Kevin Thomas is the owner of WDKC(FM) “KC101 FM” in Pennsylvania’s Tioga County, a station where radio spots cost only a few dollars and the biggest community in the coverage area consists of a few thousand residents.
He’d like Radio World to share more tricks and “hacks” to help broadcasters in tiny markets.
“All small-market stations have unique inventions,” he said, and cited a few of his own.
“For example I have learned that if you offer a gas station $100 of free ads to ask every customer for a what station they’re listening to, you’ll get a sample size of more than 500 and a gas station owner who is not only going to run ads on your station but who understands that your audience is their customer.”
WDKC also started bringing a portable MP3 recorder to its events and offering a free T-shirt to anyone who voices a listener liner. It now has a library of more than 400 local listeners on the station voicing liners.
“We also just started a new program where we interview the oldest residents of our county each Saturday morning about life in the 1930s and ’40s. I wish that I had thought of it years ago.”
WDKC can even operate its on-air equipment on golf cart batteries in a power outage if necessary.
“Maybe do a series of articles, each featuring a small-market station and their favorite hacks to survive in this world — like how to know when to raise your rates or how to price 60-second ads versus :30s. Where to find voice track talent and how to train them (we work with our local theater group). An introduction to mic processing, or comparing studio consoles that cost under $1,000.”
Let’s help Kevin. What tips or hacks have you used to succeed as a small-market broadcaster? Email [email protected] with “Station Hacks” in the subject line.