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Kchung Turntable

Podcast #74 – Radio Anarchy vs Order

Jennifer Waits brings us the voices of three programmers at a mysterious and chaotic community station with deep connections to the Los Angeles art scene. KCHUNG is an unlicensed part 15 AM radio station with about 40 station managers and extremely eclectic programming. Paul Riismandel wrote a series of articles, offering strongly worded advice for […]

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DJs in the on-air booth at college radio station KUCI. Photo: J. Waits

College Radio Watch: Holiday Radio Drama Season is Here and More News

In the past week, I’ve been amazed by the amount of Christmas music that is emanating from sound systems in the local businesses that I’ve been frequenting. Coffee shops, medical offices, shopping malls, and clothing stores have been some of the places where I’ve heard familiar holiday tunes. College radio is a mixed bag, with […]

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Public Access vs. Public Service – Addressing the Biggest Hidden Tension in Community Radio

One of the greatest tensions for community radio stations lies in the spectrum between public access and public service. Although this conflict may not be explicitly discussed, it implicitly affects every single programming decision. It’s time for this tension to be made explicit, and for stations to actively grapple with how to balance a focus […]

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Trapped in the Grid: Why Community Radio Risks Irrelevance

This is a transitional time for community radio, unprecedented in the medium’s more than 60-year history in the U.S. Thousands of new LPFM stations are going on the air bringing service to communities that never had community radio, or adding new services to supplement existing community stations. At the same time many community stations risk […]

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Preserving Audio That’s on Cassette

In my continuing quest to stay a step ahead of recording media degradation and obsolescence, I have undertaken the digitization of my remaining audiocassette collection. Last year I wrote about preserving my archive of interviews and air checks on minidisc, with the hope that the post would be informative and maybe compel some readers with […]

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William Mandel at the San Francisco HUAC hearing

Turn the lights on! What we can learn from KPFA’s Bill Mandel

William Mandel has died. Mandel broadcast over KPFA’s airwaves for almost half a century, offering commentaries on the now-defunct Soviet Union. He wrote books about the USSR, among them Soviet Women and Soviet but not Russian: the Other Peoples of the Soviet Union. He spoke at just about any public event at which someone would let him appear. He died […]

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Thanksgiving turkey. Photo: J. Waits

Tuning in to Alice’s Restaurant on the Radio on Thanksgiving 2016

Happy early Thanksgiving! After a particularly contentious Presidential election, many families are anxious about upcoming holiday gatherings. Some are banning political conversations, whereas others are setting ground rules for polite discourse. Perhaps the long-standing radio tradition of listening to Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant on Thanksgiving can serve as a welcome distraction, bringing families together to […]

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Podcast #72 – Pete Tridish Celebrates an LPFM Success Story

Pete Tridish works as a radio engineer, building low power and full power community radio stations. He initially did this work with Prometheus Radio Project and now with International Media Action. “Back when I was working with Prometheus Radio Project, which was a group that worked to expand the low power radio service and create […]

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