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July 27, 2018 10:49 am  #1

Hyper Local Radio Station Coming To Kitchener

Further to another recent thread about local vs. network comes word that a Kitchener area man is planning to launch his own digital radio station. But this one won't be just another music outlet that anyone might want to listen to. Instead, it may be the first one aimed solely at a single neighbourhood. 

From the Waterloo Record:

"...the project aims to run a digital radio station 24 hours a day, seven days a week, focused on issues, events, people and music in the Midtown area of Kitchener — roughly defined as the area just northwest of the downtown, between Victoria and Union streets.

"The group is still working out the details about what the radio station will broadcast, [Kitchener resident David] Harmes said. "It'll be commercial-free, it will play music, there'll be little bits of community information, hyperlocal type of stuff about development, activities and events that are happening in Midtown."

I've heard that radio should be local, but this might be a bit much. I really wonder how many residents of its intended audience will actually ever listen to it when it launches in the fall?

A really, really local radio station


July 27, 2018 11:03 am  #2

Re: Hyper Local Radio Station Coming To Kitchener

I'd like to see radio steal a concept from telecommunications. We may have to turn back time, and there'd be heaps of opposition from conventional broadcasters, but I think the idea would really enrich the listening experience. I'll explain...

Allocate one FM frequency for unlicensed operation. Limit ERP to say, 1-5 watts. I'd throw a wild card in by stipulating no limits on antenna height (yup, it could get a little crazy in cities like Toronto and Vancouver but that's okay). No regulations on content beyond whatever societal mechanisms are in place now around copyright and hate speech etc.

I haven't kept up to date but I assume 87.7 MHz is clear across Canada now. Saul would know.

What to do about co-channel interference? FM by its very nature has something called the capture effect. The capture effect would help define a station's service area.

Who's this for? People who want to play radio for the love of radio. People who love radio but are discouraged by an archaic, bureaucratic regulatory system that seems to only protect the largest players. This concept isn't about making money - although personally I'd have no issue with someone using this frequency for local advertising - just as our neighborhood newspapers once did.

Last edited by Tim Brown 2016 (July 27, 2018 11:38 am)