Saturday, November 16, 2013

Hersam Acorn Radio

Page 1 of this weeks New Canaan Advertister

I can keep a secret. Sometimes it's tough, but when sworn to secrecy, I can keep it to myself.

I've been keeping something quiet for over three months now. Finally, I can let it out.

A new project, Hersam Acorn Radio, will debut Thursday afternoon, with the grand opening on Friday night.

With the help of Paul Silverfarb, we began to craft an idea for an online radio channel. Once we had a fairly salient proposal, we passed it on to Marty Hersam, the "Hersam" in the company name. We didn't use a conference room. We didn't use email, or a memo.

We did it after a softball game.

He was intrigued. That was in August.

So began the journey. I met with Marty in the Ridgefield office and was told at that time to keep the idea quiet.

The plan seemed to lag after that. Everyone was busy and it even seemed that it might die. And then...

Paul suggested a site to host our audio, Mixlr, which has an app for the iPhone (as well as Android, though I'm told the results are shaky there at best, so we're still looking into options). We will embed our live broadcasts from Mixlr onto our sites, or people can just listen via Mixlr.

Next, I needed a mixer, preferably one with a USB hookup to take the audio to the computer. We purchased one, and we were on our way. I knew with my collection of equipment, we would be just fine.

We had to do some tests, and I played around with it on a personal site I created on Mixlr. You can hear the early results, including a few tests of just some talking, a talk show with my Wilton Continuing Ed class, and a full broadcast of the Brunswick/Berkshire football game that Paul and I called.

Among the tests was the day I disappeared into a room off to the side of our kitchen in the Ridgefield office and just talked online for almost an hour. Several people listened in to give us all feedback, while the web people did their work to try out a website embedding widget.

With the tests completed, the goal was set. While I wanted to get it going for the start of football season, once that passed, I turned my eyes towards the FCIAC football championship.

Friday, November 22.

From the New Canaan Advertiser
But first, we will begin with a preview show, on Thursday, November 21, at Noon. Paul Silverfarb (he of course of the Greenwich Post), Dave Stewart (of the New Canaan Advertiser, and the guru), Bill Bloxsom (of the Trumbull Times, among others), and I will review the season and discuss the championship game. Then, on Friday, Paul and I will have the call as New Canaan plays the St. Joseph Cadets. Chris Kaelin - yes, from WGCH - will walk the sideline for us, and we hope to get input from Bill and Dave as well.

All of the broadcasts will be archived on Mixlr and SoundCloud.

Hersam Acorn Radio is an opportunity for us to expand our coverage and show off the amazing reporters we have in the company. We haven't quite determined what's next, and I'm still writing away at the Bulletin in the meantime, so it's definitely a time to stay tuned. Plus I'm still at WGCH, so make sure to catch our work there as well (we've got GYFL Championship Sunday at 11:00 on 11/17).

I'm nervously excited. At the same time, it is overwhelming.

You will be able to listen at the New Canaan Advertiser and the Trumbull Times, as well as at

We'll have more here as this project develops.

1 comment:

johninct said...

Good luck Rob. I've had a Wifi radio for about 8 years and it's great. I think Internet radio is a great venue for local news/sports and even talk, especially as broadcast local content is getting harder to find.