’80s fans tune in to Ashland Man’s online radio channel

ASHLAND, Ky. (WTVQ) – Reading, knitting, baking, binge-watching TV – some of the hobbies people embraced when they found themselves stranded at home after the Covid pandemic- 19.

Boyd County native Mike Nelson’s pandemic hobby? He started his own online radio station.

“I was kinda stuck here at home and so I was like, you know, I always wanted to have my own radio station and do things my way and not have to play by the rules,” says Nelson.

But it wasn’t the desire to do things his own way that really motivated the 20-year-old broadcast veteran to start his own station – it was his love of ’80s music.

“The 80s were my growing years and listening to the radio,” he says. “The various radio stations I worked for, I tried to present this format, which dates from the 80s, but I failed to do so. So I started to explore how I could start my own radio station and not broadcast it over the air, but actually go online in order to have a larger audience to reach, not just locally.

Nelson says his timing couldn’t have been better as the ’80s seem to be making a comeback, noting the popularity of shows like “The Goldbergs”, “Stranger Days” and “Cobra Kai”.

“It’s time for an ’80s overhaul and it’s time for it to make a comeback and I started it at the right time to jump on the bandwagon,” he says.

Nelson started my80s.live from the basement of his house with the help of a friend with “great computer skills”. The fully automated online radio site caters to fans of 80s music 24/7 and Nelson says the response has been remarkable. He says about 400 listeners a month connect from all over the United States and even as far away as England and he’s seeing that number increase.

One of the ways Nelson has made sure he and his listeners can stay connected is by using a practice once common on radio: responding to requests for songs. He set it up to be notified immediately on his phone if someone calls and makes a request on the free “My 80’s” request line.

“And I can actually come back and put that person’s voice back on the air, making that request, just like they used to do on the radio,” he says.

But Nelson doesn’t just let ’80s fans relive the sounds of the decade, he also lets them relive the sights, via the “My 80’s” Facebook page he created.

“I really do it for what listeners really want and how they want it to be done,” he says. “It’s a lot of fun because there really is no limit to what we can do.”

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