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Radio dial: Are portable radios dinosaurs?

Are portable radios going the way of the dinosaur?

More and more people are using MP3 players and iPods, with their own music already downloaded, making portable radio sets an increasing rarity.

When was the last time you saw someone listening to a portable radio?

A Deseret News colleague recently told me he couldn't believe how few portable radios are on sale today.

He said Walmart didn't have any for sale, Target had just one and the choices at the dollar stores were inadequate.

Going to Amazon.com — a Sony Walkman selling for $12.44, a Panasonic RF-P50 selling for $9.95 and a Coby CX-9 selling for $13.49 — were the only compact radio sets for sale.

There are a few new choices out there, like a Kaito KA801 ($79.99), an ultra-thin device with MP3, as well as AM/FM radio.There's no doubt less interest in listening to portable radios, or else there would be more variety in choices.

However, there's definitely an increase in the online stream audience of late. For example, Inside Radio reported that KSFI ("FM-100") almost tripled its usual listeners during the December holiday music period.

RADIO HAPPENINGS — The "Delilah" radio show is no longer heard on KOSY radio. If you are lucky enough to get the signal, it airs on KBLQ (FM-92.9) and KREC (FM-98.1) Sundays through Fridays from 7 p.m. to midnight. Otherwise, go to www.delilah.com and find a radio station outside Utah that has a streamof the show, and listen there through a computer.

How popular is Glenn Beck? A news survey by Harris Poll found Beck is second only to Oprah Winfrey among the public's favorite TV hosts. Jay Leno was third. Among senior citizens, Republicans, Independents, conservatives and Midwestern residents, Beck was the most popular TV host. The poll was conducted online nationally between Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 among 2,276 adults (ages 18 and over). Beck's TV show airs on Fox News, while his radio program airs locally each weekday from 9 to 10 a.m. and from 4 to 7 p.m. on KNRS (FM-105.7).

How do teens listen to radio? Inside Radio reports that a recent survey revealed that U.S. teens spend an average of 32 minutes a day listening to radio.

Port-au-Prince in Haiti had 30 FM radio stations before the earthquake, according to Radio Journal. After the quake, only one station, FM-90.5, remained on the air, and it struggled to obtain fuel and keep its generator running.

A dual South Dakota broadcast tower came down last month because of ice buildup on its anchor cables. One TV station and one radio station lost the top 300 feet of their 712-foot-tall tower from the ice. The tower had been up for more than 50 years.

e-mail: lynn@desnews.com