Hamilton, TX -- Mayor Roy Rumsey presents Meredith Beal with a proclamation proclaiming September 14, 2007 Meredith Beal Day in the City of Hamilton, TX.
I woke up one day and was checking my emails and the emails for KCLW. I saw dozens of emails from people in Houston, TX referring to a story in the Houston Chronicle that morning. Houston is almost four hours from Hamilton and you can’t hear the station through terrestrial airways but can listen online. Comments ranged from “Hey, I grew up in that town on Western music, I didn’t know that station was still operating,” to “I didn’t know there was a station around that played real classic country music,” and a number of others.
I went to the newsstands around Austin looking for a copy of the paper. When I found it I was surprised to find a four-page, full color article on the cover of their Sunday magazine section. It featured interviews with listeners, with people who participated in the Trading Post Show (a sort of swap meet on the air), players on the high school’s football team as well as with the general manager.
It was GREAT coverage but I was curious why the writer from a Houston paper would do such a story so I contacted her. She said she was doing an article on the contrast between big city radio and small town radio and literally was looking through a list of radio stations Texas for towns with a population less than 10,000 people and her finger stopped at Hamilton.
A few days later we received a call from ABC News in New York where an editor had seen the Houston Chronicle story and they were going to be doing a story about the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voting on new rules limiting the number of radio stations that one company could own in one market. They wound up sending a team out to Hamilton and spent three days there talking with station personnel, listeners, they visited the homes of people who were regulars on the Trading Post Show and spoke with some City officials.
The result was a three-minute national story on a Sunday on ABC Evening News. Instead of focusing on the FCC’s impending ruling however, it was more about a cute little radio station 45 minutes from President Bush’s ranch. Regardless, it was more great coverage for me, the station as well as the city.
Some of the business leaders in Hamilton approached the Mayor and expressed a wish to do something to show their appreciation to me for bringing so much attention to the town over the past year. They decided to have the City issue a proclamation proclaiming September 14, 2007 as Meredith Beal Day in the City of Hamilton, TX. They invited my staff and me to City Hall to present me with the certificate at a luncheon.