Reachout Radio, the closed-circuit radio broadcast that provides access to daily newspapers and magazines for people who are unable to read standard print, will come to an end after three decades of service.
Station officials said that the closed-circuit radio broadcast has become obsolete. They said that with advances in digital accessibility, the availability of 24-hour news services, and the shift of print journalism to electronic distribution, new technology has surpassed Reachout Radio’s usefulness.
“The decision to discontinue our radio reading service did not come easily, or without a thorough evaluation,” said WXXI President Norm Silverstein. “After surveying our listeners, it became clear that that they had outgrown Reachout Radio and turned to newer, more available technology. We are proud to have been able to provide the service to our community for more than three decades, but realize that people with vision loss are consuming news and media on digital platforms that are more accessible.”
WXXI and ABVI-Goodwill launched the radio reading service in 1984. At that time, the service had nearly 1,500 registered listeners. Today, only a handful of people are registered for the service, and of those, just a few said they were listening only occasionally if at all.