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Thread: Radio Stations

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    NI FORT fan Belfastgirl's Avatar
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    Radio Stations

    May seem a silly question, but why are so many US radio stations called by a group of letters, rather than by a name. I mean my local stations are Radio Ulster, Belfast Citybeat, Cool FM and DownTown, but US stations seem to be * made up examples follow * ABCD or EFGH . Why aren't they named after the local town?
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  2. #2
    CCL
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    Climbing Solsbury Hill CCL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belfastgirl
    May seem a silly question, but why are so many US radio stations called by a group of letters, rather than by a name. I mean my local stations are Radio Ulster, Belfast Citybeat, Cool FM and DownTown, but US stations seem to be * made up examples follow * ABCD or EFGH . Why aren't they named after the local town?
    Well, there are a lot more radio stations in the US then in the UK for one. So names would be repeated a lot. People would get confused - is that HOT FM in Miami or is it HOT FM in Little Rock (I'm making those names up, by the way, just to show how it can get confusing). Whereas an individualized 4 letter code makes it easier to keep seperate radio stations seperate. Anyways, US radio stations start with either a K or W and then 3 other letters. Stations located west of the Mississipi River start with a K, while stations east of the river start with a W.
    Here in Toronto, stations tend to start with a C (CHFI, CFRB etc) but not always (ie Mix 99.9, Talk 680). But I don't know what the deal is with Toronto or other Canadian stations anyways. Probably it doesn't matter as much because there are surely fewer stations here as well.

  3. #3
    FORT Fogey Leftcoaster's Avatar
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    There are still three letter stations kicking around, the oldtimers from way back when.

    Stations can (and do) call themselves whatever they want for current marketing schemes, but the call letters are basically the legal name. Formats come and go, the call letters endure.

  4. #4
    NI FORT fan Belfastgirl's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, especially about east and west of the Mississippi. You're right, we don't have so many stations, but I bet we all have to listen to silly jingles and adverts between the music and chat!!
    Act your age, not your shoe size!

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