30A Radio is alive and well in South Walton with a new home — the Internet.
The radio station, once used as a teaching tool for broadcasting students at Seaside Neighborhood School, went off the air in late spring of last year. Rather than see such a unique community resource disappear, The 30A Company took it over, making it available 24 hours a day online.
“The school had to close down the station because it needed the studio space for classroom expansion,” said The 30A Company’s founder Mike Ragsdale, who was a volunteer DJ at the station for two years. “We didn’t want our community radio station to die, so we worked with the school’s board to keep 30A Radio going as a resource for locals and fans.”
The school-run station broadcast over traditional radio airwaves, but its reach was limited to 5 to 10 miles around Seaside. “That was on a good day,” laughed Ragsdale. The old station’s reach was limited by strict FCC regulations, but the power of the Internet gives the station global reach.
“Internet radio is really reviving the medium. There is now a thriving community of online radio stations broadcasting 24 hours a day all around the world,” said Cory Davis, a 20-year radio veteran who now manages 30A Radio. “Everyday we reach people in Northwest Florida, the southern United States and across the globe who have an interest not only in this area, but in the sounds and stories of the beach lifestyle.”
Every time a listener tunes into 30A Radio’s programing, they are listening for over an hour, enjoying its Southern Coastal music mix and engaging interviews with locals such as Seaside founder Robert Davis, Prudence Bruns of The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” fame and even regional stars like Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints.
The broad range of music includes Southern rock, country, Caribbean, reggae, New Orleans funk and beach tunes. The station also features popular local stars like Dread Clampitt, The Owsley Brothers and the Forrest Williams Band who have been honing the 30A and South Walton sound for years.
“Even though we’ve expanded our reach, we are still staying 30A authentic,” Cory Davis said.
Fans can tune in for free online or through the 30A app, as well as catch interviews wherever they download their podcasts.
Tune in live now at 30aradio.com or learn more about all the ways to listen at 30a.com/how-to-listen-to-30a-radio.
30A Radio At A Glance
• More than 8.7 million minutes of listening
• Top 5 Listening Areas (outside Northwest Florida):
1. Birmingham, Ala.
2. Houston, Texas
3. Atlanta, Ga.
4. Baton Rouge, La.
5. Nashville, Tenn.
• Far-flung listeners have tuned in from locations across the globe including: Bogata, Colombia; Sao Palo, Brazil; Bangkok, Thailand; Ciudad Real, Spain; and Moscow, Russia