Sirius XM Radio 24|
Dish Network 6031
|First air date||
1998 on the Internet|
June 15, 2005 on SIRIUS
November 12, 2008 on XM
|Format||Jimmy Buffett, Island, Rock, Reggae|
SiriusXM: Radio Margaritaville
Radio Margaritaville is a worldwide Internet radio station and SiriusXM Satellite Radio station (Ch. 24) owned by Jimmy Buffett. It features 24-hour music and live broadcasts of Jimmy Buffett's concerts.
Buffett was inspired to create Radio Margaritaville after listening to radio stations in Australia, the Key West, and to WOYS in Apalachicola, Florida. He was attracted to the channels' wide range of programming, as opposed to the homogenized playlists he heard elsewhere. He contacted an old friend, Steve Huntington, who agreed to leave terrestrial radio to serve as program director for Buffett's new venture. "When we first started talking about this, we didn't know the Internet would be the route," Huntington said in a 2001 interview. "We figured it would be done in syndication or something. But we started doing some shows on the main Margaritaville site in 1998 and the response was very good." Buffett modeled the channel after pirate radio stations in terms of having no restrictions on what songs to play. It also recalled free-form FM radio of the 1970s with diverse playlists featuring music in the rock, jazz, blues, and folk genres. By 2002, Radio Margaritaville was one of the most popular Internet stations, though it had yet to build an audience that would rival small-market radio stations.
Radio Margaritaville joined Sirius Satellite Radio in 2005 on channel 31 (moving to XM 24 May 4, 2011) and Dish Network channel 6031. It became the first internet station to transition to mainstream radio, and can also be heard on radio. On November 12, 2008, following the merger of Sirius and XM Radio, the station was added to the XM lineup at channel 55 (moving to XM 24 May 4, 2011). Radio Margaritaville's program director is Kirsten Winquist and the General Manager is Coleman Sisson. On air talent consists of Steve Huntington, Carson Cooper, Kirsten Winquist, Sara West, Matt Hoggatt and JD Spradlin. The station is broadcast from Margaritaville locations in Orlando, Key West, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Jamaica, and Cancun.
SiriusXM's station, "The Highway," added a Friday afternoon-drive program, Music Row Happy Hour, to its lineup in 2016. Hosted by Buzz Brainard, the show is broadcast from the Margaritaville Restaurant in Nashville and has featured visits from such artists as Brett Eldredge, Maren Morris, and Blake Shelton. The show "created a natural cross-promotion with Jimmy Buffett’s Radio Margaritaville channel."  As of August 2017, Radio Margaritaville averages three million unique listeners a week.
- Walker, Craig (June 6, 2001). "Margaritaville is calling". The Tennessean. p. 35. Retrieved September 21, 2017. (Subscription required (help)).
- "Margaritaville moves to Sirius". CNN. May 10, 2005. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- Bird, Rick (May 31, 2001). "Buffett Takes Margaritaville to Web". The Cincinnati Post (via HighBeam Research). Retrieved September 21, 2017. (Subscription required (help)).
- Chmielewski, Dawn C. (January 2, 2002). "Signal fading on biggest Webcast Live365". Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service (via HighBeam Research). Retrieved September 21, 2017. (Subscription required (help)).
- "Sirius Channel Lineup" (PDF). 2011-05-02. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2011-05-04.
- "XM Channel Lineup" (PDF). 2011-05-02. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2011-05-04.
- "Jimmy Buffett to Bring Radio Margaritaville Exclusively to SIRIUS Satellite Radio". SiriusXM.com. May 10, 2005. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved August 16, 2014.
- Roland, Tom (July 17, 2017). "Get Buzzed, Go On The Radio: SiriusXM's 'Music Row Happy Hour' Does Drive Time Differently". Billboard. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- Feldman, Dana (August 10, 2017). "How Jimmy Buffett Turned Hit Song 'Margaritaville' Into A Multibillion-Dollar Empire". Forbes. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
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