Tuesday, January 25, 2000

Older adults' WMKV-FM going on Web




BY MARK SCHMETZER
Enquirer Contributor

        SPRINGDALE — WMKV-FM doesn't have the power of some local radio stations, ' but it soon will be able to reach a worldwide audience.

        Make that a World Wide Web audience.

        WMKV, which has its 440-watt transmitter in Reading and operates out of Maple Knoll Village on Springfield Pike, is close to establishing an Internet site that will allow folks to listen to the station on their properly equipped personal computers.

        “We're always looking for ways to reach out to areas where they can't get our signal,” said general manager Alan Bayowski. “By going on the Internet, we can be as strong as any station in the world.”

        WMKV (the last three letters stand for Maple Knoll Village), 89.3 on the FM dial, went on the air in 1995 on the last FM radio frequency available in this market, Mr. Bayowski said. The frequency previously was used by the Reading High School station. WMKV's format focuses on older adults, from nostalgia to big band and jazz music to interview shows featuring health and financial advice.

        The station slogan: “The way radio was meant to be!”

        “What we see as our mission is taking the music that people love and making it available again,” Mr. Bayowski said.

        WMKV, which also can be heard on local Time Warner community access cable channels, received a $75,000 grant from the Bahmann Foundation to cover the costs of getting on the Internet. The foundation also sponsors Everybody's Planning Hour, a one-hour show that covers topics of interest to older adults.

        Besides listening to WMKV's live programming, folks will be able to replay programs that were previously aired.

        Mr. Bayowski is hoping that the largest possible audience will be able to reach the member-supported public station, some with contributions.

        They don't have to be financial, he added. “Somebody in, say, England could record a program for us and download it.” The station is still waiting for the installation of a direct line to the Internet provider's offices in Maine, Mr. Bayowski said.

        “I wish I could give you a date” for the Web debut, he said. “I'm hoping it will be February.”

       



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