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America's Rural Radio Stations Are Vanishing

Discussion pertaining to Detroit, Ann Arbor, Port Huron, and SW Ontario
SixPlusOne
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America's Rural Radio Stations Are Vanishing

Post by SixPlusOne » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:31 am

Courtesy: The Guardian

America's Rural Radio Stations Are Vanishing – And Taking The Country's Soul With Them

"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."


https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radi ... -with-them



non-anon bob
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Re: America's Rural Radio Stations Are Vanishing

Post by non-anon bob » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:32 am

Sad. Corporate Greed is an insatiable cancer in the U.S. :cry:


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moldyoldie
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Re: America's Rural Radio Stations Are Vanishing

Post by moldyoldie » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:13 pm

Nothing really new here, but goodness, I almost wanted to cry after reading that article. :( Thanks for posting.


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Bobbert
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Re: America's Rural Radio Stations Are Vanishing

Post by Bobbert » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:21 pm

When I travel, I like to spin the AM dial, to get a feel for the local areas I'm passing through. It often includes religious shows that sound more heartfelt and sincere than the big time TV preachers. One great experience was hearing some energetic country gospel music from a small station in northern Kentucky.
Last edited by Bobbert on Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.



fuzzpower
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Re: America's Rural Radio Stations Are Vanishing

Post by fuzzpower » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:34 pm

I am the same way. There are plenty of small town stations still hanging around in the plains states as well.



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Colonel Flagg
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Re: America's Rural Radio Stations Are Vanishing

Post by Colonel Flagg » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:01 pm

non-anon bob wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:32 am
Sad. Corporate Greed is an insatiable cancer in the U.S. :cry:
There is nothing "corporate" about the schlemeils who keep trying to move this signal into Tucson. Quite the opposite, actually. They are not mentioned by name in this story, but a lot of people in the business are well aware of them, and are tired of their shenanigans. They were determined to move KWCX-FM to a Forest Service site, even after being repeatedly told by the feds that it wasn't going to happen. Out of options, and near the expiration of the CP, they decided to drive a pickup to the site, complete with a transmitter and portable tower standing in the bed of the pickup, and commence broadcasting. Journal Broadcasting caught wind of this, and took pictures. Journal had been complaining to the FCC for some time about interference from the "auxiliary facility" these rubes had strung together on the roof of the strip mall where their Tucson studios are located. It's all here online, complete with pictures. Google "KFFN KWCX" or "KFFN KZLZ" and you will find it. Corporate? I don't think so. More like chewing gum and bailing wire. I've lost count of how many lives, communities, and stations these nimrods have destroyed.


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rugratsonline
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Re: America's Rural Radio Stations Are Vanishing

Post by rugratsonline » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:19 pm

The use of terminology had rankled a few of my broadcasting friends. "5000 volts" (instead of watts)? The "dungeon"? "Kill zone"?



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TC Talks
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Re: America's Rural Radio Stations Are Vanishing

Post by TC Talks » Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:22 pm

Roy Henderson did that with 95.9 Fife Lake. Now it's a pop Jesus station.

For the most part, big companies aren't buying anything these days. LOVE FM and many like it, however, are like a virus in rural areas.


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MWmetalhead
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Re: America's Rural Radio Stations Are Vanishing

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:46 am

The article is largely bullshit.

The vast majority of "rural" FM stations are still on the air, and avid Buzzboard readers are certainly aware of numerous instances where completely new FM stations have signed on the air in rural & unrated markets over the past 15 or so years.

Examples:
- B 103.9 Big Rapids
- 105.7 FM in the Alpena area
- 92.7 FM in Ionia
- 107.9 in Cadillac
- 101.5 in Gaylord
- 95.1 Paradise / Sault Ste. Marie
- 107.3 Escanaba
- 98.7 Ludington
- 103.1 Owosso
- 96.5 Gladwin

The author should have instead focused on the decline of LIVE & LOCAL programming, which if anything, has been on a more rampant decline in medium & major cities than in small towns.


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CK-722
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Re: America's Rural Radio Stations Are Vanishing

Post by CK-722 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:53 am

Some of those are translators for existing AM stations, not new full power FMs. The sad thing is that several stations which could have been viable as an AM with FM translator have turned in their AM licenses. There ought to be a way to upgrade these to FM station status with say 1 kW/100 meters, and THEN turn in the AM licenses. Many Class IVs/Cs, <=1 kW Class IIIs/Bs/Ds on the upper part of the AM dial, could nearly completely replicate their AM service areas, especially those in Western and Northern Michigan and much of Central Michigan, where the de facto ground conductivity is low compared to M-3. Canada has some models for such right sized FM facilities, such as CKXS 99.1 Wallaceburg.


