Are You a True Baseball Fan?


If you’re a “true” baseball fan then you know Spring Training has begun and you’re excited to see your favorite team back on the field or hear about it on the radio and you’re counting down the days until regular season play.

Perhaps your love for the game came about on your own backyard ball field, or going to the game with your Dad or Grandpa, or sneaking your radio under the covers to hear the game broadcast late into the evening. We found an awesome article on the relationship of announcers, commercial radio and fandom that really hit to the heart of what we often hear – radio is community and sports radio is no exception, in fact it may be the inception.

Vice Sports Writer Mabel Rosenheck wroteWhen we listen to games on the radio, we commune with our cities and our fandoms. Why radio particularly persists has something to do with nostalgia, certainly, but it also has to do with particular relationships of privacy and publicity that were created in the first half of the twentieth century and which are still with us in the twenty-first.”


There are folks who regularly call us to try to figure out what options they have for receiving the game. They love the play-by-play of their favorite announcers and often take a pocket radio to the game so they can listen while they watch. If you’ve been to a game – it makes more sense. So much of the time you have no idea what just happened if someone was injured or there’s a delay, but if you have a radio – the announcer keeps you informed and is communicating throughout the game what’s happening and what might happen (this hitter has 4 home runs, or has struck out the last 6 at bats).

We’ve written before about how Sports Radio is one of the few areas of radio that actively grooms talent and often keeps long term local talent because of the knowledge base required in order to have credibility in a particular market. If you grew up watching the Cubs and are an avid fan, it would be tough to pick up those roots and go over to cover the Giants on a deep level.  Sports listeners expect their announcers and broadcasters to know who played 1st base for a club in 1972 and when a particular player retired or was traded. ListeEners know when you’re not credible and will tune out. The best announcers are story tellers, they make you feel like you are watching a game with a good (very knowledgeable) friend who is introducing you to each player.

Baseball continues to be a radio favorite and if you’re a true fan, you’re a part of this special community. It’s game day and you wear the hat or t-shirt or at least sport the colors. You can be out walking and have something in common with a complete stranger who is representing the same team and while listening you can enjoy the action and share in the camaraderie knowing there are others listening the same way you are.

Enter to Win! Please tell us in the comments – “Why do you enjoy listening to baseball on the radio?” and be entered to win a CC Pocket Radio. Drawing to be held 3/15/18. Please, one entry per person.

National Grandparents Day: Do Something Grand

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation that established the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day.

Since beginning a campaign in 1970 to set aside one special day recognizing grandparents, Marian McQuade spearheaded the movement that focuses on three main goals:

  1. To honor grandparents
  2. To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children.
  3. To help children become aware of the strength, information, and guidance older people can offer.

It is the third goal of National Grandparents Day that a radio buff can really take and run with.

Do you remember when a cloud was something you saw floating in the sky and tried to decide if it looked like a dolphin or a motorcycle?  Perhaps they caught more of your childhood attention because you were actually outside.  Admittedly, today’s youth faces a more complex world full of different challenges than previous generations, but they lack hands-on experience beyond a keyboard.  Most people’s grandkids are a wiz with all things internet and computer related, but few can tell you how any of it actually works.  By contrast, radio wave reception is a readily explainable concept that can be demonstrated, experimented with, and shared with one’s grandchildren.

Since the line between entertainment and education can be on the thin side, the wisest path is to find a way to combine the two.  Most grandparents don’t even attempt to achieve “cool” status since they learned long ago through their own children what a no-win game that is, not to mention expensive.  But without the day-to-day stresses of the parent/child relationship infringing on your time together, the passion that grandparents show for the world of radio can then spur excitement for further discovery.  Your grandchildren need you to pass along this important information.  One day the cloud may rain torrents of megabytes, and then where will they be?

Crane has a free library on our web site that may prove helpful:

These links help explain AM reception facts:

This link is great for those looking to share a hands-on experiment:

This year the holiday falls on Sunday, September 11th.  To find out more about the history of Grandparents Day, visit

We’d love to hear about the favorite thing you’ve taught your grandchildren or learned from your grandparents! Tell us in the comments below.

CBS Radio Division May be Sold

What make a great radio station? A great station becomes the fabric of a community over time. Great stations mean more to their listeners than 99% of all websites because they have heart and real people behind them. They serve and entertain their listeners. Bob Crane and Jessica Crotty visited WCCO in Minneapolis MN recently and were thrilled to get to see one of the greats.

There are respected news websites that we want to see every day but there is not the direct connection you can have with a great radio station. Great stations can be 50,000 watts and cover several states or they can be a small local station making sure the local news and events are reported. Either way, they serve a community of listeners, connecting people in a unique way.

The question that visiting WCCO brought up, since WCCO is a CBS owned station – what impact will CBS selling their radio division have on these great stations? CBS Radio is the second largest radio chain. They reach an estimated 70 million listeners nationwide each week. 117 stations in 26 markets. What is really interesting about this potential sale – is CBS radio isn’t deep in debt. In fact, their radio segment has a profit margin somewhere around 35% according to Forbes. We are hoping that these changes will help bring back more local and regional talent.

