Memorial Day

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While we view Memorial Day as the official summer kick off and enjoying a B-B-Q with friends or family, please remember to set aside some time to honor the service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. That freedom extends into radio in the form of Freedom of Speech. Whether you agree or disagree with a host, your right to do so is largely a result of those who have gone before us to secure that freedom.

Gene Burns, an unforgettable icon in radio history, believed that talk radio played a crucial role in exercising and preserving our First Amendment Right. He gave one of the most moving speeches about the Freedom of Speech when he accepted the “Freedom of Speech” award at Talker’s. It was so long ago, there is no recording that we could locate (still working on it), but we did find some YouTube videos of Gene that make one realize that even though everything seemingly changes, everything really is the same…. Michael Harrison, founder of Talker’s Magazine and host of podcast Up Close and Far Out is also a huge proponent of Freedom of Speech. He said this in an interview on KNPR “I think talk radio is a very vital expression of the First Amendment,” he said, “And I think that the First Amendment, freedom of speech, is not a tidy affair. You cannot have free speech and have it be nice or the way you like it or only the truth or only things that are political correct. Free speech is the foundation upon which America is built.”

Take a minute this weekend when you’re listening to the radio or watching YouTube videos, about whatever content that you have the freedom to choose, to say thanks to all of those that died to secure your freedom.

May we never forget freedom isn’t free.

Is Radio Ready for a Shakeup?

Important happenings on the horizon – Talker’s Magazine recently shared iHeartMedia’s reports of their “Preliminary Q1 Results Expressing ‘Substantial Doubt’ About Future Given Current Debt Obligations.

What does this mean for radio as we know it right now? No one really knows. IheartMedia currently consists of two main media businesses – Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings and iHeartMedia. According to their website, iHeartMedia currently owns and operates 858 broadcast radio stations serving more than 150 markets, many stations that all of us listen to on a regular basis.

In the past when this has taken place, we’ve seen major restructuring which have included canceling shows, letting hosts go, consolidation, and more if something doesn’t give. On April 27th, iHeartCommunications Inc announced an extension of its deadline for private offers to May 12, 2017.

The fundamentals of radio are still strong but these circumstances have all the ingredients to create a significant conflict for stakeholders, investors, talent and listeners. We will be watching right alongside you to see what happens.

Tell us in the comments below, what do you think will happen?

Read the entire post from Talker’s Magazine below – reproduced with permission from Talker’s.

iHeartMedia Reports Preliminary Q1 Results Expressing ‘Substantial Doubt’ About Future Given Current Debt Obligations.  This report (filed yesterday, 4/20) to the SEC is designed to help the company achieve success with its debt exchange offer that expires for lenders today and for bondholders next Friday (4/28).  But the language is very strong as iHeartMedia preliminarily reports that consolidated revenue is down 2.4% for the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.  The company explains in this filing that it is analyzing, on a quarterly basis, “whether there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months following the date our financial statements are issued.  A substantial amount of our cash requirements are for debt service obligations.  Although we have generated operating income, we incurred net losses and had negative cash flows from operations for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015, as well as for the quarter ended March 31, 2017.  Our current operating plan indicates we will continue to incur net losses and generate negative cash flows from operating activities given iHeartCommunications’ indebtedness and related interest expense.  During the quarter ended March 31, 2017, we spent $570.4 million of cash on payments of principal and interest on our debt, net of facility draws and proceeds received, and anticipate having approximately $1.7 billion of cash interest payment obligations for the full year 2017.  At March 31, 2017, we had debt maturities totaling $316.5 million, $324.2 and $8,369.0 million in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively.  Our debt maturities at March 31, 2017 include $305.0 million outstanding under our receivables based credit facility, which matures on December 24, 2017, and $112.1 million of 10% Senior Notes due January 15, 2018.  Based on the significance of the forecasted future negative cash flows, including the maturities of the $305.0 million receivables based credit facility and the $112.1 million 10% Senior Notes due January 15, 2018, and the uncertainty of the outcomes of the Exchange Offers and Term Loan Offers, management anticipates that our financial statements to be issued for the three months ended March 31, 2017 will include disclosure indicating there will be substantial doubt as to our ability to continue as a going concern for a period of 12 months following the date the first quarter 2017 financial statements are issued as a result of uncertainty around our ability to refinance or extend the maturity of our receivables based credit facility, to achieve our forecasted results, and to achieve sufficient cash interest savings from the pending Exchange Offers and Term Loan Offers.

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Top Gift Picks for Mother’s Day 2017

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Mother’s day is just around the corner and C. Crane is here to help you find a gift that will actually be used!

  1. CC Radio-EP – Bob Crane designed this radio for his Mom. It’s the easiest radio to use and has great reception and sound.
  2. CC Pocket – This radio is perfect for the Mom who is out walking regularly.
  3. CC WiFi – Mom’s love this – no static, no fade and thousands upon thousands of stations to choose from.
  4. The Senta Ally – A consistent favorite. Mom controls the playlist from her smartphone using a Bluetooth connection. Perfect while doing household chores or even relaxing in the tub!
  5. CC Solar Observer – You’ll have peace of mind knowing your Mom has the information she needs even if the power is out with this Wind Up Solar Emergency Radio.

