The question I’m asked most often, well, the SECOND question most often (you really don’t want to know the first lol), is, “What the HELL is TSN?”
On May 10th of 2017, as I sat in my office in Ohio looking out at Billy Herbs Body Shop, with boxes all around me ready to put into storage, I began to plan the “next phase” of my life. I’d made a conscious decision to make changes in my life, and I began with what I THOUGHT would be a simple goal, to revive a radio station that had been dead for 8 years.
Now I grew up IN this radio station, beginning at age 11, and I really and truly thought I knew the market since it was my home. But I’d been away for 40 plus years, and things, and people had changed. Some of the names were the same, but it was the KIDS that I met, of the parent and grand parents that I’d known. Things were different, and I made mistakes that left me dazed and confused about this mission. In 100% honesty, it took me about a week and a half to get my crap together and turn it back around. For me, that’s horribly slow, generally speaking I’m upbeat, positive, and ready to roll. Again, in all honesty, it was more than the radio failure, there was a personal failure as well, and I sat in my stupor for a bit until I said, one day, screw this, I’m getting back on the horse.
Now there were, and are, a few naysayers. People, mostly, who couldn’t find their way out of a wet paper bag in you cut the hole and put a spotlight on so they could find it easily. That’s reality. Unteachable and intractable, bound and determined to make sure that everyone know that I’d made a mistake, and made it their life’s mission to destroy whatever might be left of my very soul.
They have failed….more importantly, they failed miserably, and I won. Why? Because I went high when they went low, and going low never wins, ESPECIALLY when you have not a single clue as to what the truth is, and you just make it up as you go along.
So there I sat, the 1st of March, just less than a year ago. I had tried, from December 4 2017 to February 24th, to get “my team” to go LIVE on air, and I just failed to make it happen. So I did it myself.
I’m a trained Broadcast Engineer, with a First Class (now General Class) FCC license, and the skillset to back it up. I built a studio, I put my years of experience to work, and I was LIVE on the 4th of March….and I’ve been live every day since. The station, WIPS, itself, has NEVER ONCE been OFF the air, since October of 2017, we’ve never missed ONE SINGLE DAY.
As time went by, I found people who had the same dream I did, and they joined our team. We built, and we kept on building.
Today, we own 11 radio stations across the Country, each with their own programming, each with their own listeners, and each with their own staff and process. Each day, Monday through Friday, we broadcast on all 11 stations, our live shows 9am to noon, and 9pm to midnight. We have two more network guys coming on board this Spring, and that will flesh out our live crew.
We added video, in multiple ways. Using High Definition Cameras capable of 4k Resolution, we built studios in Ticonderoga NY, Plattsburgh NY, Wichita Kansas, Phoenix Arizona, and a new one coming also in New York. These broadcast with audio and video, the same thing you see on my show every weekday morning.
Since we have radio and video combined, we called it RADIO VISION.
There are THREE RADIO VISION CHANNELS. ONE is on Facebook LIVE. One is on Periscope which is a Twitter project, and the third one utilizes TWITCH technology. Facebook brings the highest number of viewers typically, followed by Periscope, and then Twitch. We use all three technologies because, one, they are backups to one another, but two, because they bring distinctly DIFFERENT audiences. The Twitch format does not see a lot of folks yet, but they’ll come along.
The thing that is important to remember here, and WE tend to forget it ourselves, is that the video thing is NOT the important ingredient. Fun, sure, but hardly the “big dog” in the fight. Listeners at 11 Stations around the USA follow us daily, and the numbers keep growing.
Are we a “network?”
Sure we are, 11 of anything, grouped together, is SOME kind of network. Are we CNN? No. Are we trying to be? NO. We ARE a CNN affiliate, but that’s it.
We also produce newscasts, each and every day. Generally speaking, a 5 minute “cast” at 9am, 10am, 11am, and then 9pm, 10pm and 11pm. Our morning casts originate in our News Center in Phoenix Arizona, and our Evening News originates from the Cap Cities of Albany/Troy New York, from our studios there.
We also produce a morning Business and Financial Report, which again originates from our Phoenix Studio.
On the web, we produce a 24/7 News Feed that carries stories from 112 news sources covering 122 communities that we serve, across the country.
On Facebook, we have about 11,000 friend and followers. ON Linked In, we have just shy of 20,000 followers. On Instagram we sit at about 260 followers. Twitter, for us, is very small mostly because I put little or no effort into it, EXCEPT that, it ALSO carries our 24/7 news feed.
So the world moves on, and we move on, a daily grind that let’s us build on something that keeps changing as we go. A new venture in Chicago is coming online soon. A new Facility in Plattsburgh, and a new one in Schroon Lake New York. It all comes together, slowly, surely, and honestly.
What you probably DON’T know is, none of us, myself included, get paid anything to do all of this. Not one penny. Every “growth” has been personally financed and paid for, and all of our people work with passion, and determination, to build this into something different, something better, and something better.
The BIG picture is one of continued growth, more stations, more listeners, new ways to reach out and touch with our new media. I’d like to invite you to follow along.
C’ya on the radio.