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Survey to Help Military Stations Tailor Radio Programming

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2006 – Survey forms will go out in the mail this week to 10,000 servicemembers and Department of Defense civilian employees overseas to determine what they're looking for in radio programming provided by American Forces Network.

The survey will help American Forces Radio and Television Service, AFN's parent organization, provide better radio programming of music, news and talk that lives up to its audience's desires, Warren Lee, AFRTS plans and operations officer, said in an interview. The goal, he said, is "to serve our overseas audience with the information and entertainment that they want and need to hear -- the way they want to hear it, when they want to do it."

AFRTS last surveyed its worldwide audience in 2002, but this is the first audience survey dedicated specifically to radio listeners.

"I expect the information we glean from this survey will enable us to update our radio services to provide programming that our worldwide audience thinks is important to them in their personal and professional lives," Melvin Russell, AFRTS director, said. "Radio provides an important service to our mobile audience overseas, so it's important to gauge their needs and desires."

To meet that goal, survey forms are being mailed directly to DoD employees stationed or employed in countries where American Forces Radio and Television Service operates local radio stations, Lee said. Troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, who aren't at their permanent mailing addresses, will get their survey forms through military Morale, Welfare and Recreation officials at MWR facilities, dining facilities and other common areas, he said.

Those asked to participate in the survey can fill out the form and mail it back at no cost in the postage-paid envelope that accompanies it or respond on the Internet using the access code provided with the hard-copy survey. AFRTS hopes to receive survey responses by mid-February and will provide feedback about results through local AFN stations during May.

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