Tag Archives: Local Radio

Small-scale DAB could lead to hundreds of new UK radio stations

(Source: Southgate ARC)

Hundreds of new local digital radio stations could start broadcasting in the UK from next year, under proposals outlined by Ofcom

Ofcom say:

With over 40% of the UK’s radio listening now taking place on the Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) platform, today’s proposals mark a major step towards expanding local DAB coverage, giving listeners an even wider choice of new digital radio stations.

Small-scale DAB is cutting-edge technology, pioneered in the UK by an Ofcom engineer. It provides local commercial, community and specialist music stations with a low-cost route to hitting the digital airwaves.

The consultation sets out:

• our proposed spectrum and licensing process;
• our approach to developing a coverage area plan; and
• how we intend to advertise licences and assess applications.

We would like to hear from interested parties by Friday 4 October and intend to start advertising licences early in 2020.

Public consultation information
https://www.ofcom.org.uk/consultations-and-statements/category-1/licensing-small-scale-dab-new-powers-and-duties-proposed-by-government

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The Guardian: The loss of rural radio leaves US communities with “another cultural and informational gap”

(Source: The Guardian via BJ Leiderman and Kris Partridge)

America’s rural radio stations are vanishing – and taking the country’s soul with them

When I arrive at the radio station, Mark Lucke is standing in the doorway, looking out at the spitting, winter rain. He’s slim and stoic, with sad, almost haunted, eyes. The first thing he asks is if I’d like to see “the dungeon”. Who wouldn’t?

Lucke pulls on a Steeler’s jacket and a baseball cap over brown hair that falls halfway down his back, and leads me across the five-acre yard. Out here, 90 miles east of Tucson, the desert is a long sweep of brush the color of beach sand. Lucke seems to slip through the rainy day like a ghost.

The radio station, whose call letters are KHIL, has long been the daily soundtrack for this frontier town (population 3,500) that prides itself on its cowboy culture and quiet pace of life. But six decades after the founding of the station, the property is in foreclosure, with utility disconnect notices coming nearly every month.

Small-town radio is fizzling nationwide, as stations struggle to attract advertisement dollars. And as station owners are forced to sell, media conglomerates snap up rural frequencies for rock-bottom prices, for the sole purpose of relocating them to urban areas. In a more affluent market, they can be flipped for a higher price. With limited frequencies available, larger broadcasters purchase as many as possible – especially those higher on the dial – in a race not dissimilar to a real estate grab.[…]

Click here to read the full article at The Guardian.

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FCC lifts local control rule for radio stations

(Source: The Washington Post)

Federal regulators have voted to eliminate a longstanding rule covering radio and television stations, in a move that could ultimately reshape the nation’s media landscape.

The regulation, which was first adopted almost 80 years ago, requires broadcasters to have a physical studio in or near the areas where they have a license to transmit TV or radio signals. Known as the “main studio rule,” the regulation ensured that residents of a community could have a say in their local broadcast station’s operations.

Tuesday’s vote by the Federal Communications Commission lifts that requirement. With the rise of social media, the agency said, consumers now have other ways to get in touch with their local broadcasters.

“Additionally, technology allows broadcast stations to produce local news even without a nearby studio,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.

But that same technological capability could prompt large media titans to take over small, local TV and radio stations, turning them into megaphones blasting content developed for a national audience rather than a local one, according to critics.[…]

Click here to read the full article at The Washington Post.

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Your favorite radio stations that stream online?

The Grace Digital Mondo WiFi radio

The Grace Digital Mondo WiFi radio

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time with WiFi radios.

You see, I’ve been preparing a three part series about WiFi radios for The Spectrum Monitor magazine (Part 1 will appear in the April 2016 issue). Not only have I been evaluating and reviewing several radios, but also station aggregators: the curated databases of radio stations to which WiFi radios link.

Internet radio = Local radio discovery

Internet (or Web/WiFi) radio is a fantastic platform for discovering small, even semi-isolated, community radio stations that, until the Internet, had never broadcast signals beyond their local communities. With Internet radio, we can enjoy these stations as if we, too, are locals. Local becomes international.

WHKY-AM-Radio-Tower

As I travel, I try to note the callsigns of AM/FM radio stations I enjoy.

