Tapping into live broadcasts of the world’s most popular to the most obscure radio stations is quite easy today thanks to online streaming, but when California’s local KCRW radio had an itch to grow an audience in Germany, they knew it would take more than a simple stream. On Monday, KCRW decided to do things right and began their first live broadcast to the German market via traditional airwaves in Berlin, replacing NPR’s previous control of 104.1 FM.
KCRW’s approach is unique in that it is looking to provide a set of content that serves as a cultural dialogue between the US and Germany, while also keeping a touch of its local California flare. For listeners who were used to tuning in to NPR’s broadcasts, KCRW Berlin told the Local that they still planned to “carry on the tradition of unbiased, intelligent reporting” that NPR is known for, while introducing a mix of programming that includes their own “world renowned music offering”.
As the station matures, KCRW plans to add more programming geared to local affairs in Berlin and Germany, and is starting with four four-minute segments covering local politics, entertainment and weather each day. Also in the works are two original shows for the Berlin market, one current affairs and the other on culture. These will initially start as weekly segments but KCRW plans to expand the shows into daily drivers.