What is your Local Radio Station Like?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Donovan K, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. Donovan K

    Donovan K Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    I spend twenty five years as a professional broadcaster and have seen tremendous changes in the industry, both technically and otherwise. Some I think were great, some were terrible. My question for all of you is: What is your local radio station like?

    Do you have a local station in your area that still has a live, local person on the air all the time?

    Do they do a lot of programming of local interest including local news, play by play of high school sporting events, cover local festivals, parades, etc?

    Do they have a call in talk show about local issues? Do they have a call in "swap shop" show that is free to use?

    Does the community support your local station and is it an asset for your town?

    Do they have local churches airing their services on Sunday mornings?

    I appreciate your answers and will give you some feedback after I have read what you all have to say.


  2. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2003
    Verndale MN
    KWAD 920 am!! It's so local it's 1kW. They do run some syndicated talk shows- "Garage Logic" from kstp 1500 in St Paul- but they do a ton of local. Instead of answering your Q's seperate I'll list what they do.
    *Old oldie country 30's - 70's. A lot of stuff I'd never heard before.
    *All the HS sports from 5 or 6 local schools
    *Annual talent show (live on air!)
    * Interviews with local businesspeople. These are usually interesting.
    *A daily anniversary show, with a cake given away to one random, lucky couple.
    * Births, obits, marriages, spaghetti feeds, farm reports, auctions.
    * At noon, a hymn sponsored by the funeral home :eek:
    * A GOOD morning show that is funny without crudeness.
    * Church on Sunday- 2 services, both Lutheran (this IS MN!) the first service is in English, the second, hour long service is in Finnish. :cool:
    * Swap shop where you can buy things at a discount.
    * On-air classifieds. You go down to the hardware store and fill out an ad. The station is above the hardware store. If you miss the show, they will let you read the clipboard of ads.
    * And :worship: Daryl, who will make you a tape of songs he think you'll like if you give him a blank tape. He made me a 90 minute tape of songs somewhat like "Dang Me".

  3. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Yes to most of your questions on the local radio station with some qualifications. CBC is regional with programming in the morning and afternoon. Inbetwisxt those times it goes to a programming based within a 'larger region' that is mostly talk shows.
    The local station from the closest town with a radio station that is advertising based is crap. It has the usual pre programmed voice at night and repetetive daytime crap musac. I quit listening to that years ago. In my opinion it's not much of a community asset, and many rural listeners tune into a different station.
    It does have a short 'swap n shap' during the afternoon session with a live broadcaster and they do some local live high school sport broadcasting.
  4. dale

    dale Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2002
    in a neighboring town the Radio station KKOZ starts just before sun up and used to sign off at sundown but they have gotten a better license and now have longer hours.

    IN the morning they start off with weather and news some local small talk. Then at 8 am they have a local call in Swap line for people to call in to buy sale and or trade items, this only for non business people. business owners have to buy time.

    at 9 am they stop the swap line and will interview a different person each day like the state repersentive, or the universty extention personell, or a local business leader. sometimes a student from school that is at the top of their class.

    And every hour they do the weather and news.

    Then for an hour or so they will play some country music then about noon they will switch over to Gospel music and will have a bible reading of about 4-5 verses that have been professionally taped.

    In the afternoon they will have more country music.

    Then in the evenings they will broadcast the local schools in the area games than about 10 pm they will shut down for the night.

    this station is owned by two brothers
  5. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

    Apr 18, 2004
    SouthEastern Illinois
    WFIW Farfield IL.
    “The stations listened to, not just heard!”

    typical news is great, and I like the AM station they got(Tho they Removed Derrry Brownfield's show) :(

    It is a nice station.
    But can't get them at night(AM), they go to low power.
  6. RedneckWoman

    RedneckWoman Well-Known Member

    Jun 10, 2004
    WQBE 97.5, top 40 country, The Wolf 96.1 mixture of country, Electric 102.6, hip hop, and Rock 105. They have the when and wheres of local events, live local person, call in request and dedication hours, one has a gospel music hour on Sunday mornings, very little news, some weather and road conditions, no call in talk shows, some chit chat, and most of the djs are turning into loud, foul mouths (I really don't care about that it just isn't that appealing early in the morning lol).
  7. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

    Jun 16, 2002
    South Central Kansas
    "Do you have a local station in your area that still has a live, local person on the air all the time?"

    KWBW 1450 AM Hutchinson, KS. Live from early morning until 11 a.m. when Rush Limbaugh comes on. Live for part of the afternoon, and live for local basketball or football game broadcasts. They also broadcast nearly all of the games of the NJCAA basketball tournament.

    "Do they do a lot of programming of local interest including local news, play by play of high school sporting events, cover local festivals, parades, etc?"

