In­ter­net ra­dio owner moved coun­tries for his pas­sion

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Ev­ery­thing may be big­ger in Texas, but it’s not nec­es­sar­ily bet­ter – which is how a pop­u­lar ra­dio sta­tion came to be on the air­waves out of Pa­pakowhai.

And­how.fm broad­casts to 20,000 in­ter­na­tional lis­ten­ers a month on­line, and 12,000 peo­ple can pick up its FM sig­nal in Ti­tahi Bay, Plim­mer­ton, Mana, Cam­borne, Pa­pakowhai and Pau­ata­hanui.

It’s the only sta­tion in New Zealand play­ing what Amer­i­cans call AAA mu­sic – Adult Al­bum Al­ter­na­tive, or ‘‘ the new, hot stuff’’ as And­How.fm’s owner Pa­trick Bren­nan puts it.

He started his pop­u­lar in­ter­net ra­dio sta­tion, then called And­how Web Ra­dio, in Bridge City, Texas, in 1998 and soon had a strong fol­low­ing and 12 staff pro­duc­ing shows. How­ever, US broad­cast li­cens­ing laws did not recog­nise in­ter­net ra­dio at the time, so the sta­tion was un­able to sign on spon­sors or ad­ver­tis­ers.

In a bid to grow the sta­tion, Mr Bren­nan moved his life to New Zealand in 2001.

‘‘Here in New Zealand they didn’t have those kind of rules, so I thought I’d move it here,’’ he says. ‘‘I knew New Zealand was a place where they tested new tech­nol­ogy.’’

It was not smooth sail­ing Dow­nun­der un­for­tu­nately. Ra­dio in­sid­ers warned Mr Bren­nan US sta­tions rarely took off here be­cause Amer­i­cans man­gled the pro­nun­ci­a­tion of Maori words, and as work com­mit­ments grew, Mr Bren­nan canned the sta­tion. It hurt.

‘‘I felt like I had lost my mojo,’’ he says.

In 2008 he de­cided to reignite his pas­sion, and now spends 30 hours a week pro­duc­ing shows and choos­ing mu­sic for the sta­tion out of a tiny stu­dio in his Pa­pakowhai home, work­ing his hobby around a full­time IT job at Vic­to­ria Univer­sity.

His phi­los­o­phy is now to keep the sta­tion small, al­ter­na­tive and free of ads.

‘‘I have been want­ing to do this since I was a small child. That’s what keeps me go­ing. It’s just the love of mu­sic. We’re a non-com [non-com­mer­cial] sta­tion, and non-coms are be­com­ing the al­ter­na­tive to [dig­i­tal mu­sic ser­vices] Pan­dora and Spo­tify. We’re not an au­to­mated com­puter. It’s hand-picked, put to­gether by peo­ple, played by peo­ple.’’

While most of his lis­ten­ers are based in Amer­ica, Europe and Asia, Mr Bren­nan is work­ing to bring more of a Porirua com­mu­nity flavour to the sta­tion. He takes lo­cal re­quests, in­tro­duces new Kiwi songs to the playlist , and is keen to get more Porirua DJS on board.

107.5 And­how. FM can be picked up around the Porirua Har­bour and Pau­ata­hanui in­let. It is stream­ing on­line at and­how.org.

Y’all lis­ten­ing? Ex-pat Texan Pa­trick Bren­nan broad­casts his ra­dio sta­tion And­how.fm to tens of thou­sands of in­ter­na­tional lis­ten­ers from his home stu­dio in Pa­pakowhai.

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