Don’t try this format at home


A format aimed at bureaucrats won’t work just anywhere. But Bonneville International is celebrating the success of WFED-AM Federal News Radio. It’s heard on 1500 kHz in Washington, which used to be the home – the only home – of All News WTOP.

The format is now 10 years old. Bonneville is touting it as “the first and only radio station to start on the World Wide Web and migrate to a terrestrial signal.” It was able to take over WTOP’s old home as that venerable station moved over to the FM side.

WFED PD Lisa Wolfe said, “We were born during the dot com boom, survived the dot com bust, and have been a profitable venture since day one. We are the only radio station targeting a specific industry in our geographic area. In a market of 4 million people, roughly one quarter of the population in the DC Metro has ties to the federal government.”

In addition to news and information of interest to federal workers, the station carries play-by-play Washington Nationals baseball and Washington Capitals hockey.

RBR-TVBR observation: If this isn’t a locally-oriented format, than nothing is. Kudos to Bonneville for showing the way localism is done.

This is clearly something that would work only in Washington. The trick for everybody else is to find the unique niche that will only work were you happen to be.