If you’re still not sure which item is right for your mom, contact us! We’re happy to help you make the best selection for your Mom.

Earth Day 2017

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Since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, millions of people continue to bring awareness and solutions to local and global environmental concerns. This year there is a March for Science and teach ins regarding current issues facing our environment.

Radio stations across the nation are playing a role, gathering communities for common causes and helping spread the word. It’s fascinating to see the variety of topics that are covered: trail creation and maintenance, clean water, community clean ups and restoration projects, gardening and invasive plant education, alternative energy and endangered species awareness.

Here’s just a few events (there are literally thousands and it seems almost every city has some opportunity to volunteer).

http://sunradio.com/2017/03/26/earth-day-2017/
http://www.espn1320.net/events/cspf-earth-day-2017
http://nwpr.org/post/earth-day-northwest
http://www.radiowoodstock.com/amp-events/earth-day-volunteering-celebration/

How do you plan to participate in Earth Day? Does your community have an event? Enter you answer in the comments below and be entered to win the CC Solar Observer AM, FM, Weather Wind Up and Solar Powered Radio. Drawing will be held April 25th. Please only one entry per person.

Why is Television so Hard to Hear?

This question came up during a recent tour at C. Crane with the Fortuna Senior Center. “My brand new television has terrible audio and I have to turn the volume way up and then next thing I know it’s blasting out my eardrums – do you have a fix for this?” There was a Wall Street Journal article on exactly this issue and we were able to share some ideas on possible solutions and some basic info on why this happens. While we’re usually known for radio, we do know a bit about audio as well.

Often it’s assumed that the sound issues are all related to hearing loss, but it turns out while that may be part of the problem, it’s not the whole story. With TVs getting thinner and thinner, speaker size, positioning and sound are often an after thought if even considered at all. This could be a big reason why personal sound systems are making a come back. We offer the AEGO Soundbar system to help combat poor audio. Not ready to make that kind of an investment? Here are a couple things you can try:

  1. Locate the speakers on your TV – depending on where they are (often pointing down on the bottom of the television), move your TV. Setting your TV on a wooden surface could do the trick because the sound needs something to bounce off of. Try out different combinations since even a table runner could muffle the sound by absorbing it.
  2. Play with the settings on your TV’s sound. Depending on the issue you are experiencing – illegible voice, too loud, too soft, etc. – you may be able to find a better audio setting on your television.

If none of those things, work you might want to consider our FM Transmitter that can bring the audio from your TV to your radio. Our CCRadio 2E has amazing sound quality and then the audio is right next to you. This is a pretty inexpensive way to improve the sound. Or if you don’t mind wearing earphones, there are many wireless and Bluetooth® options that might work with your new television.

Have you found this to be an issue for you? Share your solutions in the comments below!

 

The Reviews Are In

We thought you might like to see what others are saying about the CC Pocket Radio. It’s one thing when we tell you what we think, but it’s a whole different story when customers and media give you their feedback. Below are a few highlights.

Customer Reviews:

The Ultimate Travel Radio

This is a great little radio for traveling. Takes up no room in a suit case. You can listen to quality stereo and no matter where you are in the US you can get local weather forecasts at the push of a button.

By W. Young MURFREESBORO, TN

Couldn’t ask for more!

I LOVE my pocket radio. This is my fourth radio I’ve bought from C.Crane. It has great sound quality, is easy to use, long battery life, and I love their idea of having basic instructions printed on the inside of the battery compartment. You can’t go wrong with this rugged little radio!

By J. Scofield Hawthorne, Ca

You can view more reviews on our website or on Amazon.com

Media Review:

Crane CC Pocket Radio

“The CC Pocket is an excellent value… It’s a Walkman-style radio …with a built-in speaker for utility use…this is particularly useful if you use the radio for NOAA Weather Alerts …  The CC Pocket covers standard AM and FM as well as the 7 NOAA Weather Band frequencies and runs on 2 AA batteries. The CC Pocket Radio from C.Crane is a very cool new addition to their catalog.” Read more by RadioJayAllen here: https://radiojayallen.com/c-crane-cc-pocket/

Tell us your favorite feature on the CC Pocket Radio.

 

 

Spring is Officially Here?

dreamstime_xl_86642419At least that is what the calendar says! The first official day of Spring was March 20th. Here in Northern California, where spring storms bring a return to winter-like conditions, that is definitely being called into question. It’s supposed to rain on us for the next several days and our California pals to the East are still shoveling ALOT of snow (see the pictures below). Once again, the unpredictable weather brings having a battery operated radio with the weather band and considering one with weather alert to the forefront.

