About a year ago, I received an e-mail from a listener of our classic rock station from Wagga Wagga, Australia. We stream our signal on line, and through a website that gives people a menu of stations that fit their listening habits, Jeff found our station and loved the music mix. Through correspondence of e-mails, I found Jeff to be very funny, down to earth, and knowlegable about music. But, there are obvious differences in how the English language can be interpreted. Still, he promised one day that the next time he visited the United States, he would stop by. We’ve had numerous e-mails from listeners from all over the country, and a few from abroad, that listen to any one of our five stations. Many that may be vacationing in California (10 minutes to the south of us) have made the trip up to meet us and see our studios. But never from “the land down under.” This past week, we got a very unusually early snowfall here. Though we’re used to snow, it never seems to amount to much this early. And, as I returned from lunch today, there was a rather large man with an accent I could barely comprehend talking to our receptionist. You guessed it. Geoff Read, from Wagga Wagga, Austrailia, had made a special trip from Southern California just to see the studios of the station he listens to while selling vehicles at a Hyundai dealership. Through two plus years of listening to our station, he knew much about our city, area, all of our disc jockey’s names…and was the center of attention for about two hours here. We had him live on all of our stations. It’s not every day that a person makes a special trip just to see the studio of the station he listens to every day. Well, at least not halfway around the world. Streaming on-line is cost prohibitive for some, but we’ve found it to be very beneficial to our cluster of stations. Though the local advertiser can say their product means nothing to a listener in another part of the country, or the world, Geoff mentioned 10 or more businesses off the top of his head that he had heard about and wanted to visit while here. They don’t have a bowling alley in his hometown of 60,000. So we comped him so that he can do something that he couldn’t do at home. His on air banter was quite good….and he complained that Australian radio “sucks and blows at the same time, mate.” For some stations, it’s probably not in the cards to stream audio for various reasons. We do it ourselves and have a room set aside with several servers and many daisy-chained computers so we can accommodate hits on all five stations. There are very reputable providers that will stream your station for a service, though. I don’t know any by name, but they do exist, and it’s a way to showcase your stations to people all around the world. At the end of the day, we knew some things about a part of the world we didn’t know before. We certainly made a new friend, though he’s thousands of miles away, living in a country where it will be 100 degrees in his hometown Christmas day, where cricket is massively more popular than baseball, but there are some common denominators, too. The biggest would be the music. Good music is good in any language. And, this is just a big reminder, in a little way, that we affect lives every day with what we do with our radio stations and on-air personalities. They may live next door, or half way around the world, but the magic of radio is still very much alive.