Tag Archives: Aron Bender

When Digital Met Radio

With today’s technology, listening to the radio has become a more personal experience. People can log on to apps such as Pandora, Spotify and Dash Radio to listen to their favorite music at a moment’s notice, without having to wade through commercials or artists they don’t like.

Every week, 86 million people listen to some form of online radio, according to a 2013 study by Edison Research.

Aron Bender, news anchor at KFI-AM and a journalism professor at Cal State Northridge, said while internet radio definitely provides more choices for listeners, it offers some advantages to radio stations as well.

“While listeners do have more control, it also gives us more control because now, we can cater to those people who are listening,” Bender said. “We can cater to the people who are consuming our product.”

But all-digital radio platforms provide something that commercial radio cannot — the absence of advertisements.  Danny Calderon, producer at Dash Radio, a commercial-free, mobile-based radio platform, said the ability to get content almost anywhere is contributing to the rise of online radio.

“There’s an app for everything,” Calderon said. “It’s easier now to listen to it online.”

For Calderon, running an all-digital radio station has its own challenges.

“[It takes] a lot of computers, a lot of servers, a lot of music,” he said.

Without commercials providing revenue for Dash Radio, Calderon said the station is funded solely by investors and sponsorships from record executive L.A. Reid, XXL Magazine and others.

“Since we’re fairly new and coming up and it’s buzzing, there are people trying to invest and be part of the movement,” Calderon said.

Traditional radio stations don’t have the same freedoms that a digital station has. DJ Fuze, an on-air DJ for Power 106, said he must abide by strict regulations while he is working.

“When I’m on air, I have no control,” Fuze said. “I have to play what’s on the list. If I play something that wasn’t on the list, I’d get in some serious trouble.”

When Fuze is not at Power 106, he is making mix tapes for use on the music-sharing app Soundcloud, accessible to listeners all over the world.

“That’s always a challenge,” Fuze said of catering to an international audience. “Sometimes I get listens from Australia, Europe. You have to think about what they like out there, too.”

Bender said the key for all radio stations nowadays is the immediate feedback platforms like Twitter provide. Fuze said there are two sides to that.

“If you ever mess up, people on Twitter and Instagram are quick to give you negative feedback,” Fuze said. “It goes both ways.”

While digital radio is seemingly taking over from the more traditional broadcast format, Bender said both platforms are here to stay.

“When TV came in, they said that radio was going to die,” Bender said. “And when Internet came in, they said TV and radio. But, there is enough out there for everybody.”


Moderator: Lauren Llanos

Producer: Dean Perez

Anchor: Carly Bagingito

Reporters: Zulay Saldana and Alex Vejar

Social Media Editor: Katie Fauskee



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Careers in Radio and Television News

On Point’s Tiaira Nowlin talks to CSUN Journalism program graduates about their careers. KCSB/KCAL-TV reporter Melissa McCarty, KFI-AM’s Aron Bender and KMTV’s Adam Racusin give advice about resumes, reels, balancing career and family, and coping with new technology to current journalism students.

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