The FCC just released a list of eight California radio stations that did not submit license renewals by the August 1, 2013 deadline this year.
Per FCC regulations, as of December 1, 2013, all eight of these licenses are considered expired. The disappearing stations include two FM stations, three LPFM stations, and three FM translator stations. And the expired stations are:
Radio has 241.8 million listeners per week, not just per month. Take that, Silicon Valley.
Those numbers are according to Nielsen’s December RADAR Radio Listening Report, which also shows an increase of 700,000 weekly listeners over December 2012, and an increase of 5.3 million since 2009. There was particularly strong growth in Hispanic listeners, accounting for an increase of 372,000 in the last year.
This data illustrates how out-of-whack popular conceptions of popularity and relevance can be, especially those reflected in the press.
Much of what you read about radio station contests these days is depressing. At best, some operation botches a game by misrepresenting the rules or winnings and winds up paying the Federal Communications Commission a fine. At worst, a signal launches an ill-advised water drinking marathon that literally kills a contestant.
To be fair to the present, the history of radio contests is replete with unfortunate incidents that go back decades. The Omaha library affair of 1956 will suffice as an example. In preparation for this event, Top 40 progenitor Todd Storz had his minions at KOWH in Omaha, Nebraska hide checks inside half a dozen books in the city’s public library.” Then announcers disclosed a “treasure hunt” over the airwaves.
Radio historian Mark Fisher explains the results in his book, Something in the Air: Radio, Rock, and the Revolution That Shaped a Generation: “Thousands of listeners stormed the library and tore up ninety books in their mad search. Storz, thrilled to have to reimburse the library $565 for the damage, stuck by KOWH’s story: the stunt had been staged ‘to encourage better patronage of the Omaha Public Library’.” Yeah, right.
Salvador Dali judging the Mona Lisas for WABC-AM radio in 1963 (click picture to go to YouTube video).
But there are moments when radio stations have run contests that deserve to be remembered and celebrated. Fifty years ago, New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art played host to one of the most famous paintings of all time: Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. For three and a half weeks more than a million people queued through the exhibit and marveled at Lisa Gherardini’s mysterious smile.
Tablets are well suited for both listening and producing podcasts, too. Amazon also happens to have a really nice portable digital audio recorder on sale today. The Zoom H1 is only $69 until 5 PM ET today. I’ve used the H1 to record interviews, actualities and events for all sorts of radio and audio productions, and used it for sync sound on video projects. It does a remarkable job for such a small, inexpensive device.
Every year I love the challenge of tracking down unique radio-themed gifts. This time around, my first gift guide of the year has a fashion focus. Even if the people on your gift list aren’t radio diehards like you are, no doubt they’d appreciate the way that radio is incorporated into these stylish items.
I spent some of this weekend up to my nose in Soundrop, a Spotify chat room application. Soundrop has been available for about two years. I wouldn’t call the feature competition for plug.dj or its predecessor, Turntable.fm, but it is around and worth knowing about if you are a Spotify fan.
To access Soundrop you need a Spotify account, of course, and also access to either Facebook or Twitter. I’ve got all three applications. When I clicked Soundrop’s “Get Soundrop” button, it took me to another page with a “get on Spotify” link. Clicking that activated my Windows based Spotify program. I signed in and let Soundrop install on my version of Spotify as an app.
You need to sign into Facebook or Twitter to get full use of Soundrop—specifically the ability to add tracks, vote, and chat in the rooms. Once you’ve logged in via one of these social networks, you can fully explore the Soundrop universe. Continue reading →
This week I’ve been largely fixated on digging into the details of LPFM applicants from all over the country. As I mentioned last week, it looks like there could be around 100 college radio groups applying for new licenses, including a few in the San Francisco Bay Area. Upon further research, I found out that one of the applicants, Peralta Community College District, already operates an online student radio station at Laney College in Oakland. With a new LPFM license, it’s hoping to take 9th Floor Radio to the airwaves.