Nothing useful becomes obsolete. The ability to communicate has grown as exponentially as technology keeps building better, faster, and cheaper ways to share information. Yet, as long as people continue to use and justify a medium that still has value to them, it survives, allowing print to continue to coexist in the same world as the digital publishing revolution that was supposed to obliterate it. A more impressive act of long-term survival has been the persistence of broadcast radio. The medium has fended off the obsolescence threatening rise of home stereos, motion pictures, television, portable music players, satellite subscription radio, and the multi-faceted ability of the internet to perform many of the same functions. So, how is it that radio stations continue to strive in communities across the country in spite of the internet’s omnipresence? By maintaining something that most web pages are lacking in: a personal relationship with their audience. WROI 92.1 fm has been the steady voice of news, information, and entertainment in Fulton County since 1971, broadcasting from where now stands Centennial Park. In 1995, they moved to Eighth Street. Last year, the station was purchased by 3 Towers Broadcasting, LLC, and the new owners have done an enviable job of establishing a smooth transition between a built-in listening audience and the meeting the future needs of a format they have come to rely on. “Radio is credible,” said Scott Huber, Owner; “The information, the voices, and the excitement are from local individuals who live in the community, and we continue to put an emphasis on local news and sports.”
The challenge of maintaining a relationship with the longtime audience while attracting new listeners has led to some adjustments as the station does its best to keep up with evolving tastes and technology. The music format has shifted to a more contemporary selection without completely eliminating the classic tunes local audiences had become accustomed to via an all-new on-air automation playout system, and state-of-the-art stream and music scheduling software. The station’s new website at www.wroifm.com (which is linked from the landing page at www.giant.fm) and social media pages are kept current to help to keep the audience better informed on cyber platforms.
“We have hired multiple staff members and installed a new RTC phone system, and continue to upgrade our local facilities and equipment on almost a daily basis,” said Scott. “All of these changes have been done corporate wide in an effort to use technology and people in the best way we can to ‘super serve’ each community.”
One of the best ways to continue that service is to exercise their ability to be a part of the community itself. By broadcasting live local sporting events, late breaking news, public safety services like ‘Amber Alerts’ and tornado warnings, and the ability to participate in downtown events and visit the surrounding communities are just some of the visible reminders that the station is a trusted source that the community can rely on.
“Free and live radio is still, by far, the largest listening platform in the country, and radio and WROI will always be there when the community needs us!”