“Alt 949’s parent company Entercom has placed a lockdown on all their radio stations nationwide due to the [COVID-19] virus. As a result, 'The Local 949' will not be broadcast this evening.” So began a post on Sunday night by 'The Local 949' host, Timothy Joseph Tognazzini, best known as TJ.
He continued: “I am especially disappointed because I feel that music and a friendly voice on the airwaves can help ease feelings of fear and isolation during times of crisis.”
Additionally, the station canceled this week's edition of Reggae Sundays, “and probably next Sunday,” a post from Alt 949 read.
Another station employee confirmed that most nonessential employees, like sales representatives and members of promotion departments, were asked to work remotely as much as possible. While saying that in this time of crisis, being “live and local” is more important than ever, it seems unclear how much regular programming will be broadcast from the studios in the foreseeable future.
“I am in discussions with the station managers, working on alternate methods of bringing the show to you in the coming weeks. I will post updates as they are pertinent,” TJ added in his Facebook post.
"It's not about me," Joseph said on the phone to SoundDiego Sunday night. "I honestly think that we're all gonna suffer a great loss. I'm concerned with my community, my friends and neighbors, with businesses shutting, bookings being canceled, bars shutting down … It's far-reaching and there are severe consequences, but we have to do what we can to stop the spread of this thing.”
Across town, 91x Loudspeaker carried on.
“I will be in the studio alone, which will be hermetically sealed," 91x Loudspeaker host Tim Pyles posted on his Facebook page on Sunday before his show. "No guests, just your local requests, and I have a ton of new local tracks to play.”