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Aug 29

Dan Slentz
8/29/2014 3:15:00 PM 

I frequently exchange interesting websites with my old and new friends in radio and TV. Some sites might be broadcast related or a link to a great old video, while others might be a link to really cool new technology. Each week I share some of the more interesting sites and group them in these regular blog posts called “Off the Beaten Path.” For this episode of Off the Beaten Path … “Abandoned Radio.”

We start with this site called History’s Dumpster and some pics of abandoned radio stations. It’s sad to see these old stations in this state of disrepair.

Here’s Web Urbanist’s take on abandoned stations and their stories. There’s a few overlappers, but dig the cool Art Deco stations.

Plenty of buildings abandoned in Detroit so why not radio studios? Here’s a link to a YouTube video of WJLB/WMKZ’s former, now empty Detroit studios. It’s a ghostly image. Both stations are still around but under separate ownership.

Here’s a look at the original Crosley manufacturing building as it stands today in Cincinnati. Crosley was one of the first makers of quality consumer radio sets starting in 1920 with the “Harko.” Crosley also built WLW(AM) in Cincinnati, the original “clear channel” station. Like the early stories of radio (and the similar, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?”), the manufacturers started radio stations so people would buy the radio and would have something to hear. This eight-story building dates from 1929 and housed the manufacturing facility and the WLW studios (on the 8th floor).

And finally … a pirate hunt!

This is like a radio station TV detective series, or it probably could be. This fellow recorded himself chasing down a “pirate” station. This is no ordinary pirate station, either. Our detective has plenty to discuss (including how, at least with LPFM stations, a former pirate is excluded from applying for a station). He has a spectrum analyzer and certainly some background in broadcasting. There are 10 webisodes and the eventual surprise sign-on of a licensed station.

The first webisode begins with him in a car trying to track down “the pirate station.” I won’t spoil it by saying more, but these things will hook you into watching his story play out. Just a few little highlights: He’s a larger fellow who decides to climb a tower (at first, apparently without any harness). Oh, and he’s afraid of heights! There’s another episode involving a letter from the FCC about his activities, not the kind anyone ever wants to see. At times I felt like I was watching a car crash. Could this be a movie in the making? I certainly think it has potential. It’s called, “Hunting Pirate Radio.”

If you stumble across a good or unusual web site that might be of interest, please don’t hesitate to send me the link and any info you might have about it. My email address is dan_slentz@yahoo.com.

 

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