Radio broadcasting has been rumored to be dying due to the emergence of satellite and Internet radio that can be personalized to listeners’ musical preferences. I thought this was true as well, but then I saw the statistics: radio reaches 90 percent of people each week, and 66 percent each day. There are 13,500 radio stations sprinkled throughout the U.S. that cover over 40 different formats. The top formats in radio today are country, news/talk, and pop/contemporary hit radio. At Cedar Valley Broadcasting we cover all of those formats and more.
I am an intern at Cedar Valley Broadcasting in Cedar Falls, Iowa. It is a family owned radio company, with eleven stations in Iowa. Three of the eleven stations are produced in Cedar Falls: KCVM 93.5 The Mix, KCNZ 1650 The Fan, and Cruisin’ KCFI 1250 and 105.1.
The first station I mentioned, 93.5 The Mix, is an adult contemporary station with a primary audience of women ages 25-54 years. 93.5 The Mix has also been recognized for multiple prestigious accolades. The station was presented with the Crystal Award four times and was also recognized as a small market finalist for the Marconi Award in 2013. The next station, 1650 The Fan is a male-skewing station, reaching out to men, ages 25-54. The Fan is our sports station and generally reaches out to those with higher incomes. The third station is Cruisin’ KCFI, a unique station that is the only station that plays a true oldies format in the market. A really neat program our station has to offer is the non-profit organization Magical Mix Kids, which was created to send chronically and terminally ill children and their families on a worry-free vacation to Walt Disney World. Between the three stations, there is something for everyone to enjoy, as Cedar Valley Broadcasting really has a wide variety of content to offer to its listeners.
As an intern at Cedar Valley Broadcasting, I have been given to opportunity to see behind a lot of the doors in the building. From observing the sales and promotions team to copywriting commercials to learning how to record radio shows, I have been exposed to many of the departments that allow these radio stations to run so smoothly. I was given the opportunity to help out the sales and promotions team by researching prospects that could be potential clients, and then going out into the field to speak with some of the business owners to try and set up a more formal appointment with them. I also learned to use the Radio Advertising Bureau website for other information when working on advertising pieces. I have also done some copywriting as well as voicing some of those commercials. I worked on designing the visual layout of packages for sponsors of “Teacher of the Month” and “The Magical Mix Kids Snowflake Express”.
In addition to all of the in-station activities that I have done, I also was able to hang out at the My Waterloo Days and Sturgis Falls festivals at the station booth, handing out freebies to the passers-by. At the end of August, I will work the Summer Jam event, which I am especially excited for! I really enjoy the broad variety of activities I have experienced in order to help myself obtain an idea of what I may want to do as a future career.
All in all, working at a radio station is not what I pictured myself doing this summer, but after being involved in the internship and being able to work with all of the great staff at the station, I can honestly say it was a spontaneous choice I am very happy to have made. I am learning more and more every day, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of my time at Cedar Valley Broadcasting has in store for me.
– Ali Holtz