    Yes on the sporting events as I already mentioned. No parade coverage to my knowledge, nor of local festivals. They do cover SOME of the conventions that come to Hutchinson. As one example they went to the convention site for several days during the National Family Motor Coach Association gathering.

    "Do they have a call in talk show about local issues? Do they have a call in "swap shop" show that is free to use?"

    Every Wednesday is "Phone Forum" where callers are invited to call in about any subject that interests them. While a call might be to praise someone, it most often is bashing what the city council or county commissioners are doing. A prime example is the city fathers planning to spend around $600,000 OR MORE on an animal shelter that will have a capacity of less than 30 animals. I am pretty opinionated on some topics, but am rarely near a phone when the forum is on.

    Yes on the "Party Line" swap show. It is on for an hour Monday through Saturday. The number of times you can call in during the week is limited. Also if you operate a business you aren't allowed to call to advertise it.

    Does the community support your local station and is it an asset for your town?

    The station does a lot of remote broadcasts to promote advertisers. Last year if you attended a remote you could sign up for a cruise that was being given away in the fall. Many of the listeners were faithful about attending them and of course shopping while at the merchant's store.

    Rather than having recorded commercials the broadcasters speak to advertisers present in the studio or via telephone. A greenhouse and a nursery have a call in program to answer questions each week---advertising plus benefit to the public.
    Quite a number of the advertisers will spend at least 15 minutes in the studio. They don't just talk about the products they sell, but also about their kids/schools/ events/whatever. It makes you feel like they are mom and pop store and not a money hungry client.

    Once or twice yearly the station has an auction for products from their advertisers. While there are some super bargains, most frequently the buyers get caught up in the auction and pay nearly retail (if not a little more at times).

    The station has a yearly fund raiser to provide Thanksgiving meal fixings for those in need. I seem to remember a need of around 250 each year.

    I do consider the station to be an asset. When I travel I do find that the power of the station is disappointing. Sometimes it is hard to pick up a clear signal while still within the county (30 miles max from the station). At night the signal really gets walked on by skip and more powerful stations elsewhere. Listening to the local sports coverage can almost be frustrating at times.

    Do they have local churches airing their services on Sunday mornings?

    I don't listen on Sundays so I don't know. They do have gospel singing on other days which is kind of fun to sing along with.

    A Google search of KWBW radio turns up a number of hits.
    I am in a city of 45,000-50,000 and KWBW is but one of the local stations, and I think the only one of AM frequency. Perhaps I can say it is the station for older folk.
  8. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 6, 2003
    Since I live so near to Chicago, there are LOTS of stations. Mostly owned, I think, by Evergreen, so they are pretty formulaic. There are some call in talk shows on the AM band, WLS (the Voice of Labor). Various stations with different music formats (WDRV The Drive -- lots of 70's and 80's music, but, thankfully, no disco!), WLUP Classic Rock, a classical music station, NPR, and WMBI from Moody Bible Institute.

    A few years back, there was a station out of Elgin that had things like swap shows, local business promotion, paid programming (i.e. long commercials). They switched to The Fish (Christian music) but then that went away and there's a Spanish station now.

    So, there are a few independents, but mostly it's all part of the Big Radio Conglomerate.

  9. Big Sky Country

    Big Sky Country Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2004
    The radio station I mostly listen to is KCTR 102.9 of Billings. I have to get my fix with the "Breakfast Flakes."

    They have One Line Monday. That's when anybody can call in and just rant.

    Yes, they have local news, sports and weather. The Flakes also have Golden Oldies from 9-10 am and it's a great change. People call in and request classic country songs.

    What I can't stand is continuous playing of top 40 Country songs. There are some country artists that I have a hard time with because of their lack of talent. It seems most new artists only know "3 chords." I usually turn it down and can't wait until the next song comes on.

    Sometime during the week they have live broadcast somewhere and people stop by to say hi. I like it when this radio station goes out into the community. They have an annual "Flakesgiving" during the holidays. One Saturday the Flakes get food baskets together for the community. They also give out Target cards during Christmas.

    Also during the fall, the Flakes have a basketball team that goes around to different schools and plays against the fire department. It helps raise funds. During half-time they pick numbers so the winners get tickets, shirts, or even a chance to pick up money on the basketball court. Dh was chosen to pick up money and got an extra $20.00.

    I would like to see people be able to call in a swap or be able to sell an item on Fridays. I know they do that in the smaller towns...like in Havre.

    There is this radio station north of Dallas, Texas, that does not play top 40. They play Cajun, Hillbilly, and Bluegrass. Everytime I drove through there that station had to be on. They always announced where you could pick up the CD's to an artist that they play. I wish I knew what station that is, it's been awhile since I've been down there and would like to know if they have a website. If anyone knows, please post it or PM me.

