The Penguin Combines the Reach of Online Radio with the Focus of Local Radio

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A new online radio station broadcasts to the world, but keeps focus on the local New Jersey music scene as well creating the best of both worlds.

At a time when many radio stations from coast to coast all seem to sound the same, The Penguin stands alone. Officially launched on March 1st, the station broadcasts at and bridges the gap between local and online radio with a playlist that's uniquely its own.

"We don't follow the industry charts, we make our own," said Gary Wien, Program Director for The Penguin. "The majority of our music comes from independent artists that likely won't find airplay on commercial radio stations. Our playlist is comprised of songs hand-picked from the pile of CDs and MP3s received by the station each month. It doesn't matter to us whether the artist has sold millions of records or is simply releasing a demo track -- if it sounds good, we'll play it."

The Penguin takes advantage of the global reach of the Internet while maintaining a strong local focus as well. Twice a day, a show called "Inside Asbury" takes a look at the artists performing in the greater Asbury Park region - an area that has produced such legendary artists as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and Bon Jovi as well as new stars like Nicole Atkins and The Parlor Mob. At night (from 11pm to 5am) the station plays music solely by artists from New Jersey. It's a blend of new and up-and-coming artists played alongside those that have already achieved fame. provides listeners with the unique opportunity to places requests directly from the website and hear the songs automatically played one hour later. The website also contains the station's current playlist, local concert calendar, a list of the latest CDs added to the station, featured artists of the month, a directory with links to artist websites, CD reviews, information about the various radio shows running each week, and The Penguin Hall of Fame, which highlights some of the best albums and songs to ever arrive at the station.

In addition, the website acts as its own social networking website where musicians and music fans get together to post photos, songs, and videos while connecting with one another.

"We're not trying to replace sites like Facebook or MySpace, but we're giving independent artists another place to connect with music fans that support independent music," added Wien. "This station is for music fans that truly love music and love discovering new artists. The website helps bring those types of fans closer to the artists themselves."

Wien, a music journalist who has won three Asbury Music Awards for Top Music Journalist, first started in radio while attending college in Virginia. His book, Beyond the Palace, was the first comprehensive look at Asbury Park's rich musical history. His writings can be found at


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