Digital-first radio

Radio Tomorrow with James Cridland

It was great to see recently a story about Andover Radio, which is going on-air next month in the South of England.

The story, in the Earshot radio production blog, highlights how this radio station is getting on-air: by going digital first.

Like any good local community radio, it has plenty of local community news: and it’s started by producing an excellent website, full of local news and information. It’s called, simply, Love Andover. And, yes, that’s also a great positioning statement for the radio station.

Neatly, it’s already organised a large local event that attracted over 14,000 people; all without, yet, being on-air.

Getting great content and using it across every platform is the clear future for any good radio station, and Andover Radio is clearly understanding where they see the future.

Particularly, marrying radio and the internet makes great sense.

Radio delivers emotion and immediacy. It’s a great way of getting a mass audience. The internet is a great way to deliver detailed information, visual information, and permanence. Curiously, it delivers the very things that aren’t radio’s strengths – so they work together very well indeed.

This story is a good example of how to become famous in your area – not for a stunt, or for a crappy competition, or for hilariously playing the same song on repeat for 48 hours, but for delivering what you want your radio station to be famous for: for great local information and for being a local station. You should read it.

From the sleepy South of England to the snowy Adirondacks in northern New York state, there’s another example of a digital-first radio station. This one’s called Lake FM, a radio station that you can hear online right now, and hopefully on 102.1FM if the FCC approve it.

As the Adirondack Daily Enterprise reports, a station called WRGR has been purchased by Border Media, a company owned by a European couple – Hanna Kaleta, from Poland, and her husband Ricki Lee, a Brit. They’ve a great-looking website, including what’s on information and more; and a great, upbeat sounding stream – with a chirpy voice explaining that they’d love to be on 102.1 FM. As a European couple, though, they need to petition the FCC to let them; and the website, of course, contains details of how you can help.

Great-sounding radio includes great looking digital elements too, and it’s great to see two examples of stations using the benefit of the internet to get going faster.


About The Author

James Cridland, the radio futurologist, is a conference speaker, writer and consultant. He runs the media information website and helps organise the yearly Next Radio conference. He also publishes, a daily briefing on podcasting and on-demand, and writes a weekly international radio trends newsletter, at

Contact James at [email protected] or @jamescridland