Studio Blog

2021 Year In Review

January 3, 2022

2021 Year In Review

KSVY and Sonoma TV are saying goodbye to 2021 and looking forward to what's to come in the new year!

2021 has been kind of a blur really. Looking back, it's nearly impossible to write a “Year in Review” post and not have all colored by the hardship our community and the world has had to endure. Endurance could be the theme of the 2021. Whatever the case, if you are reading this, we made another trip around the sun,and we're all happy to be here together looking forward.

Like many organizations in our region, KSVY Sonoma 91.3 FM and SonomaTV have adapted and adjusted to the “new normal.” As conditions kept shifting,and, despite uncertainty, we maintained focus on our mission. It was a tremendous effort and an honor to educate and inform the valley, amplify the good works of our community, nonprofits, and citizens, and provide a diverse tapestry of programming reflecting the heart, spirit, and creativity of one of the most beautiful places to live anywhere in the world. There is much to be grateful for!

The quarantines and lockdown lead to similar policies at the station, so no hosts and no guests! Argh. But we kept fresh programming going by creating new ways to interview with video conferences that were then broadcast over the airwaves. Many of our fantastic volunteer hosts took to producing their shows as if they were podcasts; recording their voices and mixing music and interviews digitally at impromptu home studios. After submitting their pre-recorded show to our station manager Bob Taylor, (who tirelessly and endlessly managed the automation of these files) they were put into our systems and then broadcasted out to our loyal listeners.

As restrictions have eased most of our hosts are currently back in the studio, but as we all know, we are still in this health emergency, and many of our precautions remain.

Despite the obstacles, we achieved a significant milestone in the station’s development and installed a new antenna, 850ft above sea level, overlooking Stage Gulch and Sonoma Valley. The new range is robust and significantly exceeds the coverage area at over 450 terrestrial square miles. The achievement is exciting and timely, to say the least, because this year’s review includes recalling two significant wildfire events the El Verano Fire & the Napa/Sonoma County Fire, and like the year’s previous KSVY, monitored and reported on them in real-time like only local media can.

Along with that significant technological advancement for the station, we also updated our mobile app. The app is all-new with some fresh features, including real-time program information, social media and website links, and a new graphic interface. (Oh, hey, and it’s free!)

With the new broadcast range and a solid stream for your PC or mobile device, our programming is more resilient and accessible. We ran hundreds of Public Service Announcements to support our civic and health agencies, nonprofits, art, and cultural organizations over all our channels and people listened.

It was not all locked down. We also took the show on the road and did live remote broadcasts at many of our favorite events. Tuesday Night Famer’s Markets, Vintage Festival, Glen Ellen Village Fair, VOMCOM’s Hamfest, The Plaza Tree Lighting, and more—we were there, broadcasting live and sending your voices, music, and celebration all over the region and the world.

SonomaTV never stopped connecting you to the civic meetings and happenings important to our community’s collective knowledge and participation. Your local community TV station broadcasted every Sonoma City Council meeting, School Board meeting, the DHRCP, Sonoma Valley Citizens Advisory Commission, the hospital board meetings, 4th of July Fireworks, the unique SVHS Graduation for the class of 2021, The Meet the Council event with Rep. Mike Thompson, Springs Municipal Council in both Spanish and English, the Sonoma Valley Star Volunteer Awards. We also did eight Townhalls with Senator Mike Dodd aside important and knowledgeable panel guests sharing policy and progress on everything from climate change, emergency preparedness, covid safety, and internet infrastructure. Just take a scroll through our Youtube channel archive and you'll recognize what a tremendous effort was made to bring these events to you live and preserve them for the record.

Our media team produced Sports television too. We documented the last game at Arnold Field and the inaugural game at the fantastic new field of the high school campus. We captured homecoming for the students, faculty, and families for all. SonomaTV caught all the action of this year’s dynamic lady Dragon varsity volleyball, softball, and boys baseball back in the Spring. (Dragon Basketball starts next week baby!)

