Station Search – new and improved

For several years, the “search for a station” has been much more flexible than it might appear at first. You can search for things like words in the description of the station, the licensee, keywords on their home page, and the community of license.

But having used the search extensively for the past few weeks, it was painfully obvious that what it was doing wasn’t all that useful. Most of the time people are looking for a specific call sign. It was giving equal weight to the key words and description is compared to the call sign. If you typed WAB, you would get stations in Wabash Indiana first, not WABC.

So now as your type in the letters, as long as you are matching some call sign, those stations will be pushed to the front with major markets first. If you get to the point that it is clear you are not typing a call sign, then you will get results you are expecting based on the keyword or city named or whatever. I also added the ability to search on frequency, which was not previously possible.

So for you testing pleasure, a few suggestions:


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8 Responses to Station Search – new and improved

  1. JayMar says:

    When did radio stations changed their designation? Used to be the only KISS station was in San Antonio. Now there are several interspersed throughout the land. Here in Pitt I listen to one called THE ANSWER but have no idea what their call sign is. Oh I think WPGB.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      KISS is a special case. KISS-FM is a radio brand of Clear Channel (now iHeart) for its Nationwide CHR format. They aggressively shut down radio operators using the name.

      Radio One has a format also called KISS, but it is an urban oldies format

      A similar situation involves our friends at K-Love. There was a radio station n California with that name prior to the creation of the contemporary Christian Network. To resolve the dispute, EMF agreed to not use the KLOVE trademark in the area where are the other radio station had existed previously.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      So thank you for trying it and telling me the result. A not well known fact is you cannot trademark a radio call. With – an actual “mark”, yes – but not the three or four letter license identifier. The FCC is very clear they are the owners of the callsign, which is why you have to say things like Entercom is the licensee of KDKA-AM, not that they own KDKA-AM.

      Entercom owns a building and a transmitter, but in the end the FCC can take their property back after following due process in front of the judge that works for them. KDKA is registered as a service mark, and only recently. A service mark is only protecting the radio programming of the radio station, not the actual name. So if you wanted to create the KDKA burger restaurant, go for it!

      An interesting question is whether someone (say a script writer) uses a 4 letter code (“WKRP” comes to mind) that is not an actual radio station and then get a trademark. The FCC can’t claim ownership of every possible three or four letter word beginning with “W” or “K”. There is now a WKRP-LP in Raleigh, NC! There is also a low power TV station in Cincinnati with a service mark of WKRP, but only to identify a TV station. Feel free to start selling WKRP t-shirts on the internet.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      As a further followup, “the answer” is the service name of Salem’s brand for their conservative talk stations all around the country. That allows them to create promotional things that are not station specific – “join us this morning for Hugh Hewitt on The Answer!”

      When I did that search I realize there’s a pretty important flaw in what I’m doing. KKOL was listed but it is not currently an active radio station, and when it was, it was a biztalk station. KKOL was forced off the air because a nearby oil refinery convinced a judge that there was a possibility that the RF radiation might spark a fire and explosion. So Salem is attempting to triplex 3 AM signals on one tower. I don’t know if there’s any successful situation where that works and apparently they are still working through the problems.

      In any case, I grab a copy of the keywords for a website, which virtually nobody knows about nor cares. The problem is that when I reset or otherwise change the information for a radio station, I am not updating the keywords. So therefore it’s technically true that the radio station at one time was the answer, but no longer true.

      • CC1s121LrBGT says:

        I did a search just now for “the answer” and also for “theanswer” by hitting the search button after entering the search criteria. I got no answer (pun intended). Instead, I got: “Station theanswer Not found!” and
        “Station the answer Not found!”

        Interestingly, I get a partial list BEFORE clicking on the search button, then the partial list disappears. At first glance WNTP 990, Philadelphia is missing and I am sure others are as well. That is not a new member of “The Answer” network or brand, so it is strange that it does not appear. I would have expected it to be in the key words of the station’s web site.

        The same ownership owns a second network of religious stations.

        • Fred Stiening says:

          The search is at the mercy of the information provided on their web site. Putting in more than one word is unlikely to match exactly. WNTP is conservative talk, but not branded as The Answer, just NewsTalk990. The search does not return every possible match, just the most likely.

          Actually, for-profit Salem has at least five networks – the conservative talk, the religious teaching, the Dove (contemporary Christian music), Biztalk, and a Spanish Language religious network. But they actually make a lot of their income from Town hall subscriptions and physical books.

        • Parrott says:

          I use to listen to WTNP. Always was interesting the drive time on the Schukyll parkway. seemed like it was very busy all the time.
          Salem went crazy on leading background stuff, not a simple stream so I moved on.

  2. Parrott says:

    call signs ?
    state done

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