Dealing with dead web sites

Radio station web sites come and go, that’s just a fact of life. In a perfect world, the old site redirects to the new web site, but even so, the format of the station probably changed. How do you fix it?

Well, that is largely up to your detective skills. Here is our case study WRXQ-FM in Coal City Illinois

WRXQ in editor

Invalid Server (as opposed to a timeout) usually means the domain is gone, but it also can be a temporary transient error or a block in place by your ISP or antivirus software. Try to load the page directly (recognizing this is risky) to see if it is there, but hiding. If you get an immediate not found, then both your internet provider and mine agree the domain is gone.

Loading a web site through a third party is another option – my favorite is pingdom
Speed test

If you’re geeky or curious, you can learn a ton from letting it analyse a web page. If it can’t load the page either, it is gone. You don’t need a subscription to do ad hoc tests.

At that point, the easiest way to proceed is to change the format to “No Web Site”, which does a full reset of the information.

In this case, I know because I follow things like this that the station owner is Alpha Media. They have bought a large number of radio stations and generally change the format and abandon the old web site, so this is logical.

Put on your Sherlock Holmes detective hat. Some large radio owners maintain a station directory, which is usually authoritative – note the Search link below alpha nedia. Going there points to the same dead domain. Dead end. Click the Google Search link and look for clues. Does Wikipedia have newer information? (nope)

There does seem to be an active Facebook page for the station
And it shows a different web site


The web site has the same logo, correct frequency (100.7), same geography (South Chicago / Joliet), is current and shows Alpha Media as the owner – success!

I enjoy finding things – I probably was a private eye or CIA analyst in a prior life. Now I can fix the web site, add the stream and reset the format which appears to still be active rock.

This concludes this chapter.

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