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West Central, Michigan

Friday, September 27, 2013


It started just like any other morning for the Friday "round table" show. Coffee, yawns, a few songs, and the usual cast of characters logging onto our AM stereo webstream. CBS news, weather, the usual elements that make a morning routine on AM stereo 1430.

Then, came the magic.  One international listener. Then another. Before we knew it, the board had a handful of very INTERESTING areas listening.  One had to wonder why. (L) It's happened before, (R) but in the world there are literally MILLIONS of choices in audio entertainment!  We're always happy to be chosen!

But this morning was different.  Before our show was over, we had interaction!  E-mails from England! E-mail from a "radio" oriented chat room  and international discussion of "B" movies!  I had brought up the topic of "Attack of the Killer Refrigerator" after my co-host Bill talked about his noisy, over-iced kitchen appliance, and that spurred the chatting, and even more LISTENING to our AM stereo stream. It even brought up another "B" movie of similar title, "Nudist Colony of the Dead" by one of the listeners. As a collector of "B" movies, I'm proud to say I've missed that one, entirely.

We made some friends this morning, some from far away countries and locations!  But, the one thing that we all had in common was a love of RADIO. The kind of radio that WION delivers. Local, Interesting, sometimes corny, many times odd, but definitely UNIQUE.  To US it was a normal morning. To one of our listeners to the stream, it was their dose of healthy laughter. (I was once told that two people in the same seats, doing NOTHING, but one honestly laughing from deep down compared will find the laughing one gets 11 times the exercise of the other, and is healthier)  One line from the chat-room today said, "I don't think I've laughed this much to radio before" which is a huge compliment to us.  In-between discussing "B" movies which will be more discussed NEXT Friday, the conversation went to how  the internet has really made the world a smaller place.  If we'd had it in the library of our computer (not to mention the proper music licensing, what a pain in the royal donkey THOSE people are) we were just corny and campy enough to have played Disney's  "It's a small world"...but.....we didn't.

Is it earth-shattering that we had far away listeners?  NO.  Is it going to bring those people to Ionia to buy from our advertisers?  Probably not.  But, is  WION  putting MY town on the map in a GOOD WAY this week?  Definitely!

We're just a small, average bedroom community. We don't have the world's largest Fork in the road, or the world's longest breakfast table, or the world's ANYTHING that I'm aware of. But, we do have ourselves. A nice town, seat to a nice county in Michigan, USA.  And, if WION is seen by the larger world as having a very unique radio station which chooses to perpetuate the INCREDIBLE sound of AM stereo, and it
spreads via internet chat rooms, I guess WION is doing it's job as an ambassador to it's city of license.

I found it personally exciting to be in communication with people around the world who were literally "tuned-in" to us via a real AM stereo receiver feeding our web-stream and apps.  It's a huge contrast to the days when WION could not be heard on low power south of it's own town's Main Street.  So, has today's tech-savvy world changed radio for the BETTER?  Absolutely!   Even one of our callers said "Good Morning" to HER "international audience" on our station. (she's a regular caller.)

Our example in this writing is not a case of "all eyes are on Ionia" as it was recently as when differences between people accelerate to violence and the BIG media comes to make us look bad from ONE isolated incident (which is about the only time they come to town)....but instead, we have  a case of the "little media" that makes our little town look GOOD in the world, and to those who enjoy GREAT radio.

I'd rather have it that way ANY day.

And that's OUR news of the week.
Join us next week as we talk "B" movies for October and Halloween!