Mildura’s only world wide internet station OZMR is physically being streamed right across the American highway system.
OZCMR, which broadcasts about 80 percent independent country music and country favorites, is broadcast from its small studios in Byrne Court Mildura.
Soon to celebrate three years streaming world wide, OZCMR hares studios with Mildura’s oldies narrowcast station 1611AM Old Gold.
It’s chief announcer is Mark Eckel, a Mildura Rural City Councillor, who developed the concept of linking an internet based radio service with a Face Boon group.
Mr Eckel has a fan base of more than 5000 country music followers from all parts of the world.
Most internet stations are totally computerised, but OZCMR (which stands for Australia Country Music Radio) but the Mildura based operation has more than three hours of live broadcasts on weekdays.
“Between songs I’m posting information on Face Book and listeners can send me messages and it’s a great way to keep in contact with country music people from all over the world.”
He has a wide following and early next year will celebrate his 25th year as a broadcaster.
Mr Eckel began doing an hourly Hitz Show program on community Station HOT FM from early in 1993.
He was living in Mildura and would do his radio show in Mildura and then head off to Wentworth where he was employed as part time marketing and promotions officer.
“He introduced the one time popular game event Go Racing and the Market Days promotions linked with the gaming machines at the Club,
Later he became the sports and Recreation complex Manager before returning to Mildura where he became employed at the Mildura Workers in a similar role.
Around 2003 he became the sponsorship Officer and breakfast announcer at HOT FM replacing Gavin Ryan, who had taken over from the former Sydney and Mildura radio broadcaster the late Graeme McGuiness.
After leaving HOT FM in 2013, Mr Eckel joined 1611AM Old Gold and convinced the station owners to back his OZCMR concept.
And his daily program has attracted fans world-wide and in the USA the station is being promoted on a truck which travels the American highways.
The truck driving team of Steve Kelley and Becky Hunt have the OZCMR sound streaming in the prime mover cabin as they take loads across the States.
They’ve even painted the OZCMR message on the side of their their truck.
Local people who haven’t heard the internet station will get a chance to hear it for a a few days after the Mildura Country Music festival as it will be broadcast over 91.5FM (the country music festival station) to entertain the country music fans who hang around enjoying the weather and local country music fans.
It will be used to lead into the Mildura Show on October 19-21. At the end of the show the special event station (91.5FM) will close down until next September ahead of the 2018 Mildura Country Music Festival.
Next week OZCMR will be having regular interviews with visiting country music artists and also have a two hour program from the Langtree Mall from the Rockman’s Store studio.
The show will feature a lot of the live performances from the Langtree Avenue stage and these will be re-broadcast from around 5pm Sunday October 1 to Sunday October 8.