CFBX shifts to 24-hour broadcast platform

Justine Cleghorn, Contributor Ω

TRU's 92.5 CFBX is now the home of 24-hour broadcasting. - Photo by Justine Cleghorn

TRU’s 92.5 CFBX is now the home of 24-hour broadcasting. – Photo by Justine Cleghorn

Listeners can now tune in to 92.5 CFBX any hour of the day with the introduction of new software that allows for 24-hour broadcasting.

The community radio station, located in House 8 on TRU campus, previously broadcast from 8 a.m. until midnight and then shut down until the next morning. With the new software overnight broadcasts will fill the previously dead air from midnight to 8 a.m.

Continuous play of only local music is the focus for the overnight broadcasts, said Steve Marlow, the CFBX programming coordinator.

“I think the fact that we are doing nothing but local music is the main selling point,” Marlow said. “This station plays more local music than anyone else in town.”

“We can’t be beat in terms of local music,” said Joey Jack, a board member and volunteer at the station. The station’s music library includes 400 albums from local musicians.

While the new system has been complicated to set up, the daily operation of the system is simple. The last broadcaster at midnight turns the program on and the first person in at 8 a.m. turns the program off, Marlow explained.

“The idea of 24 hours has been in the back of our heads since the station opened in 2001, but it hasn’t been a real realistic thing until the last couple of years,” he said.

In 2011, the station’s board members approved allocation of more funds towards software upgrades within the existing budget, Jack said. The majority of CFBX’s funding comes from TRU student fees and student fees didn’t increase to account for the $150 upgrade to the station’s equipment.

However, rather than cost, the main hurdle the station overcame to secure the new equipment was staffing.

The station operates with only two paid employees along with its volunteers. The responsibility of finding a software program that fits the needs of the station and understanding the new software fell on the two paid employees.

The overnight broadcasting was implemented at the end of December by using a program called SAM Broadcaster to create the station’s own unique system called Automation.

Steve Marlow, programming director, works in-studio with volunteer Jack Jones.

Steve Marlow, programming director, works in-studio with volunteer Jack Jones. – Photo by Justine Cleghorn

“That software is basically a radio station in a can,” Marlow said. “You just put in what you want it to play and it will play what you want it to play.”

With the increase in music hours, Marlow hopes to draw in more listeners driving to work in the morning. The increased broadcast times will also allow for new radio show opportunities, he added.

“This gives us a bit more of a presence in the community,” Marlow said.

“Now people can always know that they can put it on 92.5 and they will be able to listen to music,” Jack said. “It just adds that consistency.”

Anyone interested in volunteering at the station should contact Steve Marlow at smarlow@thex.ca.