We're sharing new details about the forgivable COVID loans, talking about media vaccine access, and addressing new safety and security concerns.
I know it's been anything but a quiet start to this new year. Today, we're sharing new details about forgivable COVID loans available to Arizona radio and TV stations. We're also talking about media vaccine access, new safety and security concerns for the days ahead, and the announcement of several new 2021 events from your Arizona Broadcasters Association. All of that and more below.
FORGIVABLE LOANS FOR ARIZONA RADIO AND TV
Arizona radio and TV stations eligible to receive new government financial support will finally be able to apply for access in the coming days.
As we first shared in December, this new program will allow more Arizona broadcasters to get a FIRST round of forgivable PPP loan funding. It will also give struggling broadcasters who received PPP loans in 2020 a SECOND chance at receiving more funding.
After weeks of setup, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) officially opened on January 11 and will be ramping up efforts in coming days. For example, only FIRST round loan submissions are being accepted until January 13, at which point second round loans will also become eligible. Similarly, the program is only accepting loans from “community financial institutions” to start, but will be opening up to all banks in the coming days.
This news wouldn't be possible were it not for a 9-month-long collaboration between state broadcasting associations, the National Association of Broadcasters, and leaders from all across our industry. Thank you all.
COVID-19 VACCINE ACCESS FOR ARIZONA LOCAL MEDIA
Arizona local media has been identified as part of the “essential workers” designation for Arizona’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution. This designation means that most Arizona local media employees may be eligible for vaccinations in February or March (after the most at-risk populations are prioritized).
The Arizona vaccine distribution process is broken up into multiple phases, and most Arizona counties haven’t yet moved into the phase that includes essential workers like local media. You can track the county-by-county process here.
Once vaccinations are available to essential workers, we expect Arizona local media employees will be able to individually apply through the website listed above as long as they have proof of work identification in local media (like a pay stub or press pass). We’ve been in touch with GMs from nearly every local media station over the last several weeks, and are working with the Arizona Department of Health Services on the expected timeline. We will share more details as we learn it. As you can imagine, this process is very fluid and may require adjustment. Please reach out with questions.
KEEPING ARIZONA BROADCASTERS SAFE DURING UNREST
We all know we're living in a world of heightened emotions with the threat of more violence over the coming days. Across social media platforms, many of you know media has been singled out as a target across the country amid planned protests leading up to Inauguration Day on January 20. As recently as yesterday, the FBI also warned about the threat of armed protests in all 50 states.
The ABA strongly encourages EVERY station to review their building and staff safety protocols as they did prior to Election Day. Even if your station(s) isn't engaged in newsgathering, broadcasters remain recognizable in our communities. Here are some suggested areas to review:
• Building entry protocols and general security awareness • Field crew safety (is it possible to staff "teams" in public) • Station vehicles (think about unmarked units vs vehicles with logos)
The ABA needs your eyes and ears on any threats your station may receive. Please be vocal with me in protection of your peers. I've patched my cell phone into the main ABA phone line for the next several days. Please don't hesitate to raise any concern, big or small. The ABA number to call is 602-252-4833.
ARIZONA TV STATIONS JOIN TOGETHER IN RARE EFFORT
Dozens of TV stations from all across Arizona will join together for a rare effort tonight (January 12) to fight back against the growing epidemic of youth suicide.
In partnership with The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, more than 25 TV stations have joined an ABA effort to air a student-produced documentary about the youth suicide rate in Arizona and how we can all do our part to help stop it.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people. In Arizona, the rate of youth suicide is significantly higher than the national average, and since COVID-19, the CDC estimates that 1 in 4 young people have contemplated taking their life.
To maximize Arizona reach, this 30-minute program will be broadcast in unison TONIGHT at 5pm on Spanish TV stations and 6:30pm on English TV stations.
2021 EAS SCHEDULE FOR ARIZONA BROADCASTERS
(INCLUDING KEY CHANGE FOR JANUARY)
Because of tensions surrounding the election, impeachment debate, and the upcoming inauguration, the January EAS test originally scheduled for January 13 has been postponed until January 27 at the same time of 10:40am. The goal with this move is to avoid any confusion with the use of the EAS system.
In partnership with the state's emergency communications committee, the ABA is sharing this updated 2021 schedule for REQUIRED monthly EAS system tests. The document is also posted in the "EAS" section on the ABA website. That web portal is password protected by the word "Arizona".
FIRST CALL IN 2021:
MORE FREE COTTON MASKS FOR ARIZONA BROADCASTERS
More FEMA-certified cotton masks are available for immediate distribution to any Arizona broadcast group that needs them.
We are offering these masks to every Arizona broadcast group at NO COST. Please reply to this email with any station ask. Repeat asks are welcome.
ABA OPENS UP REGISTRATION FOR 2021 LIVE EVENTS
The ABA prioritizes education about our fast-changing media world. As we head into a new year, we've posted registration information about four virtual live events. These FREE events are open to anyone in Arizona media:
As our broadcasting world changes, it's more critical than ever that our Arizona broadcasters understand the changes and have access to information about our business. We hope this email group can serve as one small part of that process. Who else on your teams should get these ABA emails? Sign up here.
Please keep any and all questions coming,
--------- Chris Kline
President and CEO, Arizona Broadcasters Association
602.252.4833 (office) | 602-790-7537 (cell)
555 N Central Avenue, Suite 302 | Phoenix, AZ 85004 email@example.com
ABA 2021 RESOURCES AND SERVICES: The ABA focus in 2021 is to develop services and programs that can help stations build their current businesses stronger alongside investing in more efforts that help futureproof Arizona’s broadcast industry.