We are inclined to agree with Joan Warner, of Commercial Radio Australia “Radio will live on playing to our strengths – free to air, live, local, 24/7, sports, news, information, community – creating a real connection and engagement with the audience.”

Did you know CBS is considering this? What are your thoughts on this? And what is your favorite great radio station?wccowccosignwcconabaward2016wcco2

KGO Radio Announces Major Changes


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!

Decide for Yourself

We would love to tell you all the reasons you might enjoy the CC Skywave Radio, but our customers are so much better at it.


Sorensen – Much better than anticipated
Pros: Everything about this little jewel is Pro. I have been using this for past 6 months and nothing has disappointed. I also use to check on aviation weather at local airport before I got to fly our aircraft. As an added bonus the tonal quality is amazing for such a small unit.

Cons: No Cons that I can think of.

Best Uses: Both music and spoken word. Also very good for NOAA weather.

M Mooney – Great Emergency / Travel Radio
This feature packed radio best satisfied my need for an emergency type radio. I live in hurricane and tornado country, so the weather band was a must have feature during power outages. My Skywave arrived the same day as an expensive pair of Marshall earbuds. Although not perfect, the CCrane earbuds trounced the Marshalls in every way. Quality FM stations will have your toes tapping. Problem FM stations aren’t magically transformed into powerhouses…. …Skywave does a fine job with any reasonable signal. I can imagine others would like an external antenna connection. That’s fair, but this IS a pocket radio and not a full feature desktop entertainment system. About the only major item on my wish list for the Skywave would a rubberized Otterbox like case for the inevitable drops that will occur. Overall I am exceptionally pleased with this radio. It easily covers all of my must have features in a well thought out, compact package. I believe it would be the perfect answer for many people.

Pros: Size, Weather Band, Battery Strength Indicator, Signal Strength Indicator, Ability to charge [rechargeable] batteries, Handy Keyboard Lock, Quality Earbuds, Time and Radio Presets retained on battery change

Cons: Average Sensitivity, No AC Adapter, No Batteries, Built-in speaker sound

Best Uses: Beach, Boating, Hunting, Camping, Emergency, Natural Disaster

S Lowry – The Greatest
Went on the wait list for this one to be shipped as soon as available. I’ve had several Grundigs, Kaitos and others, but the Skywave trumps all, especially with the aviation band, battery efficiency, panel layout and more. Look at the other reviews: there are a lot of good reasons for so many 5 stars.

C Stacks – Better then expected! A big smile on my face.
6:30 PM yesterday attached 20 ft long wire and counted 58 readable shortwave stations. Also able to rcv aircraft from several airports with the radio’s antenna. C CRANE please make a Sky II that covers the HF ham frequencies!!!!

Pros: Great Reception on all bands, Does not drift, Speaker does a great job even better with head phones

Cons: None except ssb is missing

Best Uses: With me all the time

H Alexander – The Ultimate Travel Radio
After putting this radio through all the paces, I am convinced that it’s quite possibly the ultimate travel radio! I am particularly impressed with the performance of the AM and SW bands. And I really appreciate the precision offered with the thumbwheel volume control, as well. Thanks for another great product, my 6th purchase from CCrane. I have yet to be disappointed!

Sharonon – Worth it.
Now my father-in-law can listen to his baseball games inside and not have to drive to a clearing on the mountain’s side. Great buy and great price.

C Desmaraison – Buy this radio.
Reception is outstanding. I am in MA and am able to receive Beijing Radio International, Radio Romania and Radio Havana Cuba just to mention a few. I also use their 23 foot clip-on wire antenna to increase reception. Radio is easy use and has many useful features. C.Crane customer service is also outstanding. Buy this radio.

There you have it folks, a wide variety of different users and uses. If you aren’t sure if this is the right radio, contact us and we’d be happy to help you determine which radio is best for you. A good starting point is our article on “Buying the Right Radio for You”. Don’t forget, we offer a no risk 60 day money back guarantee on all of our radios!

Thanksgiving and Radio

The smell of turkey baking, pumpkin pie cooling and the faint sound of holiday jingles; that’s my idea of a Thanksgiving Day tradition. We all have our personal Thanksgiving Day traditions. Radio has its traditions too.

Radio host Rush Limbaugh has an annual tradition known as “The Real Story of Thanksgiving”, in which he gives his interpretation of the Thanksgiving story on his show the day before Thanksgiving. To find Rush on a radio station near you go to

Football plays an important role in many homes on Thanksgiving Day. Games play almost all day long featuring coverage of NFL and even College ball. I’ve personally heard people say, “Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same without a football game playing throughout the house”. Radio can have even more sports coverage than your television program, with highlights and play-by-plays from local hosts and announcers. Here’s a link to the NFL TV schedule since there are many licensing broadcast rights issues, you’ll want to check with your local radio station to see what’s being broadcast.

