As Hurricane Irene bore down on Vermont on Sunday, the national media missed the story. Across the state, rivers rose to record levels, washing away 200-year-old covered bridges, communications and roads. Residents across the state lost internet. Radio Vermont WDEV broadcasters Ken Squier, Eric Michaels, Lee Kittell, Tom Beardsley and the station meteorologist Roger Hill stayed on the air for 24 straight hours, providing a link to stranded citizens and communities. Running on generators and with no internet, WDEV became the lifeline between communities that were cut off on all sides, as citizens provided one another with news, information and reassurance. As Vermont and northern New York were submerged, national media pronounced the storm over, and a dud. We speak with Ken Squier, owner of WDEV, an 80-year-old family-owned independent music, news and sports station that serves northern Vermont. Squier has been a fierce critic of media consolidation and advocate for independent media — albeit commercial media. [includes rush transcript]moreless
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