Public Radio Is Important

pmdmc2017C. Crane recently exhibited at the Public Media Conference 2017 in beautiful San Francisco #PMDMC17 (Public Media Development and Marketing Conference). We previously exhibited in 2013. Once again we were blown away at the awareness these stations have in relation to their listeners. It’s much different than we see and experience in other environments where there seems to be more disconnect between the station and the listener. We believe it’s because these stations exist because of their member base. No members supporting the station equals no station or a “lesser” station.

What is Public Broadcasting and why should I listen?

America’s unique public broadcasting system is a collaboration of 1,300 local non-commercial radio and television stations that meet the standards of and are supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. They work with each other and with hundreds of national and local producers and community partners to ensure that Americans have universal access to high-quality non-commercial programming….

https://current.org/about-public-media/why-public-media/

https://www.metamorafilms.org/2016/08/10/why-public-media-broadcasting-is-still-important-in-our-world/

We speak with people every day who couldn’t imagine a day without their local public radio station. The variety of programming includes NPR, BBC, classical music and often local on-air talent (which you all know is hard to come by in these days of mega consolidation, syndication and automation).

You might wonder how C. Crane fits into Public Radio since we’re normally an advertiser and well….there isn’t really advertising on Public Radio. We fit in, in a few different ways.

  1. We build radios that help the listeners get the signal. Often these stations are in rural areas or have fringe area listeners who struggle to receive the signal – our radios are high quality and help them pull in the weak signal and sound great too!
  2. If the station’s power is too low (or maybe it’s HD so the coverage radius is small and limited to their vehicle or an app) – we offer our internet radio which in many cases is the perfect solution. If the stream isn’t already available, we are usually able to have it added within a short period of time.
  3. Our radios make great membership premiums. The most popular is the CC Solar Observer.
  4. In the event our products don’t make sense for a premium, we also have a radio for resale program. We offer this to both public and private stations where they can offer our radios direct to their listeners.
  5. This year there was also a lot of interest in our new CC Buds Pro – Earbuds for Voice. A LOT of people listen using earbuds daily and finding a good pair, where you can hear the voice at a reasonable price is hard to do. We see earbuds in our futures 🙂

We met the most amazing,  down to earth, community minded and radio loving individuals at PMDMC and were so honored to be a part of this event. Stay tuned for some really great blog posts based on some of the people we met and stories we heard at the show!

Do you listen to Public Broadcasting? Share your favorite Public Broadcast show/station(s) in the comments below to be entered to win the NEW CC Buds Pro! Drawing will be held July 31st. Please only one entry per person.

Congratulations to Mer on your win of the CC Buds Pro! Thank you all for participating.

Gift Guide for Dad

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It’s almost that time again – Father’s Day! We have some ideas to help you score a big win in the gift category.

The CC LED Spot XB Spotlight is great for any dad. We’ve had folks buy it for night time walking, camping, working under the house or to keep in the car. It’s bright, durable, and lightweight and makes an excellent gift.

If your dad likes sports or working in the garden, the CC Pocket might be the perfect fit. We hear about folks taking it to the baseball game so they can listen to the play by play on their radio. If gardening is more his speed, we’ve developed a kit that includes the CC Pocket,and noise blocking headphones with an optional chest harness.

When nothing but the best will do, the CCRadio-2E is the right choice. This is our top performer for long range AM reception. The voice focused audio on this radio is superb and will have him thanking you for years to come.

Still not sure what to buy? A gift certificate allows your dad to get what he really wants. No re-gifting or hurt feelings.

If you need any help with a recommendation, please call us and we’d love to help you pick out the right gift for that special dad in your life!

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.

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.

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.

Is Radio in Crisis?

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There was a great article recently in the WSJ “Public Radio’s Existential Crisisby Ellen Gamerman, which brings up a topic we are struggling with as well. In her article, she talks exclusively about NPR but we don’t see this discussion as limited to only NPR. What is the future of radio and is it in crisis?

The “old guard” of radio talk show hosts are in the best of circumstances aging and retiring and in the worst dying. With hosts that boast some of the largest on air audiences around, there doesn’t seem to be much succession planning on how to recover or replace the lost talent (interestingly enough, radio is not the only industry impacted by this dilemma, it is being experienced in small businesses, trades, medical fields, education and more). Enter podcasters. Ms. Gamerman’s article states “With both its start and audience aging, NPR is struggling to adapt to the digital age: ‘The most innovative people are doing podcasts.’”

By the end of the decade, NPR projects that younger listeners under age 44 will make up only around 30% of the overall audience for its member stations, compared with about 60% in 1985. Currently more than 80% of podcast listeners are under age 55, according to recent data released by Edison Research and Triton Digital.

Here’s where it gets confusing though:

NPR itself is already the nation’s top podcast publisher with a monthly audience of 7.2 million listeners, according to podcast analytics firm Podtrac. In the past year, it has doubled the revenue it gets from corporate sponsorship for podcasts.

Despite the growth of digital, Americans ages 13 and over spend more than half their total listening time on AM/FM radio and 2% of their listening time on podcasts, according to Edison. NPR’s weekly broadcast radio audience now averages 26 million.

A recent report from Radio and Internet News proves interesting as well.

AM/FM clearly has the widest reach — a notable and much-hammered metric in the radio industry. AM/FM’s monthly U.S. audience is 240-million. Compare that to Spotify’s global 100-million, and Pandora’s mostly-U.S. 80-million, and you see why broadcasters sometimes feel they don’t get enough respect (call-back to Rodney Dangerfield). On the other hand, U.S. radio is a $17-billion business, larger than the combined valuations of Spotify and Pandora.

