After two and a half years on the air, TCFM, Timber Creek’s student radio station, will be revamping itself — but not exactly by choice.
Radionomy, the company that has hosted TCFM since it’s founding in 2016, will close operations in the United States on May 31, 2019.
“It was a pretty big shock when we got the news,” Student Media Advisor Greg Janda said. “So we immediately had to ask ourselves, ‘What do we do next?'”
TCFM editors for 2019-2020 had already been selected. Hundreds of hours of music would leave the airwaves. Successful radio shows like The Undefeated sports analysis show wouldn’t have a home. But hope would come from a couple of states away at the National High School Journalism Convention in Anaheim, CA.
“We were already looking at the different plans to transfer over content and find a new hosting platform before we traveled to the convention, but after students attended a radio-specific session, we had a clear solution,” Janda said.
Timber Creek Student Radio is switching over to the Live365 platform and will be transitioning the online players and other features starting May 2, 2019. The switch will continue the legacy of the student radio station, but also offer some major improvements.
“I could talk about higher quality audio, or more stream options for various software players, but the big two are simply more current music and no ads on the radio,” Janda explained.
That’s right, the new TCFM has no on-air advertisements in between songs. Under Radionomy’s system, the station was required to have four minutes of ad break time each hour, and did not have control over which ads played. With the new service, TCFM has taken ads completely out and has far more control over what plays and when.
Students will hear much more popular tunes already on the new version of the station, with the top 25 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 already loaded and in the mix. Student DJs have begun work to create playlists and special blocks of music. Even the long-running sports analysis program has made the jump and will air their newest episodes exclusively on the new station until the end of the year.
All these improvements do come with a cost. The new service and music to play on the station will impact student media’s budget.
“Our editors made the decisions with the knowledge that we’ll have to bear the costs in the future. Expect to see and hear fundraising drives to help support the station next year,” Janda said.
The original Radionomy-hosted TCFM will continue to stream music until Friday, May 31. The TCFM app will also be discontinued on that date.
In the meantime, check out the new station via the player below or the TCFM page at the top of Talon.