Saturday, March 18, 2017

STEVIE WONDER 

JOINS BATTLE 

FOR THE FUTURE 

OF RADIO



Legendary Motown musician Stevie Wonder has joined the battle for the future of radio. He's written a lengthy article about how the current trend towards ever more copyright bodies is stifling radio and may lead to its demise. The move will certainly drive many smaller stations out of business, leaving only the big boys on the bands - the major conglomerates.

Stevie makes several impassioned pleas in his article (you can read it all by clicking here), and stands up firmly on the sign of broadcasters.  He owns his own station in Los Angeleses, called KJLH Stevie says it stands for Kindness, Joy, Love and Harmony and he insists that the DJs have a free hand in the music they play. The station even includes the name FREE in its title.  Stevie bought the station over forty years ago, in the early 1970s. KVLH has long been one of the leading black music stations in California and is now the oldest African-American owned station on the west coast.

"Radio give us not only music and entertainment and direct into our homes, but news, war and religion, " says Stevie.  "It has helped shape the psyche of our country in difficult times and it has served to reassure us that we were not alone at times we thought we were. And while radio has seemingly been eclipsed through the years by other forms of mass communication, radio remains that constant that we rely on to always be there to deliver what we need."

The first thing most people think about when they think about radio is hearing their favorite song," Stevie reminds us. "Or they will be tuning in to listen to their favorite radio personality, because to this day DJs are often just as big a star as those on the records they spin (an out-of-date metaphor, I know, but you get the point).

"The first thing most people think about when they think about radio is hearing their favorite song," Stevie reminds us. "Or they will be tuning in to listen to their favorite radio personality, because to this day DJs are often just as big a star as those on the records they spin (an out-of-date metaphor, I know, but you get the point)."

"Mo matter how much current artists embrace new technology and platforms to spread their music, if you ask any one of them, they will still tell you that their biggest kick came from hearing their song on the radio for the first time, " says Stevie in the article

One of Stevie's best friends will tell you exactly the same. Paul McCartney (his and Stevie's duet Ebony and Ivory was #1 around the world in late 1983) reports that the first time he and the other three Beatles heard their music on the radio was in the group's van travelling home from a gig in 1962. They herd it on Radio Luxembourg; DJ Tony Prince has the actual copy played  and now signed by Paul McCartney its worth over £10,000. 


"All across the country there are still independent station owners maintaining a strong and vital link to their communities in the form of being not just a source of entertainment but also the eyes, ears and voice of their listeners. They are small-business men and women trying to be of service to their local markets while also dealing with the obstacles of running a radio station. I know these people very well, because I am one of them. I have owned my radio station KJLH in Los Angeles for almost 40 years," says Stevie, whose music continues to be among the most downloaded on iTunes. KJLH programmes all kinds of black-oriented music, but primailly jazz and urban contemporary. 


  "We strive very hard to be a meaningful member of our community and offer things that the large or nationwide programmers can’t. We are a home to our listeners, a place they find comfort and refuge from the mass market. All that is threatened if we cant stay in business. As a songwriter and recording artist, I grew up at a time when there were only two performing rights organizations in the United States, ASCAP and BMI. In virtually every other country in the world there is only one society. Then came a third, SESAC. And now we have a fourth: GMR. We  independent station owners are facing higher costs to play the music our audience wants to hear.  We have chaos, uncertainty and uinfairness!"

Let us all find a way to create a better system that takes away the need for any of us to be unhappy. 
Let us work together to get this thing right.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

CBS sells radio stations to Entercom


CBS sells radio stations to Entercom


One of the largest and highest rated American radio networks, CBS RADIO, is to be sold to the foruth largest owner of stations, ENTERCOM.  The neas was announced on 2nd February 2017. 

Entercom began in the late 1960s and currently runs 125 stations across a couple of dozen markets. It sees this merger as a consolidation and boosting of its earnings for shareholders and outlets for advertisers. Its share price showed gains of around 7% on the news that calls it "the creation of a pre-eminent radio platform."  

Entercom's CEO David Field will run the new network, which is expected to get NYSE and FCC approval before Easter.  “This agreement is great for shareholders and achieves our previously stated objectives by separating our radio business in the best possible way,” said Leslie Moonves, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CBS Corporation. “Entercom is a superbly run company, and together with CBS Radio’s powerful brands and remarkable people, we are creating an organization that will be even better positioned to succeed in this rapidly evolving media landscape.”





 “These two great companies, with their impressive histories, complementary assets, and premier content and brands, are a perfect strategic and cultural fit, enabling us to deliver local connection on a national scale and drive accelerated growth," commented David J. Field,  is to be in charge of  the new combioned company.  "We look forward to welcoming our talented new colleagues at CBS Radio, and we have the utmost respect for their significant contributions to the industry.”