Radio’s reach is a cleanly brag-worthy metric, while time spent listening (TSL) has more nuance.

With radio’s reach being so significant in comparison to everyone else and the battle of “platform” and “format” wars still being fought, we believe radio is here to stay for now but when the popular long standing talent leaves and no one that connects with that audience or is able to create a new audience in the slot takes their place, advertisers leave, listeners leave and ultimately radio suffers (enter podcasts?).

We love to hear from you. Do you think radio is in crisis? Are you switching to podcasts or some hybrid in between?

How To Get Your Groove On

Senta_Ally-0901While the long daylight hours of summer give us a chance to enjoy the outdoors, many people use that opportunity to tackle those outside chores that just can’t be accomplished during the other wet, cold seasons. Music, news, audio books, or talk programs can make those monotonous tasks like mowing, weeding, painting, or cleaning seem to go much faster. And a lot of research has been done that support what most folks already know from experience; listening to music relieves anxiety and improves your mood.

Earbuds are good for listening during some activities, but the wires tend to get tangled up in gloves, tools, and handles while gardening or working in the garage. And while smart phones, tablets, and notebooks offer access to your favorite music streams, audio books or podcasts, the audio from those small built-in speakers usually leaves a lot to be desired for voice and lyric quality.

The Senta Ally Bluetooth Stereo Speaker is a great solution that gives you crisp, full range stereo sound with bass performance. It is unique from similar models because of the varied ways you can connect to your audio source: USB, SD card, auxiliary input through a 1/8” jack, or paired with a Bluetooth enabled device. It is small enough to sit on a window sill, and would easily fit in a work cart. The 6-8 hour battery life means you will probably be done with your chores before requiring a recharge!

Don’t miss out on getting audio clarity when you are taking care of those summer jobs around the house and yard. And when you are done, use the Senta Ally while lounging out on the deck or entertaining. This speaker is loud enough to fill the area with rich audio that everyone can enjoy.

Tell us your favorite “Summer Song” in the comments and you will be entered into the drawing for a FREE Senta Ally! One entry per person. Drawing will be held July 8th.

Congratulations to winner l w c!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

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We know it’s still early, but we wanted you to have plenty of time to find the perfect gift for Mom. After a quick internal poll here at C. Crane, we’ve compiled a list of what employees have purchased and would recommend as Mother’s Day gifts. We hope this helps you find a great gift for your mom this Mother’s Day.

John recommends the PowerVivid Pocket Flashlight. He’s given them as gifts and everyone loved them. They are the perfect size for purses and glove compartments.

Christine loves the CC Solar Observer Wind Up Radio. Her perennials that survived the record rain fall are popping up all over the garden and of course there are plenty of weeds which need attention now and this radio allows her to power it with the solar panel. She can listen to music all day long while gardening and not using any batteries or electricity.

The Senta Ally is always a favorite. Whether doing the dishes or cleaning the house, being able to stream your favorite audio like Pandora through the Bluetooth® speaker definitely makes the work go by more quickly.

Carolyn recommends the CC Pocket Radio. She gave one to her sister when her iPod® died. Her sister likes to take morning walks with music as motivation. The CC Pocket overcame her initial skepticism because this unit brought in plenty of FM stations from her city, and she was able to program her favorites into the preset buttons to easily switch between them while on her walks.  Now she also tunes to the AM band for news updates and information about what is going on in her city – something she had not done in a long time.  When asked if she ever bought another iPod®, she said the CC Pocket Radio worked out so well for her that she had forgotten all about it!

Many of you may know Bob Crane always recommends the CC Radio-EP because that’s who he built the radio for – His Mom. She wanted a radio that was easy to use without all the extra stuff, so that’s what he gave her.

Isaiah recommends the CC WiFi internet radio. His mom has her radio on every day for several years. It only goes off at bedtime and when “The Voice” comes on television. Jessica’s grandma loves this radio as well. She gets to listen To St. John’s out of Newfoundland Canada and it brings her information and music from her home country.

Sue recommends the CC Witness Plus – whether she rides a motorcycle, works in the yard or loves to shop – she can record her favorite music, talk shows or even her language lessons and take it with her and listen at her leisure.

So many options for you to choose from, you’ll have no problem picking a great gift this year! Tell us what your plans are for this year’s Mother’s Day!

KGO Radio Announces Major Changes

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Update 4/4 – It looks like management has been listening. KGO has announced live and local programming and reversed their decision and are now keeping Ron Owens. The comments we’ve read about what people are hearing so far, are very positive.

4/1 – So many people this morning were upset and outraged at KGO’s announcement and the current layoffs that ensued. Phone calls were made, panic! People thought it was an April Fool’s prank, but it isn’t. We saw posts and comments of people who have listened for 10, 20, 30 years and more who woke up this morning to an odd sounding KGO radio. If you take the time to read the comments, you will see just how upset the listeners are.

Veteran talk show host Ronn Owens will be moved from KGO radio (his home for 40 years) to KSFO.

On their Facebook Page there is an announcement stating “The next generation of KGO 810 is coming Tuesday morning at 6 am”. We aren’t sure what that means, so we’ll be waiting to see just like you.

C. Crane’s very first radio ad, aired on KGO 810 and we continued advertising with them until their first format change several years ago when they laid off much of their local talent. We still have people call to this day, telling us that they first heard about us on KGO. We were fortunate to work with Mickey Luckoff and Jack Swanson in the hay day of KGO & KSFO. Both stations have a long history and are two of the greatest stations ever formed. We hope and pray the Cumulus management endeavors to carve a path with the creativity and talent that the radio hosts and the former management have previously done because we’d LOVE to advertise again!

Tell us in the comments how you feel about this change!