Jim Ingstad is doing more than just talking about local radio – he is weaving it into the DNA of his newly-acquired station cluster in Yakima WA. Ingstad says that strong local content is the key to survival in the new digital world.
Ingstad bought the stations in Yakima and Tri-Cities WA out of bankruptcy from New Northwest Broadcasters, expressed enthusiasm about inherited leadership and then invested in the properties.
According to the Yakima Herald-Republic, one key change was locating studios in an many-windowed facility right in town where passersby can ee the group’s air talent in operation.
According to the article, the station inventory includes “…county stations KXDD-FM and KCTR-AM; oldies station Cherry FM (KARY-FM); variety hits station Bob FM (KRSE-FM); urban contemporary station Hot 99.7 (KHHK-FM); and talk radio station Talk 980 K-USA (KBBO-AM).”
Ingstad told the newspaper that his approach is the only one that makes sense in the face of new competition from satellite radio, internet radio and other distractions. It’s “local, local, local” or an existence as nothing more than a glorified jukebox.
YHR spoke with consultant Jon Quick, who was totally on board with Ingstad’s approach, which he said includes being live and local, investing in and nurturing a great staff and making a strong commitment to local news and community participation.
RBR-TVBR observation: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. There are certain aspects of the new alternative audio media with which AM and FM radio simply cannot compete. But where terrestrial radio shines is its ability to aggregate a significant local audience. This is radio’s home turf, and it must be vigorously defended if radio is to remain strong in the future, in our humble opinion. We commend Mr. Ingstad for his actions in Yakima, which are a credit to the entire radio industry.