Radio Angela To Cease Broadcasts May 31, 2023

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Tilford, who shares the following press release:

WBCQ’s Radio Angela, which began broadcasting a little over a year ago, was a bold experiment in quality programming. It carried world music (including the last Greek music on shortwave after Greece itself stopped broadcasting on the SW bands), great literature read aloud, new music releases by independent artists, some of the best vintage music on any radio band, science and comedy. It avoided the political and religious programming about which so many shortwave listeners love to complain but which are also the bread and butter that keep most private shortwave stations alive. The production standards were frequently nearly public radio quality even when not sourced from public radio. We also brought several new voices from around the world onto the shortwave bands who had never been there before.

It was known from day one that its long term success would depend upon attracting an adequate amount of both listener contributions and program buyers outside of regular core hours.

Critically and artistically, Radio Angela was a great success, and many thanks to all who gave us public and/or private support of any kind. Financially, however, this has not proven to be viable. The airtime buyers didn’t come, and neither did enough donors. Consequently, Radio Angela’s last transmission as Radio Angela will be May 31 (June 1 0200-0412 UTC).

Some individual programs are likely to continue in some form on the WBCQ grid, my own individual flagship programs (From the Isle of Music and Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot) will be going on hiatus for a least a month, possibly longer, on both 5130 and 7490, and my other shows will be discontinued altogether. This is a purely financial matter, and if we could find a nice wealthy philanthropist who loves shortwave, perhaps this wouldn’t need to happen.

This is hardly the first quality venture on radio or TV to end this way – Radio Angela had more weekly broadcasts than the original Outer Limits television series to name but one example, and the roads of radio generally are littered with the corpses of worthy broadcasting concepts and stillborn projects. My thanks to Angela and Allan Weiner for going out on a limb and backing the project, to all the content providers for their hard work and excellence, to the technical staff, some of whom are no longer with us, and to those of you who cared that we were on the air.

Those who lament the religious and political programming that keep private shortwave stations alive are welcome to consider us a case study in what is likely to happen without those dollars. I obviously lack the right answer, but I have learned a great deal about the right questions.

William “Bill” Tilford, Owner/Producer
Tilford Productions, LLC
809 S. 20th ST
Lafayette, IN 47905-1551
email: [email protected]
phone: 773.267.6548

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8 thoughts on “Radio Angela To Cease Broadcasts May 31, 2023

  1. Joseph Anthony

    I saw the Facebook post, I really loved the programming, I wish didn’t think it would end this fast when I found this station last year 🙁 I’ll be hoping you come back again in the future.

  2. Tom Servo

    The programming on Radio Angela is exactly what I like about private shortwave broadcasting: interesting, unusual and niche music and content I can’t hear on other terrestrial signals. But the problem with WBCQ (and shortwave in general, really) is that I am just not in a good place to hear them. I’ve never had much luck with 7490, 5130 or any other frequency they’ve used other than 9330. I’ve tried in the early evenings, during “prime time” and late at night. At no time has any of the WBCQ signals other than 9330 ever been more than about a S2-S3 here in Alabama even with my trust magnetic loop. WRMI is also hit and miss, but has multiple beams to multiple places so it really booms in here during many parts of the day. So it gets the majority of my listening time these days.

  3. Andreas

    I’m sorry to hear this, too. It’s a pity – on every occasion I was able to tune in, I heard something interesting. And reception on 5130 kHz was reasonable (right now SINPO 35433) here in Europe albeit the antenna pointing west. But apparently although broadcasting on shortwave the station was not interested in an international audience at all. Let’s be serious: Even if you are keen to listen to a certain programme – will you tune in at 4 or 5 o’clock in the very early morning? Most probably a repeat in the European evening hours would have helped to reach many more potential listeners. The world is bigger than the US.

  4. James M.

    FWIW, I have tried to listen to Radio Angela before, but for whatever reason(s), I generally don’t have very good reception on 5130 here at the time it aired. Since it normally didn’t come through very well, I ended up only trying for it once in a while (and usually not getting it). It did sound like an interesting show though, so if you end up getting a different frequency, time slot, beam direction, etc., I’d be willing to give it another try again then.

  5. TomL

    Thank you Bill for your adventures in radio programming. It is more time consuming and difficult than it looks and you have been at it for many years. Enjoy the summer and please let us know when you can get back on the air. For what it is worth, I never received Radio Angela on 5130 kHz all that well compared to 7490 kHz. If I would vote for which program to continue with, I would choose Melting Pot (who can forget the otherworldly sounds of Finnish-Mongolian tribal throat music, for instance). Regarding Isle of Music, I can always pick up the two main Cuban stations playing music in the evenings.

    Take care and don’t stay away too long!

  6. Chuck E

    It seems that in years past I would get 7490 booming in here in Missouri in the evening. More recently they’re down in the mud, and forget about getting a copyable signal on 5135 and 6160. I can’t support what I can’t hear. 9330 is often better here, but I’m less interested in their programming, though it’s nice to have them there.

  7. Tim Brockett

    The marketplace rules and it can be cruel. Without taxpayer dollars stations like National Public Radio would have been gone a long time ago. On the other hand, Radio Tumbril broadcasts an hour of classical music multiple times throughout the week to markets around the world. Their broadcasts have been going on for many years.

    In defense of the political and religious stations, they seem to be more in touch with their audience. I sent QSL requests to Radio Angela and Uncle Bill’s Melting Pot and the Isle of Music. I never even received the courtesy of a reply. When I sent QSL requests to The Overcomer Ministry I received a reply the NEXT day! Radio Tumbril responded to my QSL request quickly also. Since I enjoy their programs and they sent me a QSL I donated $100.00 to Radio Tumbril. Clearly, they were interested in me as a listener.

    Ignore your customers at your own peril.

    Hopefully, some valuable lessons will be learned and others will succeed where Radio Angela failed.

    Best wishes for the continued success of market-based and customer-centric shortwave radio broadcasting.

  8. Thomas Post author

    Sorry to hear this, Bill.
    You’ve done such an amazing job championing such a wide and rich variety of music programming on shortwave. Thanks for all you do! Let us know when your other programs are back on–we’re happy to spread the word here!


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