In another challenging and complicated year, with the leanest staff and budget, hardworking and devoted KSVY Sonoma 91.3 FM & SonomaTV combined to produce and broadcast thousands of hours of community radio & TV. We are so grateful to have been on the journey with you. And we could not have done it without your encouragement and fiscal support. Once again, thank you from all of us who believe in this mission and take it on day in and day out.

We are hopeful ambitious for 2022, ready to take it on a day at a time with care, vision, and courage. May the new year bring you and the ones you love peace, joy, and prosperity. Keep it locked on 91.3 FM. Download that app on your mobile device. Subscribe to SonomaTV and our newsletters. Follow us on social media. We have a lot in store for you in 2022, and we know our community has a lot to say as well.

Together we are The Voice of the Valley.

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New KSVY Antenna

December 11, 2021

KSVY Antenna Donors

KSVY Connects BannerSonoma’s Community Radio Station Boosts Its Signal with a New Radio Antenna & “KSVY Connects!” Campaign

Sonoma, California, November 15, 2021 – KSVY 93.1 FM & Sonoma TV are pleased to announce a major milestone in the station’s development. In response to Sonoma County and the City of Sonoma's expansion of emergency communications and preparedness, KSVY Sonoma 91.3 FM has acquired and installed a new antenna, 850ft above sea level, overlooking Stage Gulch and Sonoma Valley.

With Construction, installation and testing complete, and official FCC licensing received, KSVY activated the new device. The new range is robust and greatly exceeds the coverage area at over 450 terrestrial square miles. The significant achievement coincides with the station's website redesign, www.ksvy.org and end-of-year fundraising, "KSVY Connects!", a month-long campaign that begins Tuesday, November 30th, 2021 8 AM live on the FM airwaves. Listeners who tune-in that day can expect to hear their favorite volunteer host’s shows and more about KSVY’s new antennae and the value local independent media brings to the region, along with appeals for public support.

KSVY 91.3 FM’s General Manager, Bob Taylor, says the new signal's range covers approximately 450 square terrestrial miles, a significant increase from the previous configuration's six to ten-mile shadowed signal. The upgrade bolsters KSVY 91.3 FM's broadcast for all of Sonoma Valley and reaches potential new listeners in southern Sonoma County, Petaluma and Rohnert Park and as far as St. Helena and American Canyon in Napa County.

The former omni-directional transmitter site was not ideal. Located near residential areas, the configuration created "shadows," where objects and buildings obstructed the signal at low elevation. The location’s increased exposure to wildfires, along with frequent power outages are also concerning disadvantages. Initially, the location was good for the set frequency and accessibility by the station's small staff. However, the opportunities and challenges for the local community and region have outgrown the site's usability.

The new antenna is a directional, panel-type antenna with a very focused signal within a specific frequency pocket with a more extensive range and far fewer shadows and dead spots. The new site also requires less power, and benefits from the significantly higher elevation in the rural hillsides southwest of Sonoma. However, the former site and antenna are not obsolete and act as a backup transmitter, offering more resilience to the station's emergency communications plan.

KSVY 91.3 FM is a non-commercial community radio station. A fundraising plan kicked off by Simon and Kimberly Blattner led to an incredible response. Grants from Sonoma Valley Fund, Community Foundation of Sonoma County and a burgeoning partnership with Sonoma County helped to fund the antenna upgrade. A final push from the “Signal Booster Society” , a listener and volunteer fueled fundraiser, also contributed to the antenna upgrade.

KSVY 91.3 FM Sonoma broadcasts radio at 91.3 FM, live-streams at ksvy.org. For Smart Devices, just say, “Play K-S-V-Y” to listen live.

More About KSVY Sonoma 93.1 FM

KSVY is a non-commercial community radio station for the benefit of the Sonoma Valley, operated by Sonoma Valley Community Communications which is a registered 501c-3 nonprofit organization funded entirely by listener contributions, grants, and sponsor underwriting. KSVY receives no support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and is not affiliated with NPR.

For more information, images, or interview requests, please contact Ronny Joe Grooms at rjgrooms@ksvy.org or (415) 335-5062

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