You can guarantee there will be at least one radio station that covers the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as well; a New York City Tradition since 1942. The announcement of the Santa Claus float at the end is an unofficial sign that Christmas is here. Do you hear the ringing of sleigh bells?

Old Time Radio programs are in high demand this time of year too. Stories of Burns and Allen’s “Gracie Buys a Live Turkey” and Gunsmoke’s “Turkey Shoot” will hopefully bring back fond Thanksgiving Day memories and help create new ones. offers a variety of Old Time Radio programs, you’re invited to check them out.

Whatever your tradition, the C. Crane family wishes you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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 .

Before You Give Up Listening To Radio – by Ken Hoffman, Columnist, Hoston Chronicle

Frankly, I had about given up on listening to the radio.

My favorite local sports talk show had turned into non-stop commercials for a weight loss clinic, with the host swearing, “I’ve lost 80 pounds in the past two weeks on the Speedy Diet Program, without exercise, and I’m eating hot fudge sundaes for breakfast, lunch and dinner! It’s unbelievable! The chicks won’t leave me alone on the beach!”

Yeah, right, and then the Speedy Diet Program folks get busted for insanely false advertising, and Mr. Ripped Talk Host puts the 80 pounds back on – plus 20 more for the pain and suffering he caused listeners.

My local news station had turned into a lunatic fringe political soap box. My favorite rock station flipped formats to some crazy language that only cab drivers understand.

It got so bad that I was using my clock radio as a … clock!

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I – gasp – started reading myself to sleep at night instead of listening to nationally syndicated kooks talking about Martians in Michigan. Nothing ever topped Larry King’s latenight show for putting me beddy-bye. C’mon, Larry, tell us that story about eating ice cream with Sandy Koufax again, for the 100th time, this week.

Just when I hit rock bottom and started ordering books on tape … I got a CC WiFi Internet Radio and put it on the night stand next to my bed.

Radio … I’m back, baby!

With this Internet radio, I’m not a prisoner of local radio’s Noah’s Ark strategy:  two talk stations, two sports stations, two rock stations, two country stations, two rap stations, two etc.

Now, I have the freedom to choose between, oh, about FIFTEEN THOUSAND STATIONS!

From across my hometown and around the world.

I’m a sports talk fan. I have two sports talk stations in my town, but I’m tired of hearing if the local baseball team has enough bullpen pitching. We’re in last place. Who cares? On this team, the “closer,” is the guy who turns out the lights after fans leave in the seventh inning.

With my CC WiFi Internet Radio, I get (ready for this?) – 1,012 sports talk stations spanning the globe. Last July, I listened to a London sports station talking about Andy Murray’s chances of winning Wimbledon. During the Olympics, you should have heard the stations in Jamaica bragging on Usain Bolt.

Whenever something happens, anywhere in the world, I tune to that city’s news/talk station and get the straight scoop from people who know what they’re talking about. There are 1,029 news stations and 661 news talk stations on Internet radio.

I listened to the news station in New Orleans during Hurricane Isaac. I heard real stories about the storm from local reporters, not some clueless New York hack sent by the network.

“Local officials say you should stay out of standing water because there may be snakes in there, plus you could be injured by an electrical shock. It’s very dangerous. This is news ace Geraldo Crackerjack, reporting from the middle of a flooded street!”

Smart, real smart.

I like classic rock. I’m a Beatles freak. Love the music from the ‘60s and ‘70s. Instead of listening to my local rock stations play the same 20 songs over and over, (Stairway to Heaven again?) I hit “Genre” on my Internet radio, and choose from, take a deep breath …

408 classic rock stations.

206 stations playing ‘60s music.

309 stations playing ‘70s hits.

959 stations playing the oldies.

I can even narrow down where I want to hear my ‘60s hits from – I usually go to London or Liverpool stations.  There are nine stations that play nothing but Beatles songs 24 hours a day.

You want some fun? Tune in a reggae station from Montego Bay, mon.

You want even more fun? Tune in a Pittsburgh sports station the night after the Steelers lose. Better make sure your smoke detector works. Those Steeler fans take their football pretty serious.

The sound from my Internet radio is clearer than my old clock radio. There’s a sports station in my city that I enjoy. But the weak signal and static made it unbearable to listen to, and I can practically see the station’s antenna from my house.

On my Internet radio, the station comes in crystal clear.

My local ESPN radio affiliate pre-empts the Scott Van Pelt Show for a local afternoon bozo. Local advertising makes the station more money that carrying the network. Now I click on ESPN on my Internet radio and get Van Pelt.

My Internet radio is a full service receiver. It’s got a night light, clock, alarm and full rich sound. I use it just like my old clock radio. When I go to bed, the radio sits on a night stand about two feet from my head. I imagine this is how most people use their WiFi Internet Radio.

Yet it comes with a remote control.

How lazy do the C. Crane people think I am?

Ken Hoffman

Columnist, Houston Chronicle