatened the FOX 17 studio. The Metrocenter levee, which protects our building from the Cumberland River, was nearly breached, and FOX 17 News was forced to evacuate and abandon our wall to wall weather coverage.

"So here when one of the greatest emergencies in Nashville history was taking place, we were unable to complete our duties and inform the public about what was going on," says WZTV General Manager Dominic Mancuso.

FOX 17 General Manager Dominic Mancuso understands the need for safety, but he also wants to make sure we are able to bring you the news and weather you count on. "We're required by the FCC to serve the public, especially in times of emergency," says Mancuso.

The issue is so important it is now before the Tennessee General Assembly. Mancuso wants to allow certified and credentialed engineers to access stations and transmitter sites in times of trouble. "To maintain the signal, and keep the signal on the air," says Mancuso.

The proposed legislation would impact radio and television stations across the state, and it has the full support of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters. "We're the first informers. We think we're required by the FCC to bring the public vital information," says TAB President Whit Adamson.

FOX 17 News was eventually able to broadcast after the May flood and bring you the coverage you demand. The goal is to always be there when you need us. "It's sad to not be able to fulfill that need for our viewers, because that's what we're here for," says Mancuso.

The proposed bill still puts public safety first. If a building is not safe, than  local law enforcement can still say you can't go inside. The bill is before House and Senate committees next Tuesday.

For news updates follow John Dunn on twitter @WZTVJohnDunn

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