President Donald Trump recently held one of his famed high-energy rallies in Panama City Beach, Florida, to a jam-packed auditorium of boisterous supporters.
His over-arching message was that his administration hadn’t forgotten about the Floridians in the Panhandle — or anyone else, for that matter — whose communities were utterly ravaged in October of 2018 by Hurricane Michael, as well as other destructive hurricanes and flooding.
As it turns out, though, Trump’s vow of continued federal aid to the still-recovering region and his message of encouragement for those who live there will carry on for more than just that one night, as it was just revealed that three local radio stations in the area will proceed to broadcast clips from that speech and others by Trump on a daily basis until the day of the 2020 election.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that the three radio stations in question are the Classic Rock-themed WRBA-FM 95.9, Country-themed “HANK FM” WKNK-FM 103.5, and contemporary Adult Hits-themed “BOB FM” WASJ-FM 105.1, all of which are owned by the recently formed company Gulf Coast Media.
All three of those stations suffered significant damage to their facilities during the powerful Category 5 storm, which resulted in their absence from the air for several months while repairs were made after Gulf Coast Media purchased them from Powell Broadcasting Company in late 2018.
The owner and spokesman for Gulf Coast Media, Samuel Rogatinsky, told the Sun-Sentinel that each station would play a two-minute clip of a Trump speech at least once, if not twice, in every broadcast hour of every day until the presidential election next year.
“We ran it by a bunch of listeners and people in the area, and nobody’s upset about it. It’s Republican territory,” he said on Monday. “Nobody’s offended by it. It’s not an issue.”
Rogatinsky further explained that many Floridians had been more than pleased at the special attention they had received from the president, as many felt they had been forgotten about or overlooked by the mainstream media and the general public in the aftermath of the hurricane.
His company announced in a news release that GCM, Inc.’s “senior management acknowledged that broadcasting the President’s speeches may not be consistent with conventional commercial FM radio, but we have taken this approach to show the community’s sincere appreciation for President Donald Trump’s work in Panama City and Bay County.”
“People around the world think that Floridians are accustomed to getting battered by Hurricanes and have for the most part ignored the huge losses experienced by people in Panama City and Bay County,” the release continued. “People have forgotten about us and the community is so thankful that President Donald Trump made it crystal clear that he was here to help us.”
“After announcing the $448 million relief fund President Donald Trump stated, ‘No games, no gimmicks, no delays. We are just doing it — You’re getting your money one way or the other,’” the statement highlighted.
Rogatinsky told the Sun-Sentinel of the unconventional decision, “Really, we just want to have inspirational type things because the community is so down. Nobody else is really promising or doing anything. They want to hear what he has to say.”
TheWrap reported that Rogatinsky said, “The community really embraces Donald Trump and we are giving them what they want.”
He further added that in the interest of complying with the Federal Communications Commission’s guidelines on equal time for political candidates, he would be willing to offer a similar arrangement to any candidate who asked.
Rogatinsky said, “If anybody requests it, it won’t be an issue. If Bernie Sanders wants equal time then we’re going to comply with the law.”
Regardless of whether the radio stations end up granting equal time to Democratic candidates or not, this is a huge win for President Trump. In a vitally important swing state, it serves almost as free advertising for his re-election campaign.
The Florida Panhandle is certainly an area that could be classified as “MAGA Country,” and the significant number of votes Trump received from that region of that state in 2016 arguably sealed his statewide victory.
With these three radio stations now promoting his concern for the region’s residents for the remainder of the 2020 election season, those Panhandle voters may very well win Florida for Trump once again.