    I wish more stations were like that. Top 40 gets really OLD after they play a song so much that you begin to hate it.
  10. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2002
    I usually listen to Oldies on KUKU in the early mornings when they actually have a DJ who plays more than Motown all day long--I swear everytime I turn it on the Supremes are wailing,arrrgh.....like there must be a zillion oldies out there they could play...when you call in a request they always seem to dig out John Denver or Cat Stevens but they never play them otherwise. Rest of the day is basically canned music like all the other stations around here which I believe are all owned by the same person. One of them plays Bluegrass Sat am and they all have church services on Sunday. They all carry local news,weather and events,local highschool sports,and 10 commercials for every two songs. Gets to where I'll just turn the radio off in the car as the never end ads drive you wild....like play a song sometime!!! Thank God for CD players. DEE
  11. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    Our county has 1 christian station. Its a sister station to the Columbus christian station. nice mix of contempary christian music. They are also involved in the community.

    IN the sourrounding couties is just about any kind of music you would want.
    (except a good big band and bluegrass station).
  12. Old Jack

    Old Jack Truth Seeker

    May 21, 2004
    West Virginia
    I bought an XM for a cross country drive last year and haven't looked back
  13. RandB

    RandB Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    southern New Jersey
    We live in an area covered by Philadelphia radio, which is getting to be mostly formula stuff and "national" shows, but there are a few "local" type stations around - one from Wilmington Del, WDEL, which is about 1/2 local and 1/2 syndicated shows.

    One station I enjoy sometimes is little WSNJ from Bridgeton, NJ. It used to be both AM/FM with a nice big FM signal, but last year they sold their FM frequency, so now it is only a weak AM station. It is still one of those old-fashioned local stations, with call-in shows, swap market shows, sportsman shows, local and network news, some religious things, and some weekend ethnic shows.
    I realize it is a dying breed of station, but it is nice to have something "homey" to listen to, where the broadcasters are still polite, instead of all that "in your face" stuff on the bigger stations. Tuning in WSNJ takes me back to the good old days !
  14. Donovan K

    Donovan K Well-Known Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    Thanks for all your replies. It gives me some faith in local radio.

    I am glad to see some local stations are still doing it the 'old fashioned' way and are an asset to their community. The way the industry has changed, and with the changes in government reregulation, the small hometown station is on the endangered species list these days. New techology and new laws have made it possible for companies to literally own thousands of radio stations around the country and to employ few, if any, local people. No local people on the air, no local content on the air. So we end up with just miles of music and other programming coming from who knows where. It is the natural evolution of the business, unfortunately.

    There will always be a few holdouts but in two decades or so, the radio as we know it will be gone forever. It will be a loss for everyone when these small operations can no longer compete and they cannot make a financial go of it. Broadcasting is an expensive and risky venture. The AM radio industry has been on the rocks for a while now and it will only get worse. More and more AM stations are literally giving their licenses back to the FCC as they cannot make enough money to stay on the air and cannot find anyone that wants to operate them. As more and more people move with the new technologies, from satellite radio to MP3 players in their cars and in their pockets, the same thing that destroyed AM radio will happen to FM radio.

    The government handed out thousands of new community radio station licenses for what are called LP stations, Low Power FM stations. They only cover a few miles, sometimes no more than covering a small town city limits, or less. They were handed out to non profit groups that supposedly represented local groups that were not being represented in the regular local media. Most of these stations were granted to local churches, religious groups, political action groups, etc. They are not supposed to be money making businesses but the law is pretty lax and many of them consider themselves like regular radio stations and sell advertising time (with certain restrictions required by the government) and play music to attract listens no different from the commercial stations. This is probably going to be where future local content comes from as the big money commercial stations can no longer be viable in a small town economy.

    My point being (yes, I do have a point and thanks for hanging in long enough for me to get to it) is that if you are lucky enough to have a locally OWNED and locally INVOLVED radio station in your community, make sure they know you are out there. These people work hard and spend a lot of money to bring you a totally free service. All they need in exchange is to know you are out there listening. If not for you, they would be in trouble deep. Local owners have big money invested in your home town. Show them you appreciate them. If you hear an ad on the radio from a local store and you go to that store, tell them you heard their ad. A good local radio station, like a good local newspaper, is a tool that can unit a local community. It can be a common bond for everyone. Don't let it slip away.


  15. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 4, 2002
    Our local am station, which was pop rock 30 years ago, is now mostly conservative talk radio, which is fine with me. They've just changed the morning format somewhat, which change I have not yet come to like.
    But at least part of the morning is still local talk issues, bulletin boards, etc.
    On the hour is still CBS news. :rolleyes:
    And in the evenings, they tend to run sports, which I detest. Late evenings, they have some guy on who talks about wierd stuff.
    Sunday mornings, some local guy comes on with not too clever chat, and plays his version of religious music, and Sunday afternoon they have a show geared toward the local Hispanic population. (Years ago, they played Czechoslovakian music on Sunday mornings, since we also have a large Czech population in the area. I'd wake up to the radio, and get up on Sundays singing "Roll Out the Barrel" since all polkas sound alike to me. lol.)