Flooding and mudslides are wreaking havoc not only here in the states (California has been hit hard), but even internationally. Peru was recently hit with huge flooding and mudslides that have left thousands homeless. There a severe weather alerts issued across the Midwest and the South for tornadoes and harsh weather. We think mother nature missed the memo about Spring, but C. Crane has not missed Mother Nature’s memo on why we should be prepared.

We’ve heard from many customers about how their radio alerted them to potential weather threats so they could plan accordingly. If you don’t have a plan make one. If you don’t have a radio, now’s the time to get one – don’t miss the memo! Make sure you’re ready for whatever Spring throws at you.

Why I Love to Travel with a Radio by Bob Crane

It turns out this guy named Art Bell and I were both on the island of Maui in 1970. I have fond memories of a youth well spent there so I decided to revisit with my extended family. There is little if any static on the island so AM listening is incredible. I found KNUR 550 in Wailuku at 5,000 watts. They play mostly business from Bloomberg but they have smartly altered the program to fit in with the local culture. . . great job! My wife and I were giddy to hear silly love songs from the Philippines for three hours on Sunday morning. The CC Skywave performed perfect for the week and batteries were still about full.

Art and I never ran into each other back then but I did get to see one of the last Jimi Hendrix concerts which they still talked about on the radio. The best part of this recent trip was getting together with my wife and family. . .still married too. . . and listening.

I’d love to hear about your favorite local station you’ve heard and why it’s your favorite.

laneinhawaii

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Get Ready for Some Baseball!

bb-blogIt’s that time of year, where baseball fans of all ages gear up for the upcoming season. Although it’s soggy and wet (and even snowing in some parts) here in Northern California, there are places like Arizona and Florida where the sun is shining. We will just have to live vicariously through those fortunate fans of the sun belt who are watching their favorite teams get ready for baseball..

For the folks that can’t make the trek to Arizona or Florida, there’s nothing like listening to baseball on the radio. We hear time and again from our customers that baseball is what started their life long love of radio. There are many who even take their pocket radio to the game because they prefer the play by play of their beloved radio sportscaster to the announcer in the stadium. Some of the most famous voices in radio are baseball announcers. Wikipedia has an quite a list of current MLB announcers.

Sports talk continues to be an area of consistent growth for radio. With pre-game shows, post game shows and every imaginable facet of sports being covered 24/7 by ESPN, Westwood One, Fox Sports plus many local independent stations, there isn’t a shortage of options when it comes to listening to sports talk radio. Often local stations are broadcasting high school and college games as well.

If you find yourself having trouble pulling in the game, call us up and we can help you figure out which radio might be the best solution for your specific situation.

 

 

Local Radio Still Matters

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Image used with permission from National Broadcasters Association

Do you remember when you could call up your local radio station and ask to dedicate a song?  Maybe you just wanted to start a friend’s day right with their favorite tune, or wanted that special someone to know you were thinking of them.  Regardless of your sentiments, there was the thrill of knowing everyone listening for miles around heard your name and theirs over the air waves.  And if you were lucky enough to get on air yourself, you tried to come up with something aside from “This is for Tony, because he’s so cool!”, but choked on the spot instead.

Today our existence is filled with signals and public sharing, so feeling like part of the world at large is easy.  Quick as a flash, half the planet can watch that video you posted of your grandchild sticking cereal up their nose.  But for a price.  You have to pay someone for that connection, and in some way they are using your profile to make money.

Luckily, some things have not changed.  Radio broadcasts are still free and quite prolific.  According to the web site www.wearebroadcasters.com, there are 15,516 full power radio stations in the U.S., that are listened to by more than 268 million Americans each week.

According to a response to a survey from PoytnerThe purpose of local is to see, know, care about and understand your community. C. Crane believes that local radio is at the heart of every community and this sentiment is consistently reinforced when we talk to radio listeners every day. We recently experienced it first hand when our Fortuna High Varsity Basketball team traveled to the North Coast Section playoffs – below is the testimonial from one of our staff:

My son is playing in the North Coast Section’s basketball playoffs this evening in San Francisco. I didn’t travel this time and was so bummed out that I wouldn’t be able to watch or hear the game. I have been unable to find any source of live streaming or local or online televised broadcast BUT our local guy Tag Wotherspoon will be down there covering the game on 95.1 FM so I’ll be able to listen. This is the only local radio station that covers any of the local high school sports and I am so grateful.

Local radio continues to serve their community – they announce the local events, tell you who is playing at what venues, help you decide where to go for dinner and the local news highlights what issues are specific to the area you are in. If you’re lucky enough to be a sports fan in a town with a professional team, you might find yourself watching the game on television, but listening to your local announcer call the play by play on the radio.  If you are further interested in this topic, The National Association of Broadcasters has a very informative web site with information on the status of issues that affect radio listeners.

C. Crane has many options for you to take advantage of those free signal broadcasts.  Our radios are made with the listener in mind, and we can help you determine which model would best suit your needs.  We know that radio has the unique ability to entertain, inform and connect and appreciate the opportunity to help you stay connected to your community.

Please share with us – Does local radio matter to you and if so why?