Special to KPUA.net by H.I.E.D.B
TELEVISION, RADIO EXPANSIONS LINKING EAST AND WEST HAWAII
Hawaii Island Economic Development Board is a private non-profit organization whose mission is, "To provide and promote private-sector support and expertise for balanced economic growth in Hawaii County, in partnership with federal, state, county and private resources."
While it could be decades before East and West Hawaii come to consensus on property tax revenue distributions and infrastructure priorities, changes on the islandıs airwaves are melding East and West Hawaii closer and closer.
Big Island Television, created as a subsidiary of Ackerman-Black Productions in 1985, recently began telecasting via Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Channel 9, island-wide. BITVıs expansion from West to East Hawaii means more businesses now have the opportunity to reach local and visitor audiences throughout most of Hawaii Island.
BITV takes a no-nonsense approach to sharing interesting island information, its many attributes, dining, activities and culture. The station has been a popular source of information on Hawaii Island for years. Many of the stationıs programs are hosted by Hilo-native Lyman Medeiros who has been with BITV since its inception as an on-camera host, writer, editor and director.
"Iım thrilled that BITV is now broadcasting in East Hawaii," Medeiros says. "There are so many more stories, activities, and venues I can now share with our viewers. I think this expansion is good for all Hawaii Island."
With a current reach in to more than 24,000 homes, condominiums and hotel rooms in West Hawaii, the East Hawaii expansion will double Big Island Televisionıs potential viewership to 48,000 units. It also provides an opportunity for East Hawaii businesses to place professionally produced video advertisements in front of many of the islandıs 1.2 million visitors each year.
John Boes, the stationıs director of sales and marketing, also co-hosts BITVıs "Discover Hawaii" program with wife Patti. Discover Hawaii is a fun look for visitors, and a reminder for island residents, on what makes living on Hawaii Island so wonderful. "Local people tell me all the time that the first thing they tell visiting friends and relatives is, You gotta watch Big Island Television so youıll know what you want to see and do,ı Boes says. "Now, East Hawaii residents will have that same opportunity for their visitors."
On the radio scene, Maui-based Pacific Radio Group purchased four Hawaii Island radio stations (KKBG, KLEO, KKOA and KHLO) in April of this year from Connecticut-based Maverick Media, Inc. Pacific Radio Group already owned six stations on Maui. Then in August, Pacific Radio acquired KHWI, KPVS, KAPA and KIPA AM in Hilo and KLUA, KAOY and KKON AM in Kona from Big Island Radio, which were owned by Honolulu-based Persis Corporaton and Hilo resident Buddy Gordon. Federal Communications Commission restrictions required that Pacific Radio Group divest themselves of three of the stations. To that end, New West Broadcasting purchased Kona-based KAOY 101.5. Vice President and General Manager Chris Leonard saw the opportunity to expand his Hilo-based contemporary hits and island music format station KWXX to Kona on the 101.5 frequency. New West Broadcasting also owns and operates B97 (97.1FM) and KPUA (AM 670) in Hilo. For the past three years, KPUA has been home to HIEDBıs bimonthly "Business Forum," which is then broadcast on Public Access Television. San Diego businessman Thomas Troland purchased KIPA and KKOA.
With todayıs technology, a radio DJ can transparently be in Hilo, Kona or elsewhere and still deliver timely news, answer call-in requests, and queue the stationıs music line-up. Where two DJs would have been required in the past for two stations operating on two frequencies broadcasting separately between East and West Hawaii, a single stationıs call letters (i.e. KWXX) can now be broadcast simultaneously on two frequencies. This so-called "duel-station" platform also means the station can demand higher advertising premiums since businesses can now reaching a larger, nearly island-wide audience, with their advertising message.
Honolulu Skylark Jacqueline "Sky" Rosetti comments that "These recent expansions both in radio and television should serve to strengthen both these media here on Hawaii Island. In my view, the stronger the base, the more opportunities for Hawaiian music and its musicians in perpetuating and strengthening Hawaii's culture."
It is encouraging that the entrepreneurial spirit of New West Broadcasting has brought KWXX to Kona. It is equally encouraging that Big Island Television and Pacific Radio Group are optimistic enough about Hawaii Islandıs business climate to choose now to expand their reach on Hawaii Island.
Tune in to the KPUA Business Forum on the first and third Thursdays of each month. Our guest on December 18 is George Applegate, Executive Director, Big Island Visitors Bureau.
Focus on the Economy is written for Hawaii Island Economic Development Board, Roberta Chu, chair / Paula Helfrich, president. Readers with comments, questions or suggestions should check the web site, www.hiedb.org , e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call HIEDB, 966-5416. An archive of Focus on the Economy columns is available on the web site.
Focus on the Economy is written for Hawaii Island Economic Development Board, Roberta Chu, chair / Paula Helfrich, president. Readers with comments, questions or suggestions should check the web site www.hiedb.org . Or e-mail email@example.com or call HIEDB, 966-5416. An archive of Focus on the Economy columns is available on the web site.
See previous Focus On The Economy features by clicking on the links below:
Big Island Business Bullish in 2003
Kona Coffee Pacific Rim Symposium
Perks Up Coffee Festival
Ironman Celebrates 25 Years of Economic Impact
Kona Coffee Pacific Rim Symposium
Perks Up Coffee Festival
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