NEWS

Streaming Bandwidth Options

Listening to the KOWS stream on the road? Internet reception can be a little tricky in areas where there’s public Wifi or you are using your phone data. Instead of a water main for our signal to flow through, it becomes more like it’s flowing through a straw. This causes dropouts and lags. A recent update to our player allows for the best reception no matter the size of the signal’s pipe. You can click on the LO/HI button on your iPhone or, if you’re using the browser, just click on the ‘Signal’ button on the bottom of the page and select Low or High.

A Fresh App Look

Our KOWS streaming app is moooving.

Beginning Wednesday, February 28, we are moving to a new app for streaming. This means that your KOWS app will no longer carry our broadcast. Instead, we will be streaming through the Radio Rethink app which you can download from the Apple App Store.  Just visit the App Store and search for Radio Rethink. Or, you can install it on your iPhone now using this link: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/radio-rethink/id6448702781

Radio Rethink is the ‘next wave’ of streaming radio, founded by volunteers in the Denver area with the goal of moving community and micro-community radio into the spotlight of the mobile media landscape. We’re excited to be a part of this vibrant radio eco-system which includes community radio brethren from around the country, including KMUD in Humboldt County, KVMR in Nevada City, WFMU, and Radio Free Brooklyn.

There are a number of reasons for the change, not least of which was the fact that we were being blocked outside of the US, UK and Canada with our previous carrier. With this new service, we will not have this geographic restriction and there are cost savings with this transition. Another of the many benefits of the move is that we will be able to share underwriter highlights from the app which, in addition to giving them more recognition, should aid in the recruitment of underwriters. There are also direct links to our ‘Donate Now’ button, schedule, and show pages. We’ll also be able to push out emergency notifications to listeners at any time.

For our listeners, it offers the following additional enhancements:

  1. Full schedule detail for the day
  2. The ability to look up an artist or host
  3. A direct link to the host show page
  4. In-app sharing on Facebook, X, or mail
  5. A direct link to our web page for donations/browsing

When you install Radio Rethink on your phone, there are a couple of ways you can ‘lock in’ KOWS as your default player. The app uses your GPS location which means that when you run Radio Rethink, and you’re in Sonoma County, KOWS should pop up at the top of the station list.

Once you open the app, there are a couple of ways to add KOWS radio to your mobile device:

  1. Follow the guided prompts to create a shortcut “Add to Home Screen” your phone.
  2. Or…. Make us a favorite. We’ll always come up.

Radio Rethink does not yet support Android but users can navigate to the link, tap the menu icon (3 dots in upper right-hand corner) and tap Add to home screen.

Older iPhones can still install the web page shortcut running Safari and sharing “Add To Home Screen” as illustrated below.

You will need to remove the old KOWS app from your phone. The Radio Rethink KOWS streaming app, however, is available to you now.

For desktop computers, there will be a new Radio Rethink player. You can sample it by clicking on the link below:
https://www.radiorethink.com/listen/kows/

We will be changing the KOWS Listen page to access the new link although you can preview it now by visiting the KOWS Listen page.

FM Signal – Temporary interruption

We have some important news to share with the Herd and our loyal listeners.

Beginning Sunday, December 5th, KOWS will temporarily suspend broadcasting from Occidental on 92.5 FM. Our hosts, the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, are repurposing the site where we’ve housed our antenna for over 14 years and we will be forever indebted to them for their generous community spirit, grace and patience.

The change will mean that our FM signal will be off-air for a short time. While we don’t have the exact date, we are hoping that we will be back on the FM airwaves by late December or early January while the licensing paperwork, internet and equipment relocation occurs. During that time, you will still be able to listen to us on the web at kowsfm.com/listen or you can also stream us on your smartphone using the KOWS app (which you can download to your smart device from that same web site).

Stay tuned. A bright future lies ahead.

The KOWS Steering Committee
Arnold Levine
Don Campau
Dave Stroud
Mark Hogan
Damien Olsen

Free KOWS App Store Player

We have some important news to share with our Herd members today. KOWS Community Radio is bolstering its streaming presence with a free app that listeners can download to their mobile devices. This means that you can stream us with one-click wherever you can get a phone call: on a hike, in your car, or just relaxing at home.

