Spots of dead air this last weekend

Jul 17, 2017

What the heck’s happened to the KZYX weekend broadcasts?

As many listeners noticed, we had a few spots of what sometimes is referred to as “dead air” Saturday and Sunday. Technically speaking, this wasn’t true “dead air” as the transmitter was transmitting just fine. The problem was in Philo, where we experienced two unrelated problems almost simultaneously.

We apologize for this and can assure all our listeners that we keep copious notes and when possible change entire systems on the promise of better reliability often at great expense because we fully understand that a station off air is not a station at all. KZYX is going through a new set of growing pains as we cross roads with dwindling federal support and a growing dependence on automation to serve our public with a very limited professional staff.

We are in the process of installing another fall-back mechanism to at least keep something on the air should the automation fail or a programmer not make their shift. But of course that doesn’t always solve the problem.

During Saturday’s airing of Radio Lab one of the segments did not properly feed from PRX (this could be from a bad internet connection or glitch in their file) this caused the playback of Radio Lab to stop.  Sunday morning, for the first time in 92,136 hours of running, our ENCO DAD automation computer had an old fashion operating system error and shut down until programmer Tim Bray came in for Oak and Thorn and rebooted the system. This is the first time I’ve ever seen this kind of an issue on what are truly workhorse computers. We will be investigating why this happened and again hope to soon have set up an alternative broadcast for dead air.

We are as frustrated and concerned as you are when we experience broadcast errors and we really do appreciate hearing from listeners even when they’re frustrated with the performance of the broadcast. We depend on our programmers, volunteers and listeners to monitor the signal and listen when we can’t. I don’t offer the above as an excuse but as an explanation of the events that took place. We are working hard to reduce the number of errors in our broadcasts, however broadcasting is getting more and more technical and we continue to work with a very thin margin for error. I can promise that I will give every resource I have to win this game of Whack-A-Mole and get KZYX to a strong and dependable place.

Thank you for your help, constructive feedback, patience and support,

Rich Culbertson

Operation Director