Monday, October 03, 2016

RADIO ADVENTURES

 OF THE 
MV COMMUNICATOR 


           World of Radio Ltd has published a new book, all about the eleven radio stations which have broadcast from the Radio Ship, the MV Communicator.  The book is written by Paul Rusling who was part of the team which set up LAser 558 on the ship back in 1983 and 1984. He draws heavilly on conversations with colleagues and others who were involved with the ship over its 21 year career as an offshore radio station. In that time, a total of eleven  radio  stations have used the ship, to avoid the draconian European bradio regulations.  

The First Phase saw LASER 730, LASER 558 and LASER HOT HITS broadcasting from the mouth of the Thames Estuary, with CSI transmitters and a very shaky antenna system.  Over five million listeners in the UK tuned in and a similar number on the near continent. She was blockaded by the British Government and eventually her crew mutinied after being starved of supplies by her operators. 

After going into port she was sold at auction but the new owner was just as hapless at getting supplies to her, and the ship was mercilessly battered by storms and a run of bad luck. On two occasions she was forcibly boarded during the night, on one occasion by one of her co-owners! 

In 1989 the ship was taken to Portugal for refitting, but was detailed for a while by the government after Dutch agents told them that one of her new customers, the Undergound Church, was a front for mercenerary recruitment and other nefarious activities. Her next port of call was the Netherlands where she was made much more welcome and given a succession of licences to broadcast no less than six radio stations: 


Holland FM, 

Holland Hot Hits 

Hot Hits 1224 

Veronica Hot Hits

Q Radio and 

Q The Beat.  



The Communicator's next port of call was a trip back to England and her old home port of Lowestoft where work began equipping her to broadcast from the Irish coast.  A last minute change of plans saw her head to the Orkney Islands and a base in Scapa Flow. There she helped launch The Super Station in 2004 but she was soon up for sale again.

During her trip around the European radio waves and various ports she was home to many DJs, radio engineers and various projects.  All are detailed in this great new book which spills the beans on the huge amounts of money the ship made for her various owners. 

Now availabe as HARDBACK
or as a SOFTBACK copy 
This is a collection of stories of those eleven radio stations that were heard transmitting from the Communicator at one time or another. The book also examines the background into several other radio projects that had plana to transmit from the ship. It's a story of adventure, intrigue and mystery.  The midnight raids, some outright extortion, several takeovers and of course that real lure of pirate radio - The Loot! 

Among the questions that this book answers are:-
  • Why broadcast from on board a ship?
  • What qualifications did DJs need on the ship?  
  • How did people live on board?  
  • What did everyone eat and drink? 
  • What did they do in their leisure time?
  • Whose was the ghost who manifested by the transmitter?

 Its a fun-filled, action-packed tale of 
dramatic events on the High Seas.  
Over 200 pages of swashbuckling excitement!  

To get a copy you can either order it at your local bookshop (ISBNs are below) or order via Amazon, or direct from the publishers who can get me to personally sign it and put in whatever dedication you wish.   Find it at the WorldofPagesweb site. An excellent idea for a Christmas present perhaps?


Link to  'Radio Adventures of the MV Communicator'
Radio Adventures 
of the MV Communicator
by Paul Alexander Rusling.  
Published by World of Radio Ltd
ISBN   Hardback   978-1-900401-14-2
             Softback   978-1-900401-12-8


The original book about Laser, called The Lid off Laser 558,  is currently being reprinted.  

Wednesday, March 02, 2016



Soul's big hole in the radio market?


The shock news this week that Ministry of Sound has abruptly closed its radio outlet took some time to sink in.  As an old soul boy myself  I find myself tuned to more and more soul outlet, and the MoS channel, although poorly presented and with a music format that was literally "all over the road" was a key port of call as my fingers wandered top and down "the dial". (strange how we still say that, even though like so many I pick my stations out on a keyboard these days!)

I was first turned on to soul music by Johnnie Walker playing the latest hot American sounds on Swinging Radio England in 1966. It was on SRE that I first got into Wilson Picket, and others from the Atlantic and Stax labels as well as the very latest tracks from Motown, usually months before they were released by the UK Motown office at EMI in London. When I began DJing, I also played a lot of UK releases that never even got radio play - stuff like the Karate Boogaloo by Jerry O and heaps of stuff on the Action, Soul City,  Direction and President labels. Getting hold of American pressings came later, when I heard stuff on AFN from its giant station in Frankfurt that played the latest US  releases.  

We've never had a radio station solely for soul in the UK that was available on regular radios and covered the whole nation. Some DJs have a love for soul and play as much as they can - Tony Blackburn is a great example, Dave Gregory too and of course Robbie Vincent, all of them are heard all too rarely on the radio. But there isn't a radio station that you would call a pure soul music radio station hat has become mainline, big time and a huge success.

