Cable television has greatly increased the competition facing local and network TV. Now it may be on the threshold of doing the same to local radio. Utah TCI cable customers in the near future will be able to receive "Superadio" as part of their basic cable TV package. All that will be required for current cable subscribers will be a $9.95, one-time cost for a special device to hook up to their stereo.
This setup could eventually alter local radio dramatically. Ever wish you could have radio without commercials? Well, you will be able to have that on cable with the Superadio system. It will offer specialized music with no interruptions - no commercials and no talk.Six different stations (all in stereo sound) will initially be available: country-western music, classical, jazz, easy listening, new wave and even a kids' music station.
With the addition of radio on cable to the local radio listening pie, it will obviously mean that there will be less pie to go around. Some smaller radio stations might even be forced out of business or change drastically in order to survive.
Since many radio listeners might prefer the commercial-free "Superadio" at home, the main times that people will listen to local airwave radio would be when they are driving in a car or working in the yard. This might make the morning and afternoon drive times more important than ever to radio stations.
The summer might also become a more critical listening period since portable radios might be used a lot more in the outdoor season than the cable radio system inside the home might be.
Dan McCartey, Utah general manager for TCI, said that Superadio is definitely coming in the near future, although he couldn't provide a target date. He also indicated that a shortage of the special hookup devices is the only thing holding up the new service. TCI wants to have an adequate supply for potential customers.
McCartey said that installment of the cable radio system will be fairly easy if a customer's stereo is near his TV set. However, if the TV is downstairs and the stereo system is upstairs, there will have to be a connection cable between the two.
He explained that the $9.95 device is a sort of splitter attachment that connects the back of the stereo to the cable line.
Ken Bell, KSFI radio promotions director, said the real impact of radio on cable will depend on what kind of sound quality it can deliver. As an example, he noted that AM stereo cannot deliver a quality sound in automobiles unless vehicles are equipped with AM stereo receivers.
Of course only time will tell the local impact of Superadio, but specialty airwave stations - all-talk, news, etc. - might also become more important in the future since Superadio will be 100 percent music intensive.
- KUER (FM-90.1) - National Public Radio welcomes back Billy Taylor, Sunday, April 28, 9 p.m., when he returns in a rebroadcast ofhis Peabody Award-winning series, "Taylor-Made Piano."
This 13-week series will trace the evolution of jazz.
- CORRECTION - It was Bob Jennings, not Bob Whitney, who recently left KSFI (FM-100.3) to move to KMGR (FM-107.5). Despite the inaccuracy reported in last week's "Radio Dial" column, Jennings is on the air at "Magic 107.5" from 7 p.m. until midnight. Scott MacNeil has replaced Jennings in the 6-10 a.m. spot at "FM-100."
- KMGR (FM-107.5) - Station personalities Mark Van Wagoner and Danny Jessop teamed up with Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Goofy and the Disney ambassador to greet the children at Salt Lake's downtown family shelter Tuesday.
The Disney characters entertained the children while Van Wagoner and Jessop handed out candy. The event was held in conjunction with a weeklong Disney promotion at Valley Fair Mall.
- KZHT (FM-94.9) - The station is involved in "Earthweek 1991 Recyclathon," and "Hot 94.9" will broadcast live from the Crane Building Parking lot, 307 W. 200 South, on Saturday, April 27, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., as part of this event.
Bins will be available at the west end of the parking lot for aluminum, glass, newspaper and cardboard recycling. KZHT volunteers will be on hand for public assistant at the drop-off point.
"Ronald McDonald" will make a special appearance in the parking lot from 9-11 a.m., and all proceeds from Saturday's recycling will go toward the Ronald McDonald House.
The students and faculty at Sandy's Albion Middle School have also been active with KZHT in this special recycling effort, and they'll be on hand to help Saturday as well.
- KBZN (FM-97.9) - This week's "Jazz Trax" show (Sunday, April 28, 7 p.m.-midnight) will feature Tim Weisburg. The show's "Archives Album" section will include "Dancing with the Lions" by Andreas Vollenveider, Swiss harpist. "The Musical Starstream" show airs Sunday, April 28, 6-8 a.m. for fans of new-age contemporary music.
- KBZN will be giving away tickets to see Greek recording star Yanni at her Tuesday, May 28, Salt Lake concert. Listen to "The Breeze" for details.
- KSL (AM-1160) - The station has issued a new gardening guide, available free from Fred Meyer gardening centers, Intermountain Farmers Association stores, Wasatch Shadows Nursery, Western Garden Centers, KSL radio or any USU Extension office.
The guide offers helpful ideas on how to improve a home garden, as well as save the environment.
Here are highlights for upcoming KSL programming:
Monday, April 29:
10 a.m. - Is $100 too much to spend on name-brand tennis shoes for your daughter? Doug Wright hosts a social psychology of clothing expert to discuss what's appropriate.
11:30 a.m. - Ever have trouble getting an insurance claim paid quickly? Attorney Fritz Daviscourt discusses his business of tracking claims of insurance companies.
1:30 p.m. - Larry Anderson, director for the State Water Resources Division, discusses the water outlook with Bob Lee.
Tuesday, April 30:
10 a.m. Find out what's cooking at the Playboy Mansion on the "KSL Cooking Show."
11 a.m. - Wright and Rand Moorhead examine recycling in a post-Earth Day orientation.
1 a.m. - Should you feel guilty about taping movies off cable TV or a CD? Lee interviews Mike Blevens, director of the Home Recording Rights Coalition.
Wednesday, May 1:
11 a.m. - "Surviving Motherhood," with author Donna Montgomery.
11:30 a.m. - Mike Christensen on the "Dollars and Sense" show.
1 p.m. - Kitty Kelley, author of Nancy Reagan's unauthorized biography, tells Lee her side of the story.
2 p.m. - Lee hosts five prominent Utah businessmen to find out their success stories and how they came to be inducted into the Utah Business Hall of Fame.