SXSW 2023 is a huge music, film and television festival that’s taking place March 10-19 in Austin, Texas,
Festival organizers describe it as “an essential destination for global professionals,” featuring “conference sessions, film and TV festival screenings, music festival showcases … and much more.”
As themed music events are held Monday through Saturday, Thursday, March 16th is designated Radio Day, and our own “SoCal Sound” (88.5 FM) will carry that day’s concerts live beginning at 10 a.m.
Each artist will perform for an hour, beginning with Bailen at 10:00, followed by Blondshell, Sunny War, Ron Gallo, Girl Scout, and Katie Toupin.
Can’t get the station clearly on your radio? It’s on smart speakers, all the smartphone apps as well as online, at thesocalsound.org.
Radio in the dashboard of cars has become a battleground between auto manufacturers and radio station owners. Not just for AM, which is being pushed out supposedly because of interference from internal electric car electronics. FM may be at risk as well, as carmakers look to push subscription services that allow radio apps receiving stations over the internet rather than the traditional airwaves. The thinking is that if AM can be replaced by apps, then FM can too because apps can receive FM station streams as easily as they receive AM streams.
The problem for radio stations is two-fold: people may not bother getting the apps, especially if they are difficult to use or the access to use them costs extra, and there are extra costs to stations running streams, including music licensing fees.
So some station owners are beginning to fight back. A recent article in the industry outlet Radio World highlighted the perspectives of Tom King, of Kintronics Labs — an expert on AM transmission and noise interference, Saul Levine, owner of K-Mozart (1260 AM) and Go Country (105.1 FM), Don Elliot, owner of Schwab Multimedia.
Essentially, the consensus among the three is that interference concerns are overblown, that there are easy fixes including special antenna setups, and that many electric cars do indeed have reliable AM radio reception without issue. Who benefits from the removal of AM from cars, Elliot asks? Certainly not listeners.
In a related move, broadcaster Neal Ardman has announced an initiative to force electric vehicle manufacturers to stop causing interference to the AM band, a problem I alluded to in a previous column. In a nutshell, if EVs cause enough interference to cause in-car reception problems, they are potentially creating interference outside the car as well … which is illegal.
Broadcasting stations, including radio and television, are a protected medium in part because of their use in emergency situations. AM stations in particular are often the hub of the emergency alert system. That brings up an important issue, as Ardman stated in a press release announcing his initiative: “EVs don’t just cause noise to the radios built into the EV they also cause harmful interference to the cars that are nearby.”
Adrian told Radio World that he hopes to work out an agreement without going to court, but that if a lawsuit is needed to protect the AM band from this interference, “we will do just that.”
“I liked your article today where you mention ‘The Woody Show.’ Another fun morning show is on KRTH 101 with Gary Bryan, Lisa Stanley and Brandon. They have listeners call in for various things and is so fun to hear. I’ve even called in a few times and have been on the radio with Gary Bryan! They do such a fun show and crack me up a lot! Always enjoy your column – especially when you talk about old-time radio from the ’60s and ’70s – my fun era of radio!” — Michele
50 years later, LA’s classic The Car Show radio program is still rolling along
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Absolutely! There are actually a few who still take advantage of phones when allowed, including afternoon drive hosts such as Kevin and Sluggo on KLOS (95.5 FM) and Booker and Stryker on Alt 98.7. It seems that some stations have finally rediscovered that entertainment between the records is often what makes a station win.
“I look forward to your Friday columns in the Daily Breeze and today’s was a good one. I’m a longtime listener of KPFK and enjoy The Car Show while running errands on Saturdays. If I wake up and don’t want to get out of bed I listen to the radio with headphones and check in to The Woody Show. It’s so much better than the (competition)” — Richard Graling, Redondo Beach
Here’s a little trivia regarding The Car Show … did you know that host Mark Vaughn graduated from San Pedro High? Yes, he is a local boy!
Richard Wagoner is a San Pedro freelance columnist. Email email@example.com