Radio talk hosts invite listeners to Mississippi Gulf Coast

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Steve Phillips – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Radio listeners across the country learned more about the Mississippi Gulf Coast on Friday. More than a dozen radio talk show hosts broadcast live from the Coast Coliseum Friday morning, inviting their listeners to vacation here.

The media blitz is designed to help overcome misconceptions that may exist in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill.

"Going to about 500 great towns and cities across this great country," said host Alan Nathan, whose popular syndicated show reaches thousands of listeners.

"We're good to go and all our beaches are clean. The fishing is good," a local guest told the talk show host.

That's exactly the message the director of tourism for Mississippi wants spread across the country.

"To talk about the Mississippi Gulf Coast and how we are open for business and how we are reaching out to their listeners to tell them all the wonderful tourism product that is available here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast," said State Tourism Director Mary Beth Wilkerson.

The hosts of V-100's morning show in Panama City Beach are impressed by the tourism opportunities here.

"It's absolutely beautiful. The people here are amazing and nice. And we feel at home," said Angie.

"After Katrina and the oil spill, for all the broadcasters to get together and make a difference, it's just a beautiful thing," added her partner, Shawn Wild.

Community leaders and representatives from the hospitality industry served as guests for the various shows, inviting listeners to come enjoy our beautiful beaches, warm sunshine and fresh seafood.

"It's always good to have folks from other parts of the country come in and ask what makes us what we are. And it was interesting to hear the perspective we got from other areas," said Gulfport Mayor George Schloegel.

"I've always been more familiar with the Florida Gulf Coast and then Louisiana, not so much in the middle.  And I definitely will be back," said Georgia radio host Martha Zoller.

Organizers of the broadcasting blitz are hoping once the word is out, visitors will flock to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The radio talk show hosts came from a variety of markets including New York City, Jackson, Tennessee, and Fargo, North Dakota. Along with the broadcasters, a group of internet bloggers was also a part of the media blitz.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.