Roundhouse Radio going silent April 30

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Roundhouse Radio going silent April 30

Postby radiofan » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:15 pm

Roundhouse Radio 98.3FM is going off the air as of April 30th
By Bob Kronbauer - April 16, 2018


It was just announced that Roundhouse Radio 98.3FM will be going off the air as of April 30th, 2018.

The independent station brought a refreshing collective of voices to Vancouver’s airwaves over the past two and a half years, broadcasting a variety of different perspectives and countless community stories from their studio in Railtown.

Once employing more than 30 people, as Janice Ungaro and Cory Ashworth broke the news on their show they noted that it was hard for the station to compete with corporate competitors.

The pair went on to speculate that the decision by directors and investors (which was brought to the staff today) was made because they “can’t keep up” as an independent.

Ungaro made a point of saying how “stoked” she was to have been a part of something that was truly independent, where they were given a lot of leeway to speak freely and share stories that might not be heard elsewhere.

They stayed true to their “Our City, Your Voice” mandate and will certainly be missed when they shut down at the end of this month.

We’ve reached out to station manager Don Shafer for comment and will share more news as we receive it.

https://www.vancouverisawesome.com/2018 ... ting-down/
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Re: Roundhouse Radio going silent April 30

Postby CubbyCam » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:34 pm

Sad, but not unexpected news... Having been part of a very similar experiment with CJAZ in 1980... I know how critical a strong signal is to gaining a foothold... Thanks for the good work... all involved. A tough one, for sure.
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Re: Roundhouse Radio going silent April 30

Postby radiofan » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:51 pm

To quote John Lennon: "The Dream Is Over"
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Re: Roundhouse Radio going silent April 30

Postby Tom Jeffries » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:53 pm

".............Bank of Montreal on line one....."
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Re: Roundhouse Radio going silent April 30

Postby groundskeeper willy » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:55 pm

Pretty much impossible to make a go of it, financially, with such a low power transmitter. Kudos to Don and his staff for making the effort, tho.

Hmmm, but wouldn't it be interesting if, let's say on May 1st, a certain frequency on the AM band, somewhere around 1410, y'know, the one that's rumoured to be making some sort of format flip, suddenly becomes the new home for a new incarnation of Roundhouse Radio? Just wonderin'....
Last edited by groundskeeper willy on Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Roundhouse Radio going silent April 30

Postby Richard Skelly » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:56 pm

Sad for those facing unemployment. Points to Don Shafer for daring to think big.

But some executive decisions were baffling...such as not archiving Coast To Coast AM for a week or so as CKNW previously had done. I called the station in January with that suggestion. Last time I looked, still no C2C on archive.

I also royally pissed off one Roundhouse supporter (who shall go unnamed) because I emailed George Noory and Coast to explain that their program was now only available to a much smaller percentage of Lower Mainland terrestrial listeners due to Roundhouse’s limited FM signal. I suggested Coast urge Bell to seek a boost in Roundhouse’s signal or give Premier Networks a waiver to syndicate to another Lower Mainland station. For what it’s worth, no one from Coast ever responded with even a confirmation of receipt.

Oh well, most likely C2C will end up back where it began in Vancouver...on 1410.

And again condolences for those displaced. They include some very talented broadcasters.
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Re: Roundhouse Radio going silent April 30

Postby kal » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:43 pm

Here's an excerpt from Kirk Lapointe's FB post on the matter:

I'm terribly sorry to report that the Board of Directors at Roundhouse Radio 98.3 FM has decided it will discontinue its financial support beyond April 30.
We were told at the station today that if new investment is not found, the local radio and online outlet will "go dark," as the broadcast saying goes.
It has been a great privilege to be a day-one host at the station. I didn't particularly love getting up at 4 to be the morning person, but I did love what I could discuss. My evening show permitted me to stretch some discussions a bit, and the hour-long Business in Vancouver show I now co-host with Tyler Orton and Hayley Woodin is the only local show with a focus on business.
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Re: Roundhouse Radio going silent April 30

Postby GrumpyOldMan » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:53 pm

Poor Jody Vance must wonder if she’s radio’s Grim Reaper. The days of acquiring licenses and trying to operate in the black with some kind of “unique” programming are over. Outside of the big communications companies, not many players are willing to take on struggling stations especially if the signals are weak. Shore 104 was fortunate that NewCap had room for an FM, but that might be the last of that kind of its kind in this city.
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Re: Roundhouse Radio going silent April 30

Postby tuned » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:13 pm

Trying to be a low budget clone of the CBC was a stupid idea. I suspect the principals all believed in the SJW cause without giving any thought to how they would sell ads. The station needed to be controversial to get noticed which means doing things other broadcasters aren't doing. The end result was a vanity radio station bankrolled by non-broadcasters with predictable results.
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Re: Roundhouse Radio going silent April 30

Postby ThisIsNotCBC » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:07 pm

tuned wrote:Trying to be a low budget clone of the CBC was a stupid idea. I suspect the principals all believed in the SJW cause without giving any thought to how they would sell ads. The station needed to be controversial to get noticed which means doing things other broadcasters aren't doing. The end result was a vanity radio station bankrolled by non-broadcasters with predictable results.


Station signal strength aside, I'm betting that the SJW approach to Roundhouse Radio only drew a tiny amount of listeners (probably the same type of audience that watched the now-defunct and little-lamented Viceland) that actually had interest in listening. Oh well... :dontknow:
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Re: Roundhouse Radio going silent April 30

Postby DirkSteele » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:33 am

tuned wrote:The end result was a vanity radio station bankrolled by non-broadcasters with predictable results.


It is sad to see since, on the creative/programming side, it was a working dream come true. The rebellion of the cookie cutter corporate radio machines. Staff that were bounced back on the air. A true philosophy of service with a leader who truly cared.

Then there are the realities. Because I had nothing better to do, I dug out their 2013 application. The financial numbers you present to the CRTC are always best case. I feel bad for the investors that gave it a go. Initial investment was all cash so hopefully no one lost their house. The business case for the entire venture was, in my opinion, very optimistic. I'm shocked that the CRTC stamped it in the first place.

........Revenue Expenses
Year 1 2.62M ... 3.32M (remember....27 staff at the launch so this may have been blown way over before the mics turned on)
Year 2 2.88M ... 3.30M
The full 7 year plan operated at forecast total loss of 1.3M

They started with 2.9M in operating cash from their investors. Forecast to spend just under 1M on the plant and pretty millwork, furniture and top tech gear in the studio. That's 2M in cash left over...1.3M of that forecast to be lost so you have only 700K for "oops". I never listened to hear sponsorships/inventory, but my guess is, they never came close to those revenue targets. Bottom line might be they burned through the cash for a 7 year business plan in 18 months because they couldn't sell a spot.

It's also possible that they did an excellent job selling the station hitting the targets but the investors just ran out of patience. Having no way to know, I try to be fair when I am being critical.

A dream come true for programming staff....unfortunately.....radio is a business.
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Re: Roundhouse Radio going silent April 30

Postby DirkSteele » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:29 am

DirkSteele wrote:(remember....27 staff at the launch so this may have been blown way over before the mics turned on)


whups. Make that 40 staff at the launch (from the Globe article). 27 on staff now. Wow.
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