A long time ago, in a station not so far away…
WION had a system common to FM stations called “RDS” which is where you can read information on your (mainly) car radios about artist, title, or other interesting things.  A former engineer of ours wrote his own program, and for years we ran it…and we used to put birthdays on it, and other things.  We never had a chance to do artist and title, however due to available technology at the time.  That program expired with an update to windows and a cloning of the hard drive, thus all you’ve seen is “WION-FM” on your radios in your vehicles for a long time.

Enter mid 2024.  Our streaming now has software that identifies songs as they play for keeping the streaming legal for reporting.  As it turns out, one of our many incredible engineers has software he created that is even more flexible than our old RDS software was, and, when coupled with the streaming ID of songs,  we can now offer an expanded RDS system for you!

So, for now, the basics….Station name, song title, and artist.
Soon, and testing:  National Weather Service forecasts,  Birthdays, special messages, weekend special ID’s,  and….eventually like we used to have, important weather watches and warnings!

We find the re-upping of weather watches and warnings important, given the EAS only fires off once for each time our county has one,  and the county’s dial-out system has two issues at present:  1) It doesn’t ALWAYS dial out, like it did not for the Severe Thunderstorm Warning on Tuesday morning the 25th.   2) Enough people in our county that have Charter (Spectrum) have labeled the county number of “8230” as SPAM that it now reads that when the county’s callout system is activated on some phones. This means some people will ignore the call completely and the system, once again, like the EAS is BROKEN.  So, if you’re driving and suddenly our readout in your car reads a weather warning, COUNT ON IT BEING ACCURATE!  Someone will have been in the studio to turn that on, and we’ll likely be covering the weather, watching radar, and doing what we can to keep people safe in and around our county.

We’re excited to bring BACK RDS to your FM 92-7 Radios….and, soon, hopefully to Lowell’s 100.3 as well.

Working hard to be the BEST we can be, we’re West-Central Michigan’s WION, AM Stereo 1430…”And the rest!”

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Written by: Jim Carlyle

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