World Radio Day – Radio is You!

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Celebrated February 13th just in time for Valentine’s Day World Radio Day! The theme this year is “Radio is You”.

This couldn’t sum up our founder’s belief about radio any better. Radio is you! Bob and Sue Crane, founders of C. Crane, continue to be avid radio listeners.  The main reason they love to listen is because radio can be a very personal medium.  Even though it reaches the widest audience of any medium in the world, there is an individual connection to it that is unavailable elsewhere.

This synopsis from UNESCO in regard to their theme this year for World Radio Day really says it all:

Radio is still the most dynamic, reactive and engaging medium there is, adapting to 21st century changes and offering new ways to interact and participate. Where social media and audience fragmentation can put us in media bubbles of like-minded people, radio is uniquely positioned to bring communities together and foster positive dialogue for change. By listening to its audiences and responding to their needs, radio provides the diversity of views and voices needed to address the challenges we all face. Radio informs us and transforms us, through entertainment, information and audience participation.  Having a radio means you are never alone – you always have a friend in radio.  

C. Crane is proud to be a friend to many in radio from customers to stations to hosts and shows! We hope you celebrate World Radio Day, and if not, don’t worry about it – it’s never too late to celebrate radio (we do it here every day!).

Tell us how radio is personal to you in the comments section and be entered to win the CC Pocket Radio! Please one entry per person. Drawing will be held 3/10/2017.

The Month for Thanksgiving

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This is the month to reflect on all that we have and what we are truly grateful for, to get in the spirit we wanted to find out which radio show, host or station you are most thankful for! Enter in the comments below and be entered to win the product of your choice (excluding the AEGO sound systems).  Drawing will be held November 30th. Please one entry per person.

Battle of the Platforms

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We had an excellent comment from one of our blog readers recently on our blog post Is Radio in Crisis? “…….We need to get back to what made radio great in the 30s and 50s (and 60s and 70s) instead of trying to ‘beat’ the technology game. The PLATFORM is not relevant. The PROGRAMMING is.”

Platform battles aren’t limited to Podcasts vs. AM vs. FM vs. HD, etc. There’s also a battle for the platforms that include/exclude content. This is especially true when it comes to internet radio. When we first started offering internet radios back in 2006 everyone was just trying to stream. The streams weren’t great but you could get a lot of stations and there was a desire for adding listeners regardless of how they got there. The content available on internet and WiFi radio is pretty incredible.

As the technology progresses, different issues continue to appear. Some sites use flash players for their streams, which can’t play on devices without screens where you can press play (like our radios). Other networks, decide that they want you to listen through their app or device so they choose to limit the distribution of their content unless you are able to negotiate a licensing deal. Others change the format that they stream in to a less widely supported format or brand new format again limiting the devices the stream can be heard on.

There are content aggregators, meaning they don’t actually own any of the content. They gather it; host the database and often the website where it can be accessed; and work with chip manufacturers that create chips with access to their content on them. These then are embedded in devices like our radio. These aggregators can usually turn content on/off and add/remove streams (if it’s in an accepted format) – like Reciva, Frontier Silicon and TuneIn. Some have negotiated “premium” subscriptions that allow you to hear content that is otherwise not available via streams due to outside licensing agreements (like professional sports, archived shows, etc.). However, these premium services are often only available through their app or their web portal. There are also networks that own their own content like iHeartRadio (also known as Clear Channel) and Radio.com (CBS Radio Network). Maybe this provides some insight into why we call it the “Battle of the platforms”.

Our job here at C. Crane is to help listeners connect to their station, show or host regardless of the platform. There are times where an internet radio is the only viable solution such as when a person moves from Los Angeles to Florida but still wants to hear LA broadcasts. Or when Rush Limbaugh or George Noory  are no longer playing on a station they can receive, often we can help the listener find this content on another station.

It’s been interesting sharing “our job” with some of the content providers. Often there seems to be a disconnect within the networks themselves. Digital media in many cases is an entirely separate division or company. Sometimes the representatives don’t know the AM/FM market outside of call letters or what it says on their published papers. Some networks are changing staff, and appear to be working toward some better integration but there is a long way to go from what we see. Eliminating the platform wars and making it easier for companies to get listeners the content they want to hear would be a huge step in the right direction.

More than anything we try to be an advocate for the listener (because we listen too!). If you haven’t tried an internet radio, now might be a perfect time. Whether you choose one of our radios or another manufacturer, make sure to find out if the radio will play the content that you are trying to hear and supports any other functionality that is necessary for you to be happy with the radio (like Pandora, Bluetooth, clock or alarm, etc.).

