Wednesday August 12, 2009

Local Radio Returns to Port City

Internet Radio Provides New Medium For Local News
By Nate McDonald

    The new voice of Oswego comes not over the airwaves, but through fiber optic cable. Marv Kaminsky is on a mission to bring local radio, delivered by local personalities, back from the clutches of corporate consolidation, and has created RadioOswego.com to do just that.

    Kaminsky came to the city of Oswego at age 17 to attend SUNY Oswego, but quickly grew to love the city and its people. In fact, despite numerous moves all around the country, he has always since referred to Oswego as his hometown. A bout of homesickness prompted him to move back to Oswego from Kansas where he had been living for the past six years.

    “I figured it's incredibly risky, but let's see if we can approximate local radio on the Web,” he said.

    A self-described radio nut from a young age, he has accumulated many years of experience in the radio industry as on air personality at WSGO, WRVO, WSYR, WFBL and WSEN among others as well as experience as an advertising executive at other stations.

    “Back then, radio was a companion, a friend, not a circus with people barking at you rather than speaking to you like today,” he explained. “This is not unique to radio, there are all kinds of consolidation. This is the trend in nearly every industry today.”

    As a result, many local news items are overlooked as only the most sensational news from small towns and cities are reported. “It's that whole 'if it bleeds, it leads' mentality,” Kaminsky said.

    Kaminsky is offering an alternative. Every day around 7 a.m., he posts a local and national newscast as well as a daily almanac feature, a local weather update and some feature material. He has also enlisted the help of others to provide additional content, such as a softball report.

    “I want to do more,” he said. “I'm trying to do more, and stuff is in the works. Even now, what you're hearing takes a good 30 hours a week to produce.”

    While its relatively new status has prevented the program from acquiring legions of listeners, he has already built up a dedicated fan base, with listeners expressing their appreciation in such far flung locales as Belgium and the state of Georgia.

    Still, Kaminsky is fighting an uphill battle to restore radio to its roots.

    “I wish it would happen, but I don't see it. There is talk of low power stations and community radio, but the deck just seems so stacked against it. Maybe someday,” he said.

    It remains to be seen whether Radio Oswego will become a business enterprise. As of now, it is a labor of love, and Kaminsky said all are welcome to contact him about contributing content.

    “I would love to make all kinds of money from this, but it's a big question mark,” he said. “My primary job is finding a job. I'm incredibly proud, though. I think it (Radio Oswego) really fills a need in the community. This isn't about me, though, this is about the community”

    Those wishing to tune in can visit http://www.radiooswego.com/