By Hannah Osborne
A visit to 95.5 WSB Radio by Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff highlights an important relationship between broadcasters and public officials.
On June 9, 2023 Sen. Ossoff (D-GA) appeared on 95.5 WSB Radio as a takeover host for The Mark Arum Show. Ossoff used the hour-long segment to promote some of the issues he has been devoting his time to since taking office in 2021. Issues discussed include bipartisanship with John Isakson, the son of former U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson; Georgia agriculture with pecan-farmer Marianne Brown; and military housing with investigative reporter Meredith Anderson.
Ossoff’s show, and the station’s allowance of this show, shows a mutually beneficial relationship that broadcasters and public servants share.
“Having Senator Ossoff fill in on WSB gave our listeners a more personal opportunity to hear and speak with the senator,” says WSB Programming Director, Ken Charles. “It was an uncensored town hall that allowed our audience to interact with Ossoff like no other medium provides.”
Ossoff’s segment allotted the senator time to share issues of his own concern, while listeners were provided with some additional insight to their communities. The parties were allowed the chance to exchange ideas and information in this “uncensored town hall,” creating a positive, productive flow of information for the senator and his constituents.
As technology continues to advance, it’s important that stations and the public remember what a valuable asset broadcasting is in learning about and from public officials.
“We look forward to having other members of the Georgia delegation, national and statewide, regardless of party, participate in similar opportunities to connect with WSB’s listeners to see the power of radio as a unique way to connect with their constituents and voters,” says Charles.
Small market stations have begun to nourish these relationships as well. WDUN has introduced a segment with Mayor of Gainesville, Sam Couvillion, on the Martha Zoller show, choosing a Monday each month to discuss upcoming projects and issues of the city.
The GAB recognizes and encourages this important relationship and urges stations to invite more public officials to be featured on or even host their own shows.