I know some of the DAB channels have some soul, some of the time, and I'm always grateful for it and pleased to help promote it. But reception of DAB is so poor in many areas, especially in parts of the North, in Wales, Cornwall and Scotland, where it's almost inaudible outside the major population areas.  This is the reason 'land pirate' stations have thrived - there is a huge market of listeners who want to hear the music of their choice on the radio.   


The explosion on online radio means that at last almost anyone can open their own radio station. Listeners voice with their feet (OK, their ears!) and we have seen several stations come and go. Perhaps one of the longest surviving is SOLAR which began as a tower rock pirate in London. They are now heard on two of the small scale DAB trial stations (in London and Norwich) as well as online. Solar features some well known DJs from the soul scene, such as Tony Monson and Les Adams; great legendary names and very competent guys who really know their soul.  The station however does veer towards jazz, lounge and all kinds of laid back stuff that just doesn't appeal to me.  Plenty of time to be 'laid back' when I'm old! 

If you want  something a bit more uptempo, there is Glitterball Radio, Northern Soul-100mph, and Station X which I do dip in and out of quite often, but I notice from the listener count that the audience for some online stations is often a big fat zero. Clearly they are not reaching the hundreds of thousands listeners that we should fans KNOW are searching for some up tempo soul to speed their day along.  

So why aren't these stations more successful and achieving 'big time' status?  The reasons are very simple - they are lacking in one of the FOUR GOLDEN RULES OF SUCCESSFUL RADIO, essential elements you need to make a radio station succeed:

1. PROGRAMME a  format that's in demand
2  Make it  easy for listeners to FIND the station 
3.  PROMOTE -  tell people you're there!
4. Keep listeners listening, by engaging with them

once you have a solid station, with regular listeners
5. Market the station to sponsors - advertisers, etc

There are many other skills needed but those four above  which can be simplified as:
Programme  Engineer  Promote  Communicate

Thee are the vital ingredients.  If any one of these elements is missing, the station cannot succeed.and then
       SELL the air time             which means 

(I don't think of it as selling the listeners, I regard this as renting out all those pairs of ears!)

Now YOU can now have your own radio station


Listening is now moving towards online, and with more mobile WiFi capacity becoming available and very cheaply ANYONE can have their own radio station. No licence is required.  All you need is the KNOWLEDGE  to do it, and we have the solution for that. its all in this eBook

You could start by checking out a book I just published as an eBook which tells you exactly what you need and where to find all that you need. 

Internet Radio 2016 comes complete with links to all the suppliers - equipment, music, staff training, etc. It's your starter for a successful radio station and it will cost you only £6.89, so why not grab a copy now?  I think you'll be pleased that you did!

Never forget those  Golden Rules of Successful Radio.

And I look forward to hearing YOUR radio station !




Paul

Need help launching a radio station?  Contact Worldwide Broadcast Consultants 



Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Major London station closes

Ministry of Sound closes radio station 


The London-based  dance music station run by the Ministry of Sound has closed almost all its outlets.


 Although it can still be heard on Tune-In, where it has 480,000 followers, the station's other outlets are running a looped announcement telling listeners that "Ministry of Sound Radio is no longer broadcasting." The station was previously on DAB and online.  


Their web site diverts browsers to a page saying: "MoS Radio is taking some time off the air while we work on exciting new projects.  We look forward to sharing with you the next stage of Ministry of Sound and want to thank you for listening."

The station was launched in 1999, broadcasting solely on the MoS website. It then appeared on DAB in London and parts of Scotland from 2000 with live programmes. According to Akamai, it soon became the world's most listened-to dance radio station. The DAB service in London was closed after only two years in December 2002. The slot was then filled with a rebroadcast of Yorkshire's dance music regional station,  Galaxy FM.  Ministry of Sound Radio has been broadcasting on line continuously since 2002. 

Ministry of Sound also produces syndicated programmes for various places and it licences the Ministry of Sound brand in several countries.  

In Australia, Ministry of Sound Radio is hosted by Australian DJ Timmy Trumpet. The programme is heard every Saturday night / Sunday morning and is relayed by about a hundred radio stations throughout Australia.



Sunday, February 21, 2016

How to launch your own Internet Radio station 

Step One: get a copy of   

Internet Radio 2016 

This is a new book we've published for the new generation of radio broadcaster. Online radio has already spawned around 100,000 new choices in radio listening. We believe that internet radio (also known as web radio, audio streaming, or simply online radio) is on the verge of becoming the biggest form of media.

Streaming radio programmes to listeners began in the 1990s but has been constrained by the capacity of the internet.  To date there has simply not been the space to cram in all the date needed to make all the radio stations available to all listeners; and that's the way its been done so far with effectively a single connection between each listener and the station. 

Streaming radio programmes to listeners began in the 1990s but has been constrained by the capacity of the internet.  To date there has simply not been the space to cram in all the date needed to make all the radio stations available to all listeners; and that's the way its been done so far with effectively a single connection between each listener and the station. 

