Classic hits radio station launched in Eagle Grove

Eagle Grove is a small town, but now it has a big city sound! That's because the town's new radio station, Eagle Grove Classic Hits, is officially up and running. The brainchild of local newspaper editor, Ed Lynn, Eagle Grove Classic Hits is an online radio station that plays a mix of classic rock, classic country, and oldies. The station can be accessed through any device that has an internet connection. And the best part? It's completely free!

You can listen live, right now, on your phone, on your smart speaker, on your modern car radio that supports streaming radio (or using an adapter from your phone), on your smart TV, or even your smart watch! The station is available on smart speakers just by saying "play Eagle Grove Classic Hits on Tune In". It can also be launched by the same command on Amazon's Alexa app, Google's Assistant app, or Apple's Siri App. Listeners can also install the Tune In app on their devices, or just listen on the website at www.Eagle.Radio.Fm -- all for free.

Lynn decided to build the station after noticing a gap in the town's entertainment offerings. While there was a local Christian radio station, there wasn't a station dedicated to the classic hits that he and many others in town loved, and the stations from out of town weren't focused on Eagle Grove. Eagle Grove needed its own station, he concluded.

To pick the format, Lynn followed the lead of radio pioneer Todd Storz, who invented the Top 40 format after observing what people played on jukeboxes. "I started listening to what people were playing on the jukeboxes in local bars like The Smoke Shop and Rails," Lynn explained, "and I realized that there was a demand for the music that we weren't getting on the radio, on any station," Lynn explained, "a mix more like what I grew up on, of classic rock and classic country, with some oldies in the mix here and there too."

But launching a radio station in a small town like Eagle Grove is no easy feat. Traditional radio stations require FCC licenses, the rental or building of broadcast towers, and the costs of broadcasting the old fashioned way would include paying for tens of thousands of watts of electricity a day. Lynn knew that he needed to come up with a different approach if he wanted to make a local radio station a reality for Eagle Grove.

He found his answer in online streaming technology. "I realized I didn't need to build or power up a tower, the cellular companies had already done it for me," he explained. And everyone has a cell phone these days, he pointed out, and most people have several other devices that would work, too -- even car radios now generally play streaming radio.  Not only that, but streaming radio enjoys almost limitless range. Instead of fading to static after a few miles on the road, the station can be listened to all over the country.

By launching an online radio station, Lynn was able to bypass the costs of a traditional station and offer the town a free and accessible music source that could be listened to from any internet-connected device. He still had to spend a lot of money on purchasing a starting music collection and equipment -- much of it bought locally at Arden Scott Collectibles -- but it was a much more affordable option than the traditional route.

For Lynn, the station is more than just a way to play music. It's a way to bring the community together. "The main way the station will fit into the fabric of Eagle Grove is in being another resource for the town," he said. "A station that plays music people enjoy, to help them relax, pass the time, or hang out with family and friends -- but also a station where Eagle Grove is the main focus, not an afterthought."

Lynn explained that it's all about community. "Having a local radio station means that our news, our sports, and our weather are being covered by people who care about Eagle Grove." It also gives businesses and community organizations another avenue to reach the public, Lynn said, "which can work hand in hand with the newspaper."

In addition to its role in providing news and information, a local radio station can also help to foster a sense of community. By providing a shared source of entertainment and information, residents can come together and share in something that they all enjoy. It's a way to connect with neighbors and feel a part of something bigger.

Lynn hopes that Eagle Grove Classic Hits will play a similar role in his town. He's already planning to expand the station's offerings with additional features that will bring even more entertainment and information to the community. "I have several ideas for ways to bring even more entertainment and information to Eagle Grove," he said, adding that he would be open to setting up a tower and moving the broadcast to FM in the future if the demand and the funding exist. "In any form," Lynn said, "I want the station to be something that everyone in town can enjoy and be proud of."

So far, the response to Eagle Grove Classic Hits has been overwhelmingly positive. Already the station is attracting an impressive roster of advertisers. "I've already had ads come in from Ford Motors, McDonalds, from statewide tourist attractions, the Iowa Lottery, even Macy's placed an ad," Lynn said, "and so far, people seem to like it."

Some of those people who he ran it past have volunteered to become DJ's. Locals can look forward to hearing fellow locals Lisa Russell, Sara Middleton, and Troy Middleton running shows, as well as Lynn. Ultimately, Lynn said, live sports broadcasts and community focused podcasts will be added into the mix.

Editor's note: Because this article is about me, and I found it pretty hard to interview myself, I decided to let the new artificial intelligence everyone's talking about, Chat GPT, interview me and write the article -- which I then edited. This is the result.



The Eagle Grove Eagle

The Eagle Grove Eagle
P.O. Box 6
304 West Broadway
Eagle Grove, IA 50533
Phone: 1-515-448-4745
FAX: 1-515-448-3182

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