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MWmetalhead
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Re: America's Rural Radio Stations Are Vanishing

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:03 am

Some of those are translators for existing AM stations, not new full power FMs.
Doesn't matter, IMO. In the vast majority of cases, those translators are exposing programming to a much larger audience than what otherwise would be the case.

As you know, you & I have long agreed regarding the need to reduce clutter on the AM band! I fully support an expanded FM Band for purposes of exchanging AM licenses for expanded FM band licenses.


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Colonel Flagg
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Re: America's Rural Radio Stations Are Vanishing

Post by Colonel Flagg » Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:44 am

MWmetalhead wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:46 am
The article is largely bullshit.

The vast majority of "rural" FM stations are still on the air, and avid Buzzboard readers are certainly aware of numerous instances where completely new FM stations have signed on the air in rural & unrated markets over the past 15 or so years.

Examples:
- B 103.9 Big Rapids
- 105.7 FM in the Alpena area
- 92.7 FM in Ionia
- 107.9 in Cadillac
- 101.5 in Gaylord
- 95.1 Paradise / Sault Ste. Marie
- 107.3 Escanaba
- 98.7 Ludington
- 103.1 Owosso
- 96.5 Gladwin

The author should have instead focused on the decline of LIVE & LOCAL programming, which if anything, has been on a more rampant decline in medium & major cities than in small towns.
It's not bullshit out west, or in Atlanta, where these "move-in specialists" have showed up. More often than not, their schemes do not pan out, and everyone loses. But I know, who cares what happens outside of cosmopolitan places like Grand Rapids or Gladwin, right?

As for the article, I agree, the writer clearly does not know a lot about the business of broadcasting.


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MWmetalhead
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Re: America's Rural Radio Stations Are Vanishing

Post by MWmetalhead » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:03 am

Atlanta was underserved 25 years ago. Since then, there have been as many new builds (as rimsooters) as move-ins.

Some outlying areas 60 or 70 miles from Atlanta gained service as a result. 95.5, 97.1, 104.7, 105.3 and 106.7 cover plenty of countryside.

Now, big city translators interfering with co-channel licensed stations is a whole different problem. Is that what you mean when you mention ATL?

There have been a ton of new FM sign-ons in northern Minnesota, the U.P., Iowa, Nebraska, etc...largely in smaller towns.


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tvbobn
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Re: America's Rural Radio Stations Are Vanishing

Post by tvbobn » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:22 pm

When a small town station is used as a "rim shot" staton into a larger city, it's the same as moving it into that city. Those stations operate as if they're in the larger city and generally don't mention the community of license only in the legal ID. In fact they normally try give the illusion to the listeners that it's actually a station in the larger city. When the do this, it takes 100% of the local voice away from the community that the station is actually licensed too.

Flint has always had fewer FM stations than most cities it's size because of being so close to Detroit and Saginaw. Some how Flint was left out of getting many FM frequencies years ago when FM channel assignments were given out.

Here is four examples that I can think of around Flint:

Flint's Party Station WRCL is licensed to Frankenmuth with a tower site just north of Millington along M-15. (Class A with 3.5kW)

Flint's only locally owned station WOWE has been carrying a Black format since it came on the air in 1988, but it's licensed to Vassar with a tower site just north of Millington just east of M-15. (Class A with 3kW)

Flint's Banana 101.5 Rock Station is WWBN is licensed to Lapeer and has been on air since 1986. In 2001 it was moved from a tower site northeast of Lapeer to a tower site just northwest of Otisville (less than a mile west of M-15) with a major reduction in power because of short spacing. (Class A with 1.8kW)

Flint's Classic Rock 103.5 WRSR is licensed to Owosso. In the mid-90's the tower site was moved to a site about half way between Owosso and Flint. (Class A with 2.85 kW)

These are a few around Flint that comes to mind, but here is a few more in this area.

WMRX in Beaverton has always operated as a local Midland station.

WSAG in Pinconning has always operated as a Saginaw station and started out as a repeater for WSAM-AM. I would guess it has more listeners than WSAM now days.

Some stations try to reach listeners and advertisers in larger cities, but still serve the communties their licensed too. WGDN in Gladwin and WJSZ in Ashley are examples.

Going up north farther, WUPS today tries to sell everywhere it can from Cadillac/Traverse City to the Tri-Cities, but still serves Harrison/Houghton Lake. Back in the 90's WUPS moved their main studios to Mt. Pleasant and acted like a Mt. Pleasant station for several years. That failed and they moved back to Houghton Lake.

Any others that I've missed?



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TC Talks
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Re: America's Rural Radio Stations Are Vanishing

Post by TC Talks » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:47 pm

This is largely true of Exurb stations...

It's easier to look at stations that haven't been moved in... WHMI, WGHN etc...


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