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Quick Hits: Death of radio; rise of pirate radio; and Microsoft shoots its radio-tuning app

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:

KGO and the Death of Radio: Everyone knows the changes which have affected (and in some cases afflicted) radio over the past 20 years. Deregulation of station ownership in 1996 was a turning point. Many have mourned the changed landscape, and some Internet radio purveyors have tried to bring truly local radio into some communities via pureplay webcasting. Very few personal histories are as vitriolic and heartfelt as this article by Claudia Lamb, who worked at KGO in San Francisco, and whose radio career stretches back to 1989.

The pirate radio challenge: Often broadcasting to ethnic groups that might be under-served by licensed broadcasters, pirate radio operators can put out a signal covering blocks or miles. It’s illegal, of course, and the unauthorized signals can interfere with licensed radio transmissions. The necessary equipment costs about $750, according to this article in Kansas.com.

Windows 10 Mobile drops its built-in FM tuner: While some phones do not have activated phone chips (they nearly all have the chip, sometimes dormant), Microsoft has decided to keep its chip active but deactivate the built-in tuner for the chip. This unusual decision comes as the entire platform struggles for recognition and survival in the Apple/Google mobile duopoly. An opportunity for NextRadio, a tuner app for phones with activated chips? Maybe, but not a big one, and the press around this is guiding people to TuneIn and iHeartRadio, plus third-party radio tuning apps.

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Brad Hill

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