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Living The Radio Dream



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(12/28/2011 8:07:38 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
We bought a daytime 1000 watt AM with the land (important) that was 100% off of the "Bird" and went to music driven "Live Radio, Real People In Real time" over a period of 6 months in 2001. We play CD's, LP's, 45's and some 78's and do not sound like the "Clear Channel chick singer" plastic banana stations. We play Country/ Americana/ Acoustic and report to 3 charts. I was told this wasn't supposed to work. No Football. No Basketball. I pick the music. We're with you live after every song. No one complained when I changed it and people do say "Thank god for what you're doing". My daughter said "Dad, you bought a dairy parlor". Pretty much. Yes I'm on air too much. We do have some part timers. No one getting rich but we do have loyal listeners who appreciate us being live and a leader in both new and old music. You've got to play it really close to the vest and you've got to want to do it. Would we do better in a less poor area? Sure. But so far I don't see listings for the station(license), tower, studio, and 3 acres going for prices anywhere near what the spot rate can support when you get to "nice" areas. Or you get yourself highly leveraged and are at the mercy of the slightest downturn, you know like car dealers. The key is "Close To The Vest".
- Jim Jenkins
(12/28/2011 3:26:06 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Bill, we did all that. Had one of the best high school football broadcast teams you could find anywhere. Everything was top line professional. Brought in a former major market talker to host our morning drive 3-hour... everyone loved him and everywhere we went people thanked us for putting on such a great morning show... but still couldn't get advertisers. Did the Sunday church stuff, etc. The killer was that we were too close to a major market and the local audience was so fragmented... and many of the business owners/managers had moved to our area from the major market and were fixed on their old listening choices.
- Chuck
(12/28/2011 12:22:41 PM)   Flag as inappropriate content
Sorry to hear about the guy who gave up on his AM Station. I've been moderately successful with my small town operation. My advise is the radio station to reflect the community in everything it does. All liners, all printed material, website, EVERYTHING must say HOMETOWN RADIO. Do the local High School sports. Make sure you have full time News. Birthdays, Anniversaries, obituaries every moring. Run the church services on Sunday. Give people a reason to listen to your station over the "city" stations. I love my job. After working at corporate radio stations, I pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming. My only comment about the AM station would be to ask if he was able to pick up FM translators. I have 2 for my AM and I've seen a big increase in sales. I'm in a totally unrated market and I happily live without advertising the big box stores.
- Bill Flack
(12/28/2011 11:47:40 AM)   Flag as inappropriate content
In 2005 I bought into the dream and purchased a small town AM station. I soon discovered that the big box retailers & national chains won't advertise on small stations, and most small mom & pop businesses are undercapitalized and have no advertising budget. It didn't matter how great of a job we did, there was no way to budge our annual sales one dollar... and the amount we were billing just kept the doors open and provided no income for me. I worked for free for five years before finally throwing in the towel. I still love radio but my radio dream becae a radio nightmare.
- Chuck

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