For more information on what you might here on internet radio, read some past blog posts

Before You Give up Listening to Radio by Ken Hoffman, Columnist Houston Chronicle

A Secret Garden of Music

Check out this video on What You Might Hear

Also, if you’re having a tough time deciding, check out The Pros and Cons of WiFi and Internet Radio

How can we help you find a station you have lost, a host you are looking for? Contact us – we’re here to help!

A Radio Show of Solutions and Support for YOU!

A Radio Show of Solutions and Support for YOU!

Interview of Kira Reginato- President of Living Ideas For Elders

Q: You work in Eldercare Management but you also have a radio show, Call Kira About Aging! What got you interested in radio and why a radio show exploring eldercare issues?

A: I never dreamt of doing a radio show; I came to the industry with no broadcast training, yet I do a live show every week since December, 2008. Let’s go back to 1996. I was working as an eldercare manager for a wonderful nonprofit. I hung up the phone, after speaking to a woman in southern California about her elderly mom’s needs, she tearfully thanked me profusely and said “You’ve helped her so much, I feel so relieved!” I shrugged thinking – Heck, 100 people could have heard what I said, its not esoteric info.
Suddenly an idea popped into my head: why not do a radio-show with valuable info to reach many people at once?   I wrote myself a note on a scrap piece of paper that said “do radio show.” I had every intention of asking our Board of Trustees to help launch my idea… but never did.

Q: What was it that made you decide to do the radio show after all?

A: 12 years later, I was cleaning out files, no longer with that company, and found that scrap of paper!  I thought, a radio show is still a good idea but no one has come to my door to ask me, so I guess it’s up to me to look into this.

I boldly called two stations and offered to do a show with them. My motto is – you don’t know until you ask, and the worst they can say is no.

Q: Did you have a hard time starting your radio show or experience any hick-ups?

A: The first station program manager said “Are you a radio personality now?”  I said, “umm, no.”  He then asked,  “Did you train in broadcasting?”  “No.” “Any experience in radio?”  “No”  He said, “Lady, asking to do a show with no experience is like saying ‘I like baseball, mind if I suit up and play with the Giants?'” He admitted the show was a good idea and that he might regret not trying the show some day, but passed.  

The next station manager I approached at KSRO in Santa Rosa, California said I had perfect timing since they were thinking of their line up for the New Year and wanted something on eldercare.  I started immediately in December, 2008 with advertorial radio, meaning you pay for the air time.  I had good relationships with many people in the eldercare industry, so I asked some to advertise on the show and underwrite the cost.  They enthusiastically said “Yes.”  That was almost four years ago and I have learned a lot of radio lingo and procedures with on the job training.

 

Q: What keeps your radio show going?

A:  For the first two years I received no revenue for the show and each show takes a few hours of time to produce. Things have changed and now I have more sponsors for the show and receive a talent fee.  I help write and voice commercials and I promote the companies that sponsor Call Kira About Aging!  since I hand-pick each of them.

 

It’s a lot of work in addition to my private care management business but I am passionate about reaching as many listeners as I can before I die!  There are so many families struggling to care for an older loved one, I want to change questions into answers! I love our sponsors and am also very grateful to my home at KSRO.

Q: Where can we find Call Kira About Aging!?

A: Listen in at 1350 AM KSRO on Saturdays at 2 PM or online at KSRO.com or via podcast on iTunes or at Call Kira.com!

You can also visit Kira online at http://www.livingideasforelders.com/index.php


 

What Do You Have To Say About Radio?

Over the past few weeks, we have been receiving lots of feedback about the radio programming that you love and some that you’re not too crazy about.

Everyone has their likes and dislikes about radio and we want to know more…so we’re taking an informal poll with results to be posted next week!

Below are some questions that we are curious about and we’d like to hear your input:

What is your favorite station and why?
Who is your favorite host and why?
Why do you listen to the radio? (i.e., to get local news updates, sports games, entertainment, listening to music, etc.)?
What is your favorite format (examples: news, talk, music, sports, etc.)?
What do you love most about radio?
What do you dislike about radio?
What do you see as the future of radio?

Also if there is something else about radio that you would like to share with us that is not asked above, please feel free to comment on it.

Just a reminder, we have a contest going on through the end of this week. We would like you to share with us what is the furthest radio signal you’ve been able to receive. Check out Gordon West’s blog post for more information .