WION as “I-1430” will have 12 years under it's belt come September 1st. A remarkable thing, given the state of (large) media today, and how many small market radio stations have shut down for lack of support around the United States. Actually, the amount of independently owned stations is scary, but each has it's merits.
Random thoughts begin here...
God must like WION, the lightning bolt sent our way in 2005 combined with excellent engineers both ours and independent helped us acquire a brand-new STEREO AM transmitter. Still sounds like new today.
Small towns are a great place to be a broadcaster. Where else can you mention something on the morning show and have people ask you about it at dinner downtown most every night of the week, or have your very own Christmas lights policy brought up at a City Council meeting? (or create the job of “Public Sniffer” for those days when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees and you don't want listeners offended by others?)
People help People via small town broadcasting. In our 12 years, we've given money to Bertha Brock Park from our advertisers. We've donated to Big Brothers/Big Sisters. We've raised awareness and more than TRIPLED the amount of boxes that get packed by the Blue Star Mothers at Christmas for our troops. We've held many successful food drives. We've been the voice for the county during large-scale ice storms that caused power outages, WION has promoted the Ionia County Historical Society, teamed with listeners to (unofficially but publicly) name the new pedestrian bridge over M-66 (“The Boss”) and, we succesfully recreated the 1939 radio version of Charles Dickens', “A Christmas Carol” five separate times, selling copies of our local voices playing the parts to raise money for charity. The list goes on and on. These are things small town broadcasters like our team can do when we have community support!
Now, in 2016, our 12th year, we add to the list that there is NO excuse for organizations to say, “no, I didn't contact the radio station about our event!” Not only do we have our (12 year old now) studio number with answering 24/7, our e-mail constantly posted on the web, and our social networking on Facebook and Twitter, but for the “domain challenged” who can't remember things, we added a simple G-mail account usable for anything, but aimed at a renewed relationship with local schools. Use it for sports scores you want announced, congratulations to students, teachers, programs, press releases for events, or ANYTHING school related. It's simple. It's G-mail it's: (sized for emphasis)
We also now have added a new phone number with voicemail boxes for the morning show, (Jim Carlyle) afternoon show (Garry Osborn) Friday nights (Popeye John) and others for our weekend feature show hosts. Please USE them. Take a moment to let us know how we're doing. Leave a compliment for Randy Edwards of Edwards' Archives, or for Barry Scott or Pastor Ken Harger in the weekend box. You could even compliment the producers of the Twilight Zone...yes....we know them well and will pass on your comments to them!
With the new voicemail, the original e-mails, an always-up website with the same address for 12 years, periodic ads in the Shopper's Guide, and our online presence, there's NO possible reason or excuse good enough to use that would justify not finding a way to tell us about your events. We STRONGY urge you to use any of our contact information to reach us for promoting. Some things we can do “free”..and some may require real “advertising”...but you won't know until you ask, now will you? In many cases, we match (add-to/donate) additional advertising for worthy causes.
12 years has given our small but hard working LOCAL team enough time to do some great things for you, like: Enlarging the AM signal. Adding an FM signal for 24/7 coverage in most of Ionia County. Improving the AM sound to STEREO, then streaming that AM Stereo on the web. Providing a FREE APP with no strings attached and no personal information asked of you. These are just some of the things that 12 years has done in public. We even maintain a generator onsite that automatically kicks in should the power grid fail. Some of the BIGGEST stations owned by BIG corporations don't do that anymore.
In celebration of 12 years of your local station being back on the air, The Ionia Area Chamber of Commerce invites members and WE invite the public to drop by on Thursday afternoon, September 1st from 4 to 6 pm. We'll offer tours of the studios and transmitter area, light refreshments, and we'll chat on the air about WION's 12 years, and with some chamber members about their businesses, too in what we borrow and call, “the lightning round” at our round table. After the open house, the Lamplight Grill has special 92-7 night listener pricing on some great food and beverages. They're our longest running advertiser!
Here's to more GREAT years in a small town with WION providing GREAT radio!