It's tough enough for any radio station to get listeners with the multitude of entertainment choices available.
Public radio stations have a tougher task. In addition to listening, they'd need people to pay for the privilege.
That's one of the reasons Akron-based listener-supported radio station The Summit, which is simulcast on 90.7 FM in Struthers and widely available in the Mahoning Valley, comes up with perks and special events to encourage listeners to become members.
While members-only concerts are offered several times a year in the Akron-Canton area, Tuesday's performance by Scars on 45 at Cedar's Lounge is The Summit's first members-only show in Youngstown.
General manager Tommy Bruno said, ''They've played for us before. Now they're on the crest of becoming very popular and we like that our Youngstown listeners will get a chance to see the band.''
The Summit has about 200 members in the Warren-Youngstown market.
''In public radio, only 2 to 3 percent of people listening are actually donating, so we know we have a good listenership in the Valley,'' he said. ''And the people who pledge from the Mahoning Valley have been very generous and are of all ages.''
The Summit plays an adult-alternative format that mixes older songs from '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s with newer bands that are ignored by rock and Top 40 stations. It's the only station in the market where acts like The Decemberists, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Death Cab for Cutie, Andrew Bird, Ingrid Michaelson, Red Wanting Blue and The Shins can be heard, and the station was playing Adele and The Black Keys years before they became chart-topping performers.
The mix is designed to reawaken adult listeners' sense of discovery, Bruno said.
''A lot of people our age have lost their love of music or still are listening to the stuff they listened to in high school,'' he said.
Bringing new bands in for members-only shows is a way to do that, and The Summit hopes to do more concerts locally.
''We're not trying to pretend we're a Pittsburgh station or a Cleveland station,'' Bruno said. ''We want to super-serve Akron-Canton and Youngstown-Warren.''