After 11 years on the air, campus-community radio station CFBX is now broadcasting all day every day.
For the volunteer-driven broadcaster, the move means listeners will hear more local content when they tune into 92.5 on the FM dial, program director Steve Marlow said Tuesday.
For The X, an uninterrupted broadcast day comes with the potential to attract a wider audience, said Marlow. When the station was signing off at 11 or 12 at night and not coming on until 8 a.m., there was a prolonged period of dead air.
"If you're in your car or at home and you hit search (on the radio), there's nothing there. You go right past it," he said. "Now the dial will stop there 24 hours a day."
For years, Marlow and station manager Brant Zwicker intended to adopt an automated system for after-hours broadcasting. The issue came with finding the right software.
Programming on a commercial radio station is dictated from the top down, with management deciding what is played and when. Marlow said it's the DJs at The X who determine the content from hour to hour.
While a commercial station will choose from a 200-song playlist, programmers at The X have 40,000 songs to select from, he said.
"Everything that commercial radio does, we're kind of the opposite. We needed a program . . . that we could customize rather than have in a can," said Marlow.
The X went with SAM Broadcaster — which is designed for broadcasting over the Internet — with Marlow programming content daily. From 11 p.m. until 7 a.m., listeners hear nothing but music performed by local musicians.
And, in accordance with Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications regulations, 15 per cent of The X's content is locally produced talk radio.
"There's a lot more local content for sure," said Marlow.
The X is always looking to expand its volunteer and programming base. Anyone who is interested is asked to stop by House 8 at Thompson Rivers University, phone 250-377-3988 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.