What Good Is An FM Chip For Emergencies If The Content Isn’t Getting There?

I live in New Jersey, near the Raritan Bay in one of the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy. Thankfully my street and home escaped any damages. I write this now from the warm shelter of a friend’s house after over two days in the dark. We lost power just after 5:00pm on Monday just as the worst of the storm was starting to reach us. By the time the roads were clear enough for me to make the 35 mile drive where I needed to go, two days in the dark had gone by. During that time my battery powered radio was the only source of information to the outside world we had as our nearby cell towers were offline. At the peak of the storm only two local FM’s were in full storm mode. New York Public Radio’s 93.9 WNYC-FM and Disney’s 98.7 WEPN-FM, the latter of which was simulca...Read More

How Many Strikes Before The Audience Bails For Good?

With CBS acquiring 101.9 WRXP to give Sports WFAN an FM home in New York, the area will once again find itself without an Alternative Rocker just three months after its return. The New York market has had a spotty history with Alternative as the format has bounced from station to station over the past two decades. CHR “Z100” leaned Alternative in 1994 and 1995; 102.7 WNEW filled the niche for a short term; “92.3 K-Rock” WXRK led the shift of the format from a broader mix to being fully male driven when it was paired with Howard Stern in 1996 but would eventually shift to Active Rock. Suburban stations “X107” WRGX in Westchester County, 92.7 WDRE and later WLIR on Long Island, and 106.3 WHTG-FM on the Jersey Shore filled the void in parts of the market at...Read More

A Missing Child… And Your Station’s Social Media Presence

The following commentary was submitted by a programmer who wishes to remain anonymous Today, I witnessed an event somewhere in the U.S. radio landscape that truly upset me and made me question if some of us in our business truly remember precisely why we are on the air to begin with. How many of us have been told throughout our career that our number one duty was to “protect the license of the radio station”? I would hope that each person reading this has been given that speech at least once, otherwise the rest of this article won’t make a lick of sense. You see, we – unfortunately – live in a world where people make really bad decisions and do awful things, such as, in this case, abducting a three-week-old child from their parent’s car while they were inside of a small-town post office fo...Read More

What Is The Best Length Of A Stunt?

While less and less stations have stunted in preparation of a format change in recent months, last week brought three examples of stations trying to generate attention on its way to debut a new format. Mainestream Media took possession of WBQW Kennebunkport ME on Thursday and began a Christmas music stunt that was announced to run 104 days until December 27. Just a day later, the station launched its permanent format as CHR “Hot 104.7“. In just one day, the station garnered attention from the radio industry press for being the first station to go all Christmas this season but that did not cross over to mainstream attention due to the short lived nature of the stunt. 101.5 WMXO Olean NY used a couple hours of stunting to shift from Hot AC to CHR while keeping its “Mix 101....Read More

Apple Patents System To Replace Live Radio Content

Apple has received a patent for a system that would enable a user to have content not of interest from a live broadcast or stream replaced with content stored on the device locally. Systems and methods are provided for seamlessly switching media playback between a media broadcast, such as a radio broadcast, and media from a local media library. When an electronic device determines that an upcoming media item in a media broadcast is not of interest to a user, the electronic device can switch playback from the media stream to a media item from the electronic device local library. The selected local media item can be related to a previously broadcast media item to ensure continuity in the user’s listening or viewing experience. The electronic device can switch away from the local media ...Read More

Will RadioBDC Change The Rules For Webcasters?

When 101.7 WFNX Boston was sold in May to Clear Channel, the last company anybody would’ve expected to launch a replacement would be the Boston Globe and its parent New York Times Company. The Globe, via its website quickly pounced on many of the dismissed WFNX staffers and built a webcaster from the ground up. Bringing aboard at least six staffers from WFNX, RadioBDC hired Operations/Promotions Director Mike Snow, Program Director Paul Driscoll, morning host Henry Santoro, middayer/Music Director Julie Kramer, afternoon host Adam 12, and salesperson Johnny Lavasseur to fill out the staff at the new station. RadioBDC has something that most webcasters can only dream of: visibility. A full airstaff, dedicated sales, and exposure on the biggest news site in Boston will lead ...Read More

Will WBAI New York Be Coming On The Market?

