Preparing for the Future of Radio

105.7 FM is an emerging station serving Nevada City and Grass Valley listeners a well-curated, multimedia experience aimed to engage the next generation of radio listeners and makers. It is a split format station featuring local news and public affairs in the morning and music from KVMRx in the afternoons and evenings. The music programming aims to highlight new music from smaller indie labels and will embrace music discovery.  The news and public affairs are narrative-driven, interactive, underground and youth focused.

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According to Sally Kane, CEO of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, “This is a time of passing the torch in public media, not only to a new generation listeners but a new generation of leaders. I am watching a sea change in the industry that gives me a lot of hope for the future of community radio. Its legacy of authentic local service is only getting stronger and more powerful as people turn their attention to home in the face of complex global issues. There is power and agency in that shift that will carry community radio forward and redefine its relevance.” 

 

General manager Lightfoot believes that 105.7 will allow for younger community members to take leadership roles in the areas of radio production, digital and social media.  More pre-produced radio pieces will be showcased while the main signal at 89.5 will remain live and in the moment. KVMR’s main signal at 89.5 has never been automated.  This keeps KVMR current and connected to our community and allows us to respond to emergencies in real time. But produced content has become an extremely popular form of radio over the past 5 years with the success of podcasts. There is a real art to telling a story with sound and 105.7FM is interested in exploring that aspect of radio production.

The 105.7 steering committee is looking for ways to create more multi-media and interactive content. 60% of Millennials now use two or more apps for streaming and 37%  percent of Millennials reported listening to podcasts at least once a week and persons 18-34 are almost three times more likely to listen to podcasts daily. Nearly 90% of Millennials surveyed in 2018 also said they listen to radio every week.  “KVMR may not be the station they are tuning into yet,” says Lightfoot, “but I believe that will change when they are invested in creating some of its content and deciding its future.”

 

To create the programming for this new station,  KVMR will form new partnerships and collaborations with community organizations like Auburn Hip Hop Congress, The Sierra Storytelling Festival, The Academy of Expeditionary Learning and more. The group is seeking narrative driven content and hopes to explore local culture through broadcast of literary and storytelling events, radio theater and poetry. Another main component for the project is to host youth journalism camps and offer training to the community on interview technique and story structure for serial podcasts. 

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