Some people make use of personal FM modulators or transmitters to play their iPods, or send Internet radio streaming all around the house.
One Columbus radio station is using it the Internet to, well, provide actual programming content for the station...full-time.
It's been over one month since the liberal talk format returned to the Columbus airwaves, via the facilities of Bernard Radio's WVKO/1580 - which now being LMAed by a group called "Cowtown Communications". That group is headed up by veteran Columbus broadcast/sales executive Gary Richards.
The group felt the need to get on the air quickly from WKVO's new facility on Morse Road, so in early December, the liberal talk format popped up on 1580 with the help of Internet streaming audio.
That's right, WVKO's programming was delivered to the station by way of the official public Internet streams of the various syndicated programs - Air America's shows, Jones Radio's Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz, and the like.
That was late November, and for whatever reason, WVKO -still- uses this method to air programming on that old fashioned 1580 transmitter. We believe this may be related to the inability to properly aim satellite dishes from the station's studio facilities.
The lack of satellite reception equipment for over a month has also caused a temporary programming change at AM 1580 in Columbus.
WVKO has been airing Air America Radio's "The Young Turks" in morning drive recently, since they apparently can't bring up the web stream of Jones' Bill Press. That's right, a web stream has gone down, and it's changed the programming of an actual radio station!
This is ridiculous. Not only are interested listeners to the format in Columbus enduring AM radio static and Internet streaming audio for shows that should sound clearer, but the station actually has to change its schedule due to technical difficulties.
In brief listening to WVKO's web stream earlier, it appeared the station was on autopilot, running the Air America stream with frequent "You're listening on AirAmerica.com" liners. We also confirmed Friday from the station's web feed that "The Young Turks" was indeed being fed in the Press time slot in morning drive.
WVKO is able to insert local legal IDs, if the stream is any indication, and possibly commercial spots...though we didn't hear any in the time we checked in.
Is this any way to run a radio station in a market the size of Columbus? Are the Jones Radio people aware that at least one of their shows is not actually being aired because of this? (Jones' Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz haven't been affected on WVKO.)
Assuming the story we've heard about the station's studio location not being suitable to set up a satellite dish and get the proper view of the southern sky is true - why hasn't the station set up an alternate location for a dish?
We haven't been to the Morse Road transmitter facility since shortly before 1580 returned to the air. But we're pretty sure there's more than enough clearing for a satellite dish to sit there, aiming across Morse Road to the south...