    45 minutes up the road, we have a couple of stations that do country music, which I find sometimes tolerable.
    There's also an Oldies station.
  16. BeeFree

    BeeFree Well-Known Member Supporter

    Feb 22, 2004
    Ripley Co. Mo
    We have KDFN 1500 am and KOEA 97.5 FM local stations. They are owned by the Fox Radio net work. KDFN plays classic rock and has a morning local news. Sometimes you can catch a couple news breaks later in the day, depends if someone shows up to work. KDFN also is run through the local cable and has the same music as the radio and also has adds. On Sunday mornings you can catch local church programing until near noon. On Saturday mornings you can catch a host from 8:00 till 9:00 am having call in classifieds on the air. It is sponsered by businesses.

    They usually broadcast the local sports games. I seldom listen to the FM station. Can't tell you much of what it plays.

    They used to have someone do the parades and stuff, but since the guy that was working then has moved on elsewhere they don't do that.
  17. Cedar

    Cedar Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2004
    I love the one country station around here. They say they guarantee 55 minutes of music for each hour of airtime. Actually, I beg to differ but still, they run music on a pretty consistent basis. Hardly any commercials. I’ve timed some of these teeny-bopper stations and they have twenty minute commercial marathons. Sorry, but no song is worth that kind of wait.

    I don’t have to many complaints. I wish they wouldn’t pepper the countdown with that old honky-tonky crap. They play the modern stuff most of the time, I just wish they would play it ALL of the time. Also, they play gospel on Sunday morning…I don’t care for that.

    Someone needs to shoot that Earl Pitts guy. Someone throw a rock with a note through his window saying that he is not funny. I don’t know if he is local or if he is nationally recorded but seriously, this guy is a living breathing McCheesemo. Every day it starts out, “You know what makes me sick…” and every day I shout out the radio YOU DO!!!
  18. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

    Jun 8, 2004
    I like Music! I hardly ever listen to any radio stations any more, because they rarely play music. They Talk. I don't want to listen to people talk, tell stupid jokes, or listen to sports that I can't see. Just music. I'm gonna have a CD player put in my truck, then I'll never have to listen to radio again.

  19. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    I live in a bad spot for radio. If you don't like modern country music you are out of luck for the most part. In my vehicle I can get a several country stations which I don't like, a couple of Christian stations which are fine but not something I want to listen to all the time. There is one oldies station which is stuff from the 50s which I don't care for. There is a more recent oldies station but I get sick of hearing "freebird" every 10 minutes. All but 2 of these are corporate radio station run by computer. There was a station that we were on the very fringes of that was pretty good. A small local station over 100 miles away that played a younger alternative and rock format. lots of local bands sent in their CDs and got them played. If you wanted a song and they didn't have access to it bring in the CD and they might put it in rotation. Unfortunately they were recently bought by Clearsuck and have went to a top 40 format heavy on R&B. Clearsuck also owns some of the county stations around here. They just assume because we are rural we want country music. There is no classical station listenable in the vehicle.

    At home I have an FM antenna on a tower and can rotate it and pull in some decent stations. I can get a couple of classical and some better rock stations. With so many stations owned by clearsuck and other corporate radio I can put my beam antenna in a certain spot and find 2 or 3 stations playing the exact same music from the exact same sat feed.

    I find myself listening to Sirius on Dish network. Dish carries the Sirius music channels and I like them much better than FM broadcast radio. If I had the extra income I would have Sirius in my vehicles. Too much Clearsuck has made me bitter. When I lived in town at least there was the local pirate station but now it is Sirius or nothing.
  20. havellostmywings

    havellostmywings Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    what i listen to is the houston Christian Based Station.. which has a repeater in victoria, which is 35 miles away... they do not play commercials and they are completely run on a donation basis. Every tuesday they give a report on where the donations are standing for the month, how much more they need or if they are over, where the overage will be spent. (They have helped set up christian radio stations in africa and south america now).

    BUT.. the local station, from the little town of 2500 I live in.. well, I dont know the call letters, but it is a country station.. it plays country from present day on back... except between 11am and Noon.. when it plays Polka Music. They do cover the local news as well as a swap meet.. oh and well.. this is texas.. and well... HIGHSCHOOL SPORTS are more important than any national sports around... so.. you can imagine the type of coverage they have.

    In fact, if you move to texas to a small town.. the best way to meet people is to attend the highschool football games friday or saturday nights...

    Lynn in Texas