Tag Archives: The Guardian

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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ABC staff warned that substantial cuts may be on the way

Photo via Mark Fahey

(Source: The Guardian via Michael Bird)

ABC staff have been warned a $14.6m budget cut will be implemented in the next financial year after the re-election of the Coalition.

The new managing director, David Anderson, told staff on Monday morning that a “budget challenge” was looming after his lobbying efforts in Canberra to reverse the cut fell on deaf ears.

The Labor party had promised to reverse the Coalition’s $83.7m “indexation pause” if elected and one of the ALP’s election promises was to give the ABC and the SBS an extra $60m between them.

Anderson has long indicated that more jobs were likely to go to “free up” as much money as possible for content.[…]

Click here to read the full article via The Guardian.

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ABC has appointed David Anderson as managing director

ABC Melbourne (Photo: Mark Fahey)

David Anderson (Source: ABC)

(Source: The Guardian via Michael Bird)

David Anderson, a 30-year veteran at the public broadcaster, has been appointed ABC managing director by the chair, Ita Buttrose, replacing the sacked Michelle Guthrie.

“Mr Anderson is an exceptional media professional with strong content, digital and strategic experience,” Buttrose said.

“The ABC Board resolved unanimously to appoint David Anderson following a national and international search that produced many impressive candidates.

“With almost 30 years of service, David’s knowledge of the ABC is unsurpassed. He has a deep understanding of audience needs and the board is confident he has the skills and ability to respond to the challenges of a changing media environment.[…]

Click here to read the full story at The Guardian.

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The BBC World Service has a new theme

(Image source: BBC)

(Source: The Guardian)

For 70 years, far-flung listeners knew they had found the BBC on their radio dial when they heard the jaunty notes of the Irish jig Lillibulero. Its brassy, old-fashioned sound spoke of men in dinner jackets and vintage radio microphones, and there was a minor public outcry when it was formally dropped more than a decade ago.

Since then the World Service, which has an audience of 79 million, has used a musical motif which, according to controller Mary Hockaday “changed every now and then in rather an ad hoc way”.

But from tomorrow morning, the English-language station will have a new jingle, letting listeners across the world know unquestionably that London is calling. The signature tune is a nod to the station’s long traditions, with even a beat or two of the BBC’s famous pips to send a message about values in an age of “fake news”.[…]

Click here to read the full story at The Guardian.

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New Zealand broadcaster aims to put you to sleep

Photo by Rafal Jedrzejek

(Source: The Guardian via Larry W)

Insomniacs across the world give the nod to John Watson, who has ambient music producers queueing up to feature on his channel

John Watson is the first to admit that his DJ skills put people to sleep. Luckily for him, that is the point.

For the past four years Watson, who lives in the tiny New Zealand township of Te Aroha, has been broadcasting to the world. But instead of seeking an engaged listenership, Watson wants those who tune into his station to literally fall asleep. And they do.

People from as far away as Afghanistan, Israel, Russia, Hungary, Taiwan and Puerto Rico log on to Watson’s station Sleep Radio. Someone in Prague has been listening for three days straight.

The idea of a radio station that sends listeners to sleep came to Watson after he had a heart attack 10 years ago. Following five coronary artery bypasses he began to suffer from chronic depression and insomnia.

“I never used to have trouble going to sleep but now I was lying awake watching the sun rise and feeling like a zombie,” he said.[…]

Click here to continue reading the full article at The Guardian online.

Click here to to check out Sleep Radio’s website and listen to their streaming audio.

Listen to Sleep Radio via TuneIn Radio by clicking here or via the embedded player below:

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Norway: First country to end national broadcasts on FM

When listening to marginal FM signals, the AR1780 can be set to mono mode instead of default stereo mode.

(Source: The Guardian)

Digital switchover means that only the country’s local radio stations continue to use FM frequencies

Norway has completed its transition to digital radio, becoming the first country in the world to shut down national broadcasts of its FM network.

The country’s most northern regions and the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic switched to digital audio broadcasting (DAB) as scheduled on Wednesday, said Digitalradio Norge (DRN), an umbrella group for Norway’s public and commercial radio.

The transition, which began on 11 January, allows for better sound quality and more channels and functions at an eighth of the cost of FM radio, according to authorities.

The move has, however, been met with some criticism linked to technical incidents and claims that there is not enough DAB coverage across the country.

Radio users have also complained about the cost of having to buy new receivers or adapters, usually priced at between €100 and €200 (£88 and £176).

Only 49% of motorists are able to listen to DAB in their cars, according to DRN figures.[…]

Continue reading the full article at The Guardian.

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The Guardian: Study shows ABC cuts to shortwave & rural broadcasts “jeopardising safety of remote communities”

(Source: The Guardian via Ian P)

Reduction of local news and station closures disastrous for people living outside Australia’s cities, researchers say

Cuts to the ABC in regional and rural Australia and the corporation’s increasing reliance on digital technologies is jeopardising the safety of remote communities and their access to emergency warnings, Deakin University research has found.

The ABC’s increasingly “digital-first” approach to emergency information and the reduction in ABC reporters’ local knowledge is causing great distress among rural populations who rely on broadcast signals because they don’t have the bandwidth or coverage for digital, researchers say.

A reduction of local news and information, centralised newsrooms in metropolitan areas, the closure of several ABC stations and the scaling back of broadcast programming has been disastrous for people outside the cities, according to a new study, Communication life line? ABC emergency broadcasting in rural/regional Australia.

But the ABC has played down the study’s significance, saying it is based on parliamentary submissions and is not an “accurate or up-to-date” summary of the corporation’s role in rural and regional Australia; and that the ABC is not funded as an emergency service.

Based on public submissions to a parliamentary inquiry, the researchers Julie Freeman, Kristy Hess and Lisa Waller found “burgeoning discontent about the corporation’s ability to fulfil its role as a designated emergency broadcaster and provide communication life lines to rural and regional communities”.[…]

Continue reading at The Guardian.

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