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The reports of radio's demise have been greatly exaggerated.
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Tour East London’s Pirate Radio Scene in “Drowned City”

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 09:01

I’m delighted to keep stumbling upon video artifacts of pirate radio, like the 1970s Portland public access footage and 1990 shortwave pirate documentary I recently shared. Next up I’ve found a more contemporary documentary from 2014 looking at London’s pirate radio scene. The city has long been a hotbed of unlicensed radio activity, such that […]

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Alice’s Restaurant and more 2017 Thanksgiving Broadcasts

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 14:49

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, the wind up to the holiday season, which means that the annual ritual of tuning in to hear “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” on the radio is just around the corner. As I’ve been chronicling year after year and as we discussed on this week’s podcast, the classic 18 […]

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Podcast #117 – Soundwork: Preserving the Legacy of Radio, Podcasts (& Alice’s Restaurant)

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 04:01

“Podcasts are luring people into listening,” Jennifer Waits reports, quoting the esteemed radio scholar Susan Douglas, from her keynote address at the recent Radio Preservation Task Force conference in Washington DC. Jennifer also relays some important reasons for studying radio history shared at the conference, especially to help understand the present and plan for the […]

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Breaking News: Radio Lives

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 01:59

We’ve seen some press coverage in the last week or so highlighting radios survival and revival. Though this is not news to the Radio Survivor faithful—it’s also not fake news—and we think it’s still a good thing to track and take note of. Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger highlights eight (!) new low-power FM community stations […]

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More Indian sub-continent classical please

Sat, 11/18/2017 - 15:55

Coming out from a long Radio Survivor posting hiatus (apologies) and rummaging around for some good classical sounds, I have chanced on Sangeet – Classical Music from the Indian sub-continent, over at wonderful WPRB in Princeton, New Jersey. This morning (Saturday, November 18) the show gave its listeners a generous hit of the incomparable Ustad […]

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College Radio Watch: College Radio is Not in Decline, KUSF ‘Zine, and More News

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 08:40

Typically when I’m interviewed by the media about the state of college radio, there’s an underlying assumption by the writer or publication that college radio is in a state of decline. Frequently, I feel like I’m taking a defensive stance, pointing out that radio listenership is still high, that hundreds of college radio stations still […]

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Radio Station Visit #140 – Community Radio Station KLLG-LP in Willits, California

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 16:04

Mendocino County has a bounty of new community radio stations thanks to the recent low power FM (LPFM) application window and I was excited to get to visit one of those stations: KLLG-LP in Willits, California earlier this year. After spending the night near the coast, I headed inland, driving on a windy country road […]

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Meta-Radio: Radio Shows About the Medium

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 09:05

Radio shows about the medium itself have a long and storied history, from the early days of radio when the ability to receive distant audio signals over the air was a wonder in itself, to the contemporary shortwave scene, wherein atmospheric conditions and technical tips are subjects of interest. Of course, this year our own […]

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The FCC’s Legacy of Failure: Failure Then Gives Us More Failure Now

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 20:26

This Thursday, November 16, the Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote on an order on reconsideration that will radically alter the media ownership regulations that are enforced by the agency. The changes are substantial and include: The elimination of the Newspaper/Broadcast Cross-Ownership Rule The elimination of the Radio/Television Cross-Ownership Rule A revision to the […]

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Podcast #116 – Community Podcasting in Community Radio

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 20:05

We’ve talked about community podcasting on the show, now we want to connect the dots to community radio. The apparent ubiquity of public radio podcasts makes it seem like a podcast of a radio show is just automatic. But, in fact, turning terrestrial shows into consistent podcasts requires work and thoughtful planning behind the scenes. […]

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College Radio Watch: College Radio on TV, Radio Theater, and a Parade

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 08:39

After an enjoyable trip to Washington, D.C. for the Radio Preservation Task Force Conference, I’m back with my college radio news round-up. In addition to station profiles, college radio awards, and news of expansions (in studios and radio programs); it’s also radio drama season, with several schools doing new radio theater productions. Read on for […]

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Glimpse Behind the Scenes at Shortwave Pirate Radio in 1990

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 01:35

As I continue to mine the deeply embedded treasures of YouTube, I’ve dug up another diamond in the rough, a 27 year-old documentary on unlicensed shortwave broadcasting radio. Titled “Inside Pirate Radio,” this hour-long video visits the studio of Radio Wolf International during one broadcast, interspersed with an interview with Andrew Yoder, one of the […]

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Podcast #115 – The Federal Consolidation Commission

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 03:15

The Federal Communications Commission just proposed new ownership rules that would drastically loosen restrictions on broadcast station ownership limits. Prof. Christopher Terry from the University of Minnesota joins us again to help understand this proposal, and the threat to local journalism and broadcasting. He argues that it has be viewed in an historical context, with […]

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Tackling Creative Inertia with Broadcasting: Radio Cinéola

Sat, 11/04/2017 - 21:53

I just listened to the latest episode of The Quietus Hour featuring an interview with Matt Johnson, the principal behind the English post-punk band The The. Although Johnson largely put the band on hiatus—save some film soundtrack work—since its last formal release in 2000, I learned from the interview that on UK election day in […]

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The Spirit of Cassette Culture Lives on ‘No Pigeonholes Radio’

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 01:13

Decades before the invention of the MP3, the audiocassette, along with the home dubbing deck and four-track tape recorders, put the power to create and distribute recordings into the hands of anyone with the will to record. No longer reliant on record labels or the capital investment needed to rent studio time and press records, […]

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Podcast #114 – A Common Sense Approach to Unlicensed Broadcasting

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 16:20

Journalism professor John Anderson has been tracking the FCC’s enforcement of unlicensed radio for 20 years, and has seen the agency have little success, despite the periodic uptick in policing the airwaves, such as we’re seeing now. He suggests there are common sense approaches to managing the FM broadcast spectrum that would address the underlying […]

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Public Access TV Archive Documents 1970s Portland Pirate Radio

Sun, 10/29/2017 - 09:31

I just discovered this fascinating piece of video tape on YouTube, likely dating from the 1970s, documenting a pirate radio and television station operating in my neighborhood, Sunnyside, in Portland, OR. It’s part of an archive of tapes from an archive of The Video Access Project, digitized by the Oregon Historical Society. It’s truly a […]

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KUCR: The Movie

Sat, 10/28/2017 - 16:07

I am so looking forward to the completion of this documentary about KUCR-FM: the radio station of the University of California at Riverside. I have all kinds of fond memories of my stint as a Visiting Assistant Professor at UCR back in 2000. The best thing about that gig was getting to know and becoming […]

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College Radio Watch: Students in Public Radio, 1997 as Peak Indie, and More News

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 07:00

This week’s Radio Survivor Podcast is particularly inspiring for college radio, as we look more closely at how KUNV was able to remain under university control, largely due to its increased commitment to students. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas public radio station sought advice from Fordham University’s WFUV about engaging students as vital members […]

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The Joy of Finding Truly Local Commercial Radio (Yes, It Exists)

Tue, 10/24/2017 - 15:01

While we mostly celebrate non-commercial radio here at Radio Survivor, that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate commercial radio when done well. The problem is that in the 20 years since the 1996 Telecom Act grossly deregulated radio ownership, the quality of most commercial radio dropped precipitously, leaving many stations with very little local programming, with […]

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