No more Hope for 107.1 FM

On August 1, Hope radio will no longer be on 107.1 FM:

Pillar Of Fire Christian AC “Star 99.1” WAWZ Zarepath, NJ/New York is expanding its programming to Long Island on August 1.

Pillar of Fire will begin leasing Livingstone Broadcasting’s 107.1 WLIR-FM Hampton Bays and its network of translators across Long Island to expand its “uplifting music and personalities to a whole new audience of Christian music fans on Long Island” as “Star 107.1“. The stations currently broadcast Holding Out Hope Church’s “Hope Radio” programming.

I’d been wondering what would happen to Hope Radio, ever since they converted their sports station back to Christian programming and WLIX-LP started simulcasting on Hope’s other translators at 96.9 FM and 101.5 FM.  We’ll see what happens next after August 1.

A look back at WNEW-FM

I’d been hanging on to these links for a while, but I forgot to include them in my post about Dave Herman.  It’s a documentary called Airplay, by photographer Andrew Maclear.  It’s a nice time capsule of 1982, and you’ll get to match the faces with the voices of Scott Muni, Pete Fornatale, and Dave Herman.

Airplay (Part 1)

Airplay (Part 2)

Videos found via MediaTonic

Dave Herman

On May 28, 2014, former WNEW-FM DJ Dave Herman died:

Legendary New York DJ Dave Herman died behind bars Wednesday while awaiting federal trial on charges of trying to seduce a 6-year-old girl.

The 78-year-old ex-WNEW-FM morning man apparently suffered a fatal aneurysm inside the Essex County Jail in Newark, according to his lawyer, Marc Agnifilo.

His death brings a sad end to an even sadder story.  However, as RadioInsight points out, it’s his time in radio that is worth remembering:

Dave Herman will likely be remembered not for his radio legacy, but for his actions late in life. He’ll never get his trial in court, but has been judged by the court of public opinion. Regardless of whether you believe him to be innocent or guilty of the charges levied against him, there is a radio legacy worth remembering.

You can read more about his decades-long radio history (with stops at WMMR, WABC-FM, and WNEW-FM) at RadioInsight, but I’d like to bring up one personal memory here.

When Dave Herman was at WNEW-FM, he would play an album side (now that vinyl is fashionable again, the term “album side” isn’t as antiquated as it used to be).  He’d play all the tracks on one side of an album, leaving in any silence between the gaps.  I looked forward to those album sides, heard The Who Sell Out, and got turned on to Jimi Hendrix.  One day he put on Side D of Electric Ladyland, and I heard something pretty amazing.  In the mid-1980s, I was familiar with computers and the sounds they could produce, and when the needle got to “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” I could hardly believe this was recorded back in the 1960s, way before the Commodore 64 was invented.  I thought this was amazing, and immediately I was hooked.  The rest, as they say, is history…

Frequencies to Watch: FM 97.5 and 98.3, AM 1370 and 1100

When it comes to Long Island radio ratings, WALK-FM 97.5 is an 800 lb. gorilla.  You kind of have to take notice when something happens to it, and there’s definitely something happening.  Connoisseur is going to take ownership of WALK-FM & AM:

Qantum, led by Frank Osborn, will swap its 29 stations in five markets to Clear Channel for the Aloha Station Trust held Standards 1370 WALK and AC 97.5 WALK-FM Patchouge, NY. Qantum will then turn around and sell the two Long Island stations to Connoisseur Media. They will join a cluster that already includes Rock “94.3 The Shark” WWSK, AC “K98.3” WKJY, Classic Hits “B103” WBZO, and Standards 1100 WHLI.

In the words of George Takei, “Oh myyy!”

Speculation time: what’s going to happen when WALK FM & AM become part of Connoisseur?

Musically, there’s a lot of overlap between WALK-FM and WKJY (K-98.3).  It’s quite possible that a format flip is in the future for 98.3, but flip to what?  94.3 already covers 90′s to now rock, 103.1 is classic hits, another rock-based format might not (or might?) be in the cards.   In the Nassau-Suffolk April 2014 ratings, WALK-FM is ahead of WKJY by quite a margin, but WLTW in between the both of them (although nearer to WKJY than to WALK-FM).

The AM side is in a somewhat similar situation.  Musically, WALK-AM (AM 1370) and WHLI (AM 1100) both overlap with their adult standards playlists.  Could there be a simulcast in the near future?  It’s not the first time 1100 simulcast with another station.  Some years ago, 740 (then WGSM) simulcast the 1100 signal, back when Barnstable was still around.

All we can do now is sit and wait, and (maybe) something will happen.

Does TuneIn need a social component?

TuneIn has been one of my favorite apps.  I often use it to listen to Indie 88 in Toronto, or WEHM if I have trouble with picking up 92.9 FM locally.  Now, TuneIn has added a social component:

TuneIn has rolled out a major update to its service adding a social layer to its streaming and on-demand platform.

Among the new features, any station a user has previously bookmarked on TuneIn has been converted into a follow. Stations can send out status updates, in this case called ‘echos’ to listeners.

Huh?  Is this social aspect really necessary?  I used to be able to mark a station as a favorite, so I can easily come back and listen to it again.  Now I’m following radio stations, the same way I follow Alyson Hannigan and Sarah Michelle Gellar on Twitter?

Why???

Well, if you play “follow the money,” you can see why:

In any case, just calling yourself a social network doesn’t mean that users are going to treat you like one. And while there are some very successful examples of social networks designed for a specific purpose — see Instagram — others have struggled, usually because that activity is already happening on Facebook or Twitter — see all the “second screen” talk-about-TV apps.

If it does work, then perhaps CEO John Donham will achieve his goal of attracting “hundreds of millions” of users. And if that happens, then TuneIn will have a better shot at generating real revenue, which is an issue for the company so far.

Okay, so now we know why they’ve done it, but we also have the issue of bringing eyeballs… or is that ears?  Anyhow, we also have the issue of bringing users to the TuneIn service so they can deliver advertising to a captive audience.

Let’s talk usability.  Have a look at my home screen of the TuneIn app:

tunein_home

“TuneIn is better with friends?”  Um, it was fine without friends.

Anyhow, you can see it has a Twitter-like feel, and shows me programming is on the radio stations I “follow.”  That is, only the stations that have programming added into the TuneIn database.  Those without programming info (I don’t see 94.3 The Shark) don’t show up in the home page.  That’s not good.  Makes me think stations I’m interested in are getting lost in the shuffle.

Now here’s my “following” list on my profile page:

tunein_profile

I marked these stations as favorites in the past.  This is the only way I can see all my “presets” and select one of them.  By “ignoring” the social component, I can use TuneIn the same way I’ve done before.  I’m already on Twitter, in fact I already follow some of these stations already on Twitter.  From an end-user point of view, there’s really no need for TuneIn to turn into a social network.  It remains to be seen what kind of return on investment TuneIn will get from this change.

I write things down, and you sometimes read them.

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