Keeping our message (and our broadcast signal) relevant and accessible has always been one of our guiding principles and we could not be more excited about this new app. We see this project as the first step in significantly extending our listenership in the regional community, building broader brand identity, and enhancing the reach of our Underwriters.
The KOWS app can be downloaded by visiting the Apple or Google App Stores and searching for KOWS.

You can find out more about the technical requirements at the App Store links.

You can install the KOWS app on your mobile device by clicking one of the links below.

 

KOWS.FM Link ‘Retired’

Many of our listeners have browser shortcuts, Favorites, and links they use to access KOWS so we felt that it was important to get the word out that if your link references KOWS.FM you will need to change that link to KOWSFM.COM. On April 28, the KOWS.FM link will be no more.

KOWS Community Radio relies on the kindness of our underwriters, listeners, the community ‘Herd’, and show hosts for ongoing support. Our decision to drop the KOWS.FM was one of financial austerity. We had been paying around $70 annually for the KOWS.FM domain in 2018. GoDaddy, a large corporate and might we term ‘infamous’ tech giant, acquired the rights of ownership to all .FM domains. Shortly thereafter domain costs more than doubled.

Because the increase was done at the last minute, we had no choice at the time but to pay out through April 2021 for the domain. In early 2019, our Steering Committee made the decision that we would need to drop the domain and, in its place, purchased rights to the domain KOWSFM.COM at a more reasonable cost of $16 annually. The decision was made knowing that there was nothing to prevent GoDaddy from continuing to take advantage of the situation year in and year out.

It was at that time that we chose to begin removing broadcast references to the old domain in favor of the new. With April 28th fast approaching, we are completing the task by replacing all of our literature, flyers, bumper stickers, and web content with the new KOWSFM.COM site name.

Thanks for your understanding and thanks for your ongoing support. If you have questions or issues connecting, please email Dave at kows@sonic.net.

KOWS Move to Santa Rosa

Dan Kerbein, co-host of the former KOWS show Radio Spotlight Magazinepublished an in-depth article about the history of KOWS, the meaning of the ‘community’ in community radio, and the recent move we made from Occidental to Sebastopol and then downtown Santa Rosa.  Check out the article and, at the same time, mark your calendars for an exciting ‘barnraising’ meet and greet being held at 3 Disciples Brewing in downtown Santa Rosa this coming Saturday, May 25th. It’s a fundraising effort with music from Matthew Montfort, Nate Lopez, Kym Trippsmith, and a host of others.

https://www.sonomacountygazette.com/sonoma-county-news/kows-fm-92-5-finds-good-grazing-in-santa-rosa

Palm Drive Acquisition Forum

On February 8, 2019, the League of Women Voters held a non-partisan forum on the topic of the proposed acquisition of Palm Drive Hospital by Modesto-based American Advanced Management Group. The following is a somewhat edited (for brevity) recording of the forum. A shorter version of this will be broadcast ahead of the March 5 vote.

A Call for Donations

KOWS Community Radio is a 501c3 non-profit radio station. We rely on our listeners to help support our mission of delivering unique and alternative programming that reflects our community. We don’t beat you over the head with on-air fund drives but we do have to reach out sometimes for an ‘ask’. Our move has stretched us a bit, so now’s a perfect time for you to make a difference!

Our funding sources come from our hosts, our underwriters, and YOU, the listener. We’re reaching out to you today to please visit our web site and donate what you can or, maybe just send a check via snail mail. Visit our link and click on the secure “Donate Now” button to contribute a one-time or monthly donation to Community Radio for Sonoma County. You can also use your smart phone’s camera and scan the QR code below. This will take you directly to a secure site for donating.

Donate to KOWS

Donate to KOWS

 

KOWS Studio’s New Home

Image result for clip art search for homeAfter an exhaustive search, particularly along the 116 corridor and West of 101, looking at every possibility in a real estate market that was wanting for the kind of space we needed, KOWS Community Radio was able to land a suitable space for our studio. After three years at the United Methodist Church in Sebastopol, we have landed a spot in downtown Santa Rosa. While this is not West County, our antenna’s home and our focus will always be in West County and nothing about our signal or stream will change.

Our new location offers the opportunity to spread our wings as our broadcast signal has always been strong in Santa Rosa. And while it is an area that is already served by community radio (KBBF, KRJF and KWTF) KOWS is unique and offers alternative community viewpoints and show offerings. We hope to expand our eclectic schedule further as we grow and evolve in our new home.

