Greetings, everyone! My name is Andy Hayes, creator/owner of the Edgewise Radio Network; and, may I officially welcome you back to my humble platform. Nobody thought more than me that this station was dead after August of 2017. Although a number of personal factors also contributed to the closure of the station, the final straw was when things got hairy with our former licensing agency, StreamLicensing LLC. For those who don’t remember, or weren’t around for generation one or two of the platform, Edgewise Radio began as a weekly broadcast through UBroadcast in 2008, and in 2014, we began broadcasting on a 24/7-365 schedule through Live365. Within six months, we opted to switch to a much more independent platform known as StreamLicensing LLC. For more than three years, the relationship between us was nothing short of perfect. Reporting was a breeze, there was very little exclusion, and if you ever had a question it was answered in less than an hour by the owner of the platform. It seemed like paradise.
Then, in January of 2016, Congress opted not to renew the Small Webcasters Agreement; which, kept rates affordable and much more streamlined. Soon after this, StreamLicensing switched-hands and all affiliates were promised the same type of service as before. For a while, they kept their promise and things were pretty great overall. But, in April of 2017, I receive an email from the biggest performance rights organization in the United States – ASCAP. They informed me that StreamLicensing had stopped paying royalties in October of 2016, although my rates had remained the same. I was warned to cease operation through StreamLicensing, because the station was no longer covered under them, or I would face ‘possible’ legal action. Of course, as you would figure, StreamLicensing contacted all of their affiliates to inform them of a dispute they had been having with ASCAP since October of 2016 (without informing any of us), and they said they were attempting to act on our behalf and we had been paying fees exceeding the realm of what ASCAP was due to collect. They told us to hang in there with them, they had our back, and there would be nothing to worry about; as a matter of fact, once everything was figured-out, our rates would be lower.
This continued for a few months, ASCAP with the emails and StreamLicensing with the excuses and ‘hang in there’s’; but, finally, in August I contacted StreamLicensing support after I received what was titled the ‘final message’ ASCAP was going to send as a forewarning to me and my station. When asked very specific questions, I was given the run-around, and on my final message, I was actually given a form letter of vagueness. I had little to no choice but to cut-off all ties with StreamLicensing LLC. and to clear my name and station with the fine folks at ASCAP. So you know, all is good between me and them. Anyway, for the longest time, I was done, finished, no more – tapped-out. I was tired, cranky, and just did not have the juice to fulfill all that is required to manage something as large as an independently-funded and operated radio station.
Then, a good friend, an old friend, lost his life to a severe chest infection while serving his country in South Korea. Air Force MSgt. Rafael Silva Jr., otherwise known as Ray to his friends and family, who I met at my first (and only) permanent duty station Pope AFB, North Carolina; as a Senior Airman, he took me under his wing and tried to show me the way, and he and his wife Ana were the only friends who held me accountable when I would do wrong. He was the man. I admired him greatly. Many years had passed since that time, but I did my best to keep in-touch with him, to see how he was doing, and to let him know what my status was. We lived a number of states apart, so the opportunity to visit him never came to be in recent times. When I found-out about this news, it sucked to say the least. I felt really bad. I recently lost my grandfather as well, so it hit extra hard when one of my peers went down like he did. I had contacted someone else I had served with once upon a time, Nichelle, and she was pretty upset herself, being that she was best-friends with both Ray and Ana. She was cool. She sent me some pictures and talked with me about some things that went down back in the day, and essentially told me to enjoy life since I was still ‘on this side’. She was right. There was no reason to dwell on things I couldn’t change, but instead focus-on what I could change and what I had control over to begin with. A few days passed, and I reached-out to her again to thank her for giving me all the information and keeping me up-to-date with everything, and the typical exchange of pleasantries took place. She seemed down and out at the time, so I encouraged her by telling her to find her ‘answer’. I told her, it’s right there in-front of you, waiting for you to ask the question – then it will all make sense. You’ll just have to trust me.
Within days of telling her this, it struck me pretty hard. For the sake of my conscience, I couldn’t let a project die that I literally cultivated as an infant to an active property for nearly a decade of my life – from MySpace, to UBroadcast, to YouTube, to StreamLicesning. It was a tough mountain, but it was a hell of a challenge; and, frankly, life just wasn’t quite the same without it. So, it’s back, and it’s truly better than ever before! Having found our new home, back with an old friend of Live365, we’re poised to grow this platform is ways that were unimaginable before. In addition to our trademarked, all-inclusive mix of music, we’ve got a number of plans for 2018, such as introducing a sports programming lineup, a couple of live music showcases, and much, much more!!! Make sure to periodically check the schedule here on the website, or our social media pages, for all the new programs and events coming to the Edgewise Radio Network. Thank you for your support. Now, I have to return to settling this unfinished business I started a long, long time ago. — AH
Share this Post