Eric Meier on 9-11 – Lite 98.7 Remembers
I was working at a radio station in South Bend, Indiana, on the morning of September 11, 2011. I was the news director and producer of the morning show. I was wrapping up the show and in a production studio when the first reports of the initial fire at the World Trade Center came in. As I was walking down the hallway from the production studio on the main on-air studio, a news anchor from another station in the building told me in passing there was a big fire in NYC.
Back in the studio I flipped on the TV and started watching the coverage. Bob and Tom, the hosts of the show I was producing, were watching and describing the scene as well. The program director had joined me in the studio and we watched together in an awestruck horror as the second plane hit and later as the buildings toppled.
We did have one moment of what I can look back on as a touch of levity. Later in the day, after several hours of not knowing the whereabouts of President Bush, it was announced that he was safe at an Air Force Back in Omaha, Nebraska. Mark, the Program Director, and I looked at each other and said at the same time and in the same surprised tone-of voice, “Omaha?!?”
As the events unfolded that morning, I recall that we kept the morning show on late as they didn’t go off the air at 10 and didn’t go back to regular music programming. We followed up the morning show with national news coverage, as many stations did that day.
I generally stayed on the air until Noon. On that day, I took a cell phone and went down to the local Red Cross chapter as people were lining up to give blood. There were long lines at area gas stations and area Meijers ran out of fuel.
Being a radio broadcaster on 9/11 was a unique experience. Nothing captures that better than this documentary, which we’ll be sharing a few times on air leading up to 9/11/11.