We will begin broadcasting from our new location on January 31, 2019. 

Submitting a PSA to KOWS

Public Service Announcements (PSAs) can help get the word out about your organization or event!

The airing of Public Service Announcements is essential to our mission to serve and inform the public. KOWS takes its role seriously to assist non-profit organizations who receive little exposure through commercial and corporate media sources.

How PSAs are selected for broadcast

  • PSAs are initially processed by a KOWS Steering Committee member. Those deemed suitable for broadcast are put into the rotation in our 24 hour radio ‘Loop’.
  • Once fully vetted, on-air staff select PSAs to read over the air. While the selection is random, i.e., a particular announcement is not scheduled on a specific show at a specific time in our schedule (unlike paid underwriting spots) on-air staff are encouraged to provide each announcement with an equal amount of airtime. Each PSA is documented on our program logs after each airing and we air between one and two PSAs per hour 24 hours per day.
  • We only air PSAs for non-profit organizations. Commercial/for-profit businesses and organizations should contact us at kows@sonic.net to discuss paid program sponsorship. You can sign up for underwriting by visiting kowsfm.com/sponsors.
  • On the pull date, it is then removed from the PSA pool.
  • PSAs can also be rejected for logistical reasons such as late submission, illegibility, verbosity, and improper formatting.

PSA Guidelines

Please follow these guidelines when writing your PSA:

  • Include all dates, times, and contact information
    People need to know, right? This information should be in the first or second sentence of the announcement.
  • Avoid Calls to Action
    As a community, non-profit radio station, KOWS cannot directly command or urge listeners to carry out an action. Instead of “Come on Down”, “Stop By”, or “Check out”, try “You are invited to..” or other neutral wording, including how to get more information, i.e. “More information is available online at www …. or by phone at XXX-XXX-XXXX …” Please make sure to include area codes in phone numbers, even if it is a local area 831 number.
  • PSAs cannot contain prices, costs, or inducements to buy
    As a community, non-profit radio station, KOWS cannot mention prices, evenif the event is free (zero dollars is an amount).
    “Ticket information is available by phone at 707-823-1234” or “Admission information is available online at www…” is preferable to “Tickets are Available for $5” or “Parking is $42”, “Seniors are Half Price”. This also includes language regarding raffles, prizes, or contests.
  • State only Facts
    PSAs can only contain value-neutral wording. Words such as “best”, “interesting”, “fun”, “entertaining”, and “high quality” are all statements of opinion and can only be used in quotations such as “The North Bay Bohemian has called the Sebastopol Community Center the ‘best entertainment on a Tuesday Night!’”, assuming it has been published.
  • Keep it Short and Fluid!
    PSAs should be thirty to sixty seconds long (about 30-100 words), though our recommendation is to keep it short – try for a maximum of thirty seconds. Long PSAs are less likely to be chosen by on-air staff due to time constraints and incompatibility to show format.  Also, please keep your wording easy to follow — use short sentences, and avoid long clauses. PSAs are read by on-air staff directly from the original submission, leaving no time for impromptu sentence composition.
  • Provide pronunciation (pro-NUN-see-A-shun) of difficult words and names.
    Field-specific, foreign, or technical words can be difficult to figure out on the fly. Please make sure to include those in your submissions!
  • Do not submit press releases, brochures, calendars 
    Due to the volume of PSA’s received by KOWS, we lack the resources necessary to convert these items into ready-to-air Public Service Announcements.  Please convert these into PSAs using the above guidelines prior to submitting to KOWS.

 Submitting a PSA

Submit your PSA by email to kows-psa@sonic.net or through the contact form below at least three (3) weeks prior to the date on which the PSA should no longer be broadcast (i.e., “pull” date).  PSAs may also be submitted by mail to the following address (OR you can use the handy web form below):

KOWS Radio
ATTN: PSA Director
P.O. Box 1073
Occidental, CA  95465

    Your Name (required)

    First and last name please

    Your Email (required)

    In case we need to get in touch

    Organization (if applicable)

    Regarding (required)

    Your PSA

    Paste the text of your PSA here. Do not enter any comments or text that should not be read on-air!

    PSA Pull Date

    Enter the date (MM/DD/YYYY) your PSA will expire/no longer be valid

    Any Questions or Comments

    Enter any questions or comments you have for the PSA contact here