Peachlandradio.com brings musical nostalgia online
A new Peachland radio station is giving its listeners golden oldies through a modern medium.
Describing Peachlandradio.com as "independent, grassroots, organic, free-range radio," general manager Allan Holender said the station will feature music from the 1920s to 1960s, a selection of cool jazz and intelligent, conversation radio.
"The demographics here are over 5,200 full-time residents in Peachland…2,800 of those are between the ages of 54 and 85," said Holender.
"I felt that we needed to cater to that audience, first and foremost."
Eventually, Holender plans to provide mainly "live and local" content, while the station plans to stay commercial-free.
Holender's passion for radio began at an early age. When he was 10 years old, his father set him up in the den of their house with a turntable and a microphone. Holender would then broadcast to his mother through a small speaker in the kitchen.
Since then, Holender has hosted radio programs in Canada and the United States and interviewed musicians such as Cal Tjader and Michael Bublé.
His professional career has spanned five decades and he has seen plenty of change during that time.
"I remember when we first got our licence for the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission). Four of us sat in a room together and said: Wow, we have an AM licence now—it's a licence to print money.
"That's changed dramatically."
According to Holender, terrestrial radio isn't dead, "it's just on life support."
Rather than invest in a radio tower and pay for additional costs associated with terrestrial radio, Holender said he is moving with the times by just broadcasting Peachlandradio.com music solely through the Internet.
"I'm 72, but I've moved into that digital frontier because I know this is where it's at."
The Internet-only approach Peachlandradio.com has taken is unique. Although most AM/FM stations also provide websites with online streaming features, Holender said he isn't aware of any other community radio station in Canada that only broadcasts online.
"There's been a lot of interest in a lot of the radio professional associations I belong to—they're tracking what we're doing."
Holender said he was motivated to create Peachlandradio.com after moving to the area and discovering there wasn't a local station.
"We've got a lot of support. We moved here in September and things have happened very quickly."
Peachlandradio.com began playing Christmas music last month as part of its pre-launch phase; currently, the website is playing recorded programming.
Although Peachlandradio.com is already up-and-running, a community event will take place in May to celebrate the online station's official launch.
"This is the new radio; it's unique. I'd love for people to give us a try and listen, and see if they like it."