Small, Local Station? Uniqueness is Priceless!
Edgewater Gold Radio is a local internet only radio station here in southern Delaware. Our audience is very diverse and covers all of the US and Canada and the world. I mentioned this before. The way I keep a local flavor is offer local weather, transportation information and information about local events. These features can be offered as part of our 24 hour music format. The key to retaining an international audience is to not stop the music for too long because many listeners are from outside the state of Delaware. I always keep in the back of my mind that our listeners are mainly listening for the music. So airing a talk show will NEVER happen as it will alienate most of our listeners and we never want to do that. Local information is kept very brief and offered in between songs, Our weather is done before a commercial break as well as transportation information. We always try to keep it as brief as possible. The music needs to flow.
On a local FM station, the audience is primary local residents. If done carefully, they can air various talk shows as well as music. I do feel that the audience needs to know which talk shows are airing and when. A program schedule should be make available around town displaying the title, time and nature of these shows. They need to do more imaging. Most LPFM's seem to lack effective imaging and I can't quite figure out why. They also need an effective slogan---not just call letters---what are they doing? The audience needs to know!
Lastly,music should be specialized. I'm talking about low power FM's that have a very limited signal reach. Too many offer pop music covering several decades but in my opinion, that isn't going to keep me tuned in. LPFM's should not cater to a younger audience because they aren't the ones that are listening!! Older locals are the ones they're should concentrate on. Play a specialty format like standards, jazz, classic country, some kind of rock etc. Music that is not really heard anywhere else. Remember, LPFM's will NEVER have huge ratings! So why bother with music found everywhere else?? There's a LPFM located in Millsboro, Delaware. They do lots of things wrong but the one thing they do right is offer a do-op oldies format and have some live DJ's playing music that I've never heard before from the 50s. That keeps me tuned in.
Uniqueness is priceless in radio today!