Sadly, not all of my favorite local radio stations stream online as it’s a major expense for a small broadcaster and yields very little in the way of ad revenue. After all, who in South Africa is going to buy auto parts from a store in Homer Alaska? It’s a conundrum for sure, and one shared by private shortwave broadcasters.

Still, there are a number of stations that do manage to have a reliable streams online.

In no particular order, here’s a short list–a handful–of some of my favorite stations that stream (click on the callsign to listen to the station live):

  • WTZQ Everything from Glenn Miller to Steve Miller (Hendersonville, NC)
  • WXRC Classic Rock (Charlotte, NC)
  • WDRV Classic Rock (Chicago, IL)
  • WHGM Classic Hits (Havre de Grace, MD)
  • WFED Federal News Radio (Washington, DC)
  • CBAL French language music from (Moncton, NB, Canada)
  • CKUT McGill University radio, (Montreal, Canada)
  • CIAO World Music and Talk Radio (Brampton, ON, Canada)
  • 6WF ABC local talk and music (Perth, Australia)
  • Fréquence 2 (Ivory Coast, Africa)
  • CFZM Nostalgia (Toronto, Canada)
  • Saint-Pierre & Miquelon 1ère French music/talk (St. Pierre and Miquelon)
  • WNMB 1950’s music (North Myrtle Beach, SC)
  • KBON Cajun/Zydeco/Blues and variety (Louisiana, USA)

What are your favorite stations?

Please comment and share some of your favorite streaming AM/FM radio stations! I’m all ears!

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In the US, radio audience continues an upward trend

tivoli-model-3-radio

(Source: CNN Money via Andrea Borgnino)

It turns out that radio still gets results.

Amid all the changes in television and digital media, a report from Nielsen released Tuesday found that radio’s nationwide audience reached an all-time high during the second quarter of 2015.

According to Nielsen, about 245 million Americans ages 12 and up used radio during the that span.

It was a continuation of an upward trend for radio, which has seen its national audience swell to record highs in each of the last two years. In the first quarter of this year, radio eclipsed television as the country’s top reaching medium.

Continue reading on CNN.com…

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The rise and decline of AM radio in Pittsburgh

A portrait of Frank Conrad in 1921; holding a microphone in his hand (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

A portrait of Frank Conrad in 1921; holding a microphone in his hand (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Many thanks to Jeff Brady who shared this article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. While this article focuses on Pittsburgh’s AM radio scene, it’s certainly reflective of a common theme throughout the US and in other countries.

(Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

By Adrian McCoy and Maria Sciullo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Radio, as we know it, may have begun on a bet.

Frank Conrad, assistant chief engineer for Westinghouse in the early 20th century, wanted to see whether a new watch was keeping correct time. In 1912, he made a $5 wager with colleague Thomas Perkins. But how to verify his claim?

Tinkering with materials in his Wilkinsburg garage, Conrad created a small receiver capable of picking up time signals from the U.S. Naval Observatory in Arlington, Va.

He won his bet and went on to design bigger and better radios for Westinghouse. In turn, Westinghouse became a key player in turning the hobby of a few radio enthusiasts into an industry that changed the world.

Pittsburgh’s radio history is the history of modern radio.

For AM radio — and the radio industry in general — the hits just keep coming. Rapid technological changes, government legislation, aging demographics and a shifting media landscape have combined to erode AM’s once massive audience. Better clarity through FM, HD and satellite, and more diverse programming have resulted in AM leaning heavily on two formats: talk and sports.

Still, it all started here.” [Continue reading…]

For more information about Frank Conrad, check out this biography on Wikipedia. Read the full Gazette-Times article The Rise and Decline of AM Radio by clicking here.

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40th Anniversary Montage of ILR Radio Stations

IRL-StationLogosHat tip to Mike Barraclough for sharing a link to this audio/video montage on the BBC website celebrating the 40th anniversary of Independent Local Radio (ILR) with air check clips from stations across the country.

Even if you have never lived in the UK, there’s some serious radio nostalgia in this montage.

Many of these ILR stations still broadcast today, and you can listen to the majority of them via TuneIn radio.

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