Phase out over-the-air signals? (was: Re: WCRB to simulcast on 88.7 in R.I.)

John Francini
Mon Jun 6 17:33:21 EDT 2011

Maybe it's time for the FCC to start enforcing that little bit in their charter about "stations operating in the public interest"?

WDEV's rather selfless behavior should be the norm, not the exception.

WBZ-AM did a good job keeping on top of things last week during the heavy thunderstorms and tornadoes in western Mass.

Voice-tracked pre-recorded complete shows are not in the public interest.  Especially during major storms.


On 6 Jun 2011, at 16:40, Bill O'Neill ( wrote:

> On 6/6/2011 11:37 AM, Aaron Read wrote:
>> Personally, as someone who has worked both in radio engineering and in
>> cellphone/wireless tower siting, I am not terribly concerned about the
>> iPhone destroying AM/FM as a business anytime in the next 10 years.
>> Most likely not in the next 20, either, and like I said...I wouldn't
>> be concerned too much until well past 20 years, but I don't make
>> guesses that far out.
> I was listening to WDEV (96.1 Warren // 550 Waterbury) a couple of weeks ago as central VT was being nailed with 4-5 inches of rain in as many hours and there was massive flooding in Montpelier, Barre area. Well into the early morning hours, the local host stayed on with their local meteorologist, Roger Hill who was in-studio since his home-based office was without power, and they took calls from listeners, put the utilities officials and public safety people up in real time. Up and down the rest of the voice-tracked dial, I heard output that my iPod does just as effectively.  Radio, when it does what no other medium can do (including television), defines itself by doing. Not by talking about it. But by actually doing it.
> Here it comes.... "It's expensive. Sales can't hit the monthly operating income nut to justify the utilization. Nobody else is full service anymore. The meta-narrative does not compute."
> "Radio is losing listeners as the faithful die off and new fail to join in." That is true. But don't blame the people outside of the radio station for that.
> "People tune in for music." No, they don't. They tune in for music as presented with other stuff. They can get music without other stuff without even trying today.
> Is there room for as many successful signals in most markets? I don't think so. And that, again, is due to the negative impact that tossing in the towel on local service with live people in at least peak times or crisis times has had.
> Radio is suffering from self-inflicted cumulative trauma. But it's not dead. So, there's hope.
> Bill O'Neill
> Vermont (formerly Mass.)

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