Capacity is now mushrooming, with 3G and more recently 4G making data rates of up to 33 Mbps becoming common place. Proving tests have recently been done (see BBC report here) on new 5G equipment, which achieved speeds of 3.6Gbps, which is a huge bump in speed. When the new networks come on line there will no longer be 'lack of space'. 


With the constantly falling cost of the necessary studio equipment (much is now digital and most of the processes can be automated) the costs of running the radio studio are now within the reach of almost everyone. We are predicting that the number of radio stations will begin to soar, from the present day 100,000 to at least 1 million, perhaps more. All of those stations will enjoy global coverage, heralding a new form of media.

The same is true for video - television, however radio has a huge advantage over television as you can multi-task while consuming it. You cannot do housework, or drive a car or many other things while watching TV. But you CAN while listening to the radio!

As broadcast consultants, our team are increasingly often approached by people wanting to help in setting up radio stations. Its impossible to provide a 'open to one' service to any but the largest stations, so we have published a book setting out the way in which internet radio (aka web radio, online, or streaming audio) works. What equipment is needed, the software necessary to semi automate radio stations, and how to get transmission onto the internet at affordable prices.  

We've put everything into an eBook, which can be read on any electronics device - a desk top or laptop computer, a tablet, such s  Kindle, or even on a smartphone!  The book has over 77,000 words, over 353 pages - everything you need to know is split into 38 Chapters (see details alongside).  It costs only £6.89 (or $9.99) and you can download a copy INSTANTLY.  For more details click HERE simply or the book cover above.

The World of Radio web site has some extracts from the book and the very latest information too. The world of internet radio streaming is rapidly changing and the site tries to keep up to date with the latest developments.  



Step Two: follow the instructions in the book

Step Three:   Enjoy ! 


Friday, January 15, 2016

New Radio DJs Movie



I am What I Play





The latest rock radio movie is a feature length documentary that runs for 105 minutes and had its 'world premier' in Paris last weekend. 

The movie combines material shot on location in the four cities (Seattle, Boston, New York and Toronto) with rarely seen archival footage of the disc jockeys. It also includes shots of the radio stations they are well known for their work at, and many of the well-known rock performers. The dialogue in the movie is complemented by a soundtrack that features many great rock songs of the era.

 "I am What I Play" profiles four legendary radio DJS from four US cities: Dave Marsden from Boston, WBCN's Charles Laquidara, Pat O'Day from Seattle and the lovely Meg Griffin from New York. They could be described as four of the best radio jocks from the world of 'freeform radio'.  Each of them always insisted playing what THEY wanted and turned down huge audiences to continue to live the life of a rock'n'roll radio jock. 




The movie has been available in some parts of the US for a few weeks and has had rave reviews in some trade press.It is Produced and Directed by Roger King.  The rock radio DJ once played a hugely important role in the rock music world. I Am What I Play profiles four DJs in major markets. The documentary examines their programming techniques, their politics, and their deep connections with musicians and fans in the heyday of rock radio. 


  • Where are those disc jockeys now and what are they doing?
  • And how did the DJS each re-invent themselves as the medium changed?


A closer look at the stars of I am What I Play

Meg Griffin is a rock radio legend, having spent almost 40 years on New York airwaves.  Her early stint at WRNW lead to a lifelong friendship with colleague Howard Stern. Later, at the incomparable WNEW, she played a major role in championing the punk and new wave scene of the late 70s and early 80s, introducing listeners to the music of Patti Smith, The Ramones, Talking Heads and many others. Griffin has been honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and continues her groundbreaking free-form radio work on three different Sirius XM satellite radio channels.
David Marsden first ruled the Toronto airwaves as David Mickie, a motor-mouthed DJ who hosted two television shows and was featured in Marshall McLuhan's book “Understanding Media”.  Later he would carve out his own identity on powerhouse CHUM-FM in the early 1970s and then as program director of one of North America’s first alternative rock stations, CFNY, known as “The Spirit of Radio.”  He is the subject of an exhibit at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and was recently given a lifetime achievement award by the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame.
Charles Laquidara was the morning man for pioneering free form station WBCN in Boston for over 25 years and was among the highest paid radio personalities in the U.S.  He was one of the first morning show hosts to have a staff of writers and a cast of comic characters but was also known for using his show “The Big Mattress” to take on major issues like the Vietnam War and Apartheid in South Africa.  Laquidara was inducted into the Massachusetts Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2009.

Pat O’Day was a DJ and Program Director at legendary Seattle station KJR for the better part of 15 years. His dance and concert promotion business eventually became Concerts West which at its peak represented big names such as Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles and Elvis Presley.  O’Day is credited with putting the Seattle music scene on the map and is a part of a permanent exhibit at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame