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A radio monopoly.

A Radio Monopoly

If you remember 1967, you might remember the "Live Better Electrically Music Hour" sponsored by Arkansas Power & Light Power Co.

The program was fed by a Ted Snider-owned Little Rock radio station to stations across Arkansas from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. Monday through Friday.

The Arkansas Radio Network, which provides news, agriculture and sports reports, grew out of that music hour.

The statewide network began with affiliates at Russellville, El Dorado. Forrest City and Little Rock,

Today, there are 54 affiliates for agriculture reports, 67 affiliates for news and 81 affiliates for sports (the primary draw being University of Arkansas basketball broadcasts).

Affiliates pay $125 per month to cover the cost of satellite delivery.

The stations and the network make money through a barter system with ARN usually retaining one minute of network advertising time each hour.

KATV-TV, Channel 7, in Little Rock formed a similar statewide radio network in 1984. It was known as the A-Net.

Although the A-Net had 35 to 40 affiliates at one time, it never made money during the almost three years it operated.

KATV's Jim Pitcock says a soft advertising market was partly to blame for the network's failure.

Pitcock says, "If I had it to do over again, I would make it a separate service."

The A-Net never had a separate staff from the television station's news staff.

Snider, ARN's owner, admits he kept his eye on the A-Net.

But he adds, "We never lost any stations to them. We just did our own thing."

For more than two decades, ARN has been doing its own thing and doing it well.

With the A-Net's demise, there appear to be no statewide radio network competitors on the horizon.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Journal Publishing, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Arkansas Radio Network
Author:Rengers, Carrie
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Jul 29, 1991
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