In a report about the financial difficulties surrounding the Pacifica Foundation and its stations, states that one of the plans the board of directors repetitively floated would be to swap the Class B signal of 99.5 WBAI New York located at the top of the Empire State Building for a lesser signal and cash. Otherwise station may need to even temporarily go dark at the end of the year for the inability to pay the rent for its transmitter. According to P.N.B. member Tracy Rosenberg, a former New Yorker now representing Berkeley radio station KPFA, board members have been considering either temporarily shutting down WBAI at the end of the year when its lease runs out, or swapping the signal for another, weaker one — as the former New York Times-owned WQXR did some years ago — i...Read More

In Memoriam: FM News 2011-2012

With their format changes this week Merlin Media’s “FM News” 101.1 WIQI Chicago and 101.9 WEMP New York just missed out on reaching their first birthdays. With a 0.6 share in New York and 0.3 in Chicago, the stations simply had nobody listening. But what caused these stations to be unmitigated failures? Let’s go back to when Merlin first took control of the stations. Both dropped their Alternative Rock formats on July 18, 2011 and began stunting with a Classic Rock tinged AC placeholder format branded as “FM New“. This move flushed the frequencies of their previous listeners ensuring that none of them would be around for the full launch. Over the next few weeks the stations would gradually add the “FM News” elements. On July 29, 101.1 in Chic...Read More

The Birth Of A Format And A Radio Passion

On Wednesday, July 1, 1987 Emmis Broadcasting invented a new format category as Country 1050 WHN flipped to All-Sports WFAN. Today there are nearly 700 Sports formatted stations in the country thanks to what started in New York twenty-five years ago today. That was not the only thing born on that date as the launch of that format began a love affair with radio for yours truly that continues to this day. I was eight years old on the day WFAN replaced what had been my parents favorite station (the Country format was picked up by 97.1 WYNY the same day) which perhaps explains my rooted passion for the art and science behind format changes. My beloved New York Mets were the cornerstone of WFAN in its early years. As I grew older, I began understanding the concept of long distance reception on ...Read More

While Music Radio Worries About Pandora…

While music radio worries about Pandora a number of deals in recent days have gone un-noticed about the coming war for spoken word audiences between terrestrial radio and digital providers. TuneIn, which has positioned itself as the largest streaming aggregator next to Clear Channel’s IHeartRadio has been on a content acquisition spree over the past few weeks. On the terrestrial side, they’ve added streams from Beasley, Midwest Communications, and Federated Media along with national programming from Fox News and Bloomberg. Today the company added on-demand streams of podcasts from Adam Carolla’s network. Also today, Slacker has announced a partnership with ABC Radio to create Men’s and Women’s Lifestyle content. And the 10,000 foot gorilla in the room, Apple h...Read More

How Radio Failed State College Part 2

In November 2011, while State College rioted as Joe Paterno was fired due to the Jerry Sandusky rape allegations State College radio was nowhere to be heard on the subject. Tonight, Sandusky’s allegations became convictions and yet again radio was nowhere to be seen. The following Tweets sum up how we found the State College radio stations on the internet as the verdict came in. [blackbirdpie url=”″] [blackbirdpie url=”″] [blackbirdpie url=”″] [blackbirdpie url=”″] [blackbirdpie url=” More

This Week In Insight 5/25

Running down this week’s top stories and with some thoughts. She’s Back Clear Channel’s Hot AC “Mix 96.9” KMXP Phoenix is the defacto Alternative station in that market and the new Variety Hits “She 103.5” will fill that role in Miami along with a few others. Sister Classic Rock “Big 105.9” WBGG is the only Rock outlet in the market, there’s no traditional Hot AC, and the Classic Hits station has been hurt by the Soft AC. This gives She a potentially wide hole of 80s, 90s, and 2000s Pop/Rock to call its own. Will that exclusivity be a boon or a bane for a station that has gone through many identities since the original She died in 1996. Dallas Domain Wars CBS usually registers domains months in advance of possible flips, as they a...Read More