Some Early Morning Pondering
I sent a Letter To The Editor to The Gazette about the streaming situation locally. We have things like Conneaut CAT TV, Eagleville Bible Church streaming, and Geneva Church of Christ streaming already. We need a general streaming television service to cover all of Ohio’s largest rural county. We have the talent. We have the tech, relatively speaking. We lack funding and production space. With a “Letter To The Editor” the situation might get placed in front of eyeballs who might take an interest in the matter. Strangely enough I do have some sort of a readership locally when I manage to remember to write things for publication in The Gazette.
The list of radio stations on Wikipedia found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Ashtabula_Radio shows many stations that do not have local air talent routinely broadcasting live. Breaking it down in list form based upon the infobox on Wikipedia:
- KEC58 is NOAA Weather Radio which is computer-generated speech programmed out of the National Weather Service forecast office in Cleveland
- KZZ32 is NOAA Weather Radio which is computer-generated speech programmed out of the National Weather Service forecast office in Cleveland
- W210DP is a low-power FM translator situation on top of a residential high-rise in downtown Ashtabula City. W210DP relays the signal of NPR affiliate WYSU which is owned by Youngstown State University
- WCVJ acts as a translator of the Air1 service of Educational Media Foundation and there is no local air talent
- WFUN has no local air talent as it runs ESPN Radio 24/7
- WFXJ-FM has a classic rock DJ who is “voice tracked” and is not actually present live for the few hours of his shift while the rest of the time is covered by syndicated programming
- WGOJ acts generally as a translator for Bible Broadcasting Network and provides syndicated programming when there is nothing from BBN
- WKKY has DJs working live although it does sound like they’ve shifted partially to some voice-tracking and they do bring in some syndicated programming on the country formatted station
- WKSV is a translator for WKSU, the flagship station operated by Ideastream yet owned by Kent State University and is yet another NPR affiliate
- WMIH is a low-power translator for the Stations of the Cross network which provides “Catholic Radio” out of their headquarters in New York State
- WOHK is a translator for Educational Media Foundation’s K-Love network has no local staff in Ashtabula County
- WVMU is a translator for Moody Radio Cleveland and has no local staff in Ashtabula County
- WREO-FM works out of studios in Mentor with occasional live shifts but mostly voice-tracking and some syndicated programming with the focus shifted toward Lake County even though the transmitted is located in Ashtabula County out on Jefferson Road
- WQGR is an Oldies station that is voice-tracked with syndicated programming too while being based out in Madison
- WWOW is based in Conneaut and airs mostly syndicated programming but occasionally airs local content that is focused on Conneaut
- WYBL is a country-formatted station that is voice-tracked and shares air talent with other Media One stations such as WFXJ
- WZOO-FM is a “Classic Hits” station with voice-tracked air talent and syndicated programming
There is not really anything like the local radio of old still in existence here in Ashtabula County. If people need prompt weather warnings they truly need a radio capable of receiving NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts. The AM/FM broadcast stations likely do not have anybody at home at the “stations”. Some of those stations have no local studios and are just secured equipment cabinets in blockhouses in fields translating signals from elsewhere.
Yes, producing content is expensive. There is a need for good content to serve local information needs. You can get plenty of crap for free on Facebook that can prove rather useless. In a world where QAnon still exists as well as other violent groups that organize online there remains a need for communities like my own to have ways to promptly report the news and keep each other in the loop. The Star Beacon is getting thinner and thinner in its print page count. The weeklies from Gazette Newspapers only come out once per week. With no real human attention from the radio stations and our “local” television stations having such huge territories to cover we got lost in the din.
What I don’t want to do is hit the point of giving up due to hopelessness. That’s incredibly easy to do in this town. Step by step we may yet see some positive change in this area, I hope.