Author Topic: FM Radio station in WY - Who wants to run one?  (Read 22195 times)

Offline amagi

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FM Radio station in WY - Who wants to run one?
« on: August 03, 2007, 03:48:07 PM »
I got this from Democracy Now.  A very left slanted news program but so slanted they often cover news that gets no attention from corporate owned news.  They mean this for socialists, but we could use this too.  I see educational opportunities galore.  It would take money and someone to run it.
-Amagi

Start Your Own Community Radio Station!

* Limited time to get a free, full-power FM radio license (in the U.S.)
* You and your community group can do this - if you act now!
* Democracy Now! will help you do this - please read below and fill out the form at http://getradio.org

(make sure you fill out the questionnaire, and put "democracy now!" in the How did you find out about GetRadio.org question.)

PLEASE read this, and consider applying for a full-power, noncommercial FM radio license - fill out the form at http://getradio.org to see if your region has a qualifying spot on the FM dial.

*Send this on to friends, family and community groups who might be interested.  TIME IS SHORT, BUT THERE IS STILL TIME TO APPLY FOR A FULL-POWER, NON-COMMERCIAL FM RADIO LICENSE - MAKE A LASTING CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR COMMUNITY, AND HELP STRENGTHEN COMMUNITY MEDIA!

Thank you!

email us if you have questions;
Silky Shah silky@democracynow.org
Denis Moynihan denis@democracynow.org

Read below and follow the links for more information:

Do you want to hear local news, music, and diverse voices covered in your town, the same way national and international stories are brought to you by Democracy Now!? Would you like to be able to listen to Democracy Now! on a local radio station? Now is your chance to make it happen!

This October, the FCC will open up an extremely rare opportunity for non-profit organizations to apply for full power, noncommercial radio station licenses in the United States, and its territories (places like Guam and Puerto Rico). If your group or favorite local nonprofit organization meets the qualifications, and if a frequency is available, you can start a local, community-owned radio station, and get Democracy Now! playing over the airwaves in your town ? along with local radio the likes of which your community has never seen. The FCC doesn't give out licenses like these every day -- this opportunity will not be available for another 15 years. It's the last chance in a generation for community radio in your town ? and you have a shot to make it happen.

Sound too good to be true? There are a few hitches. If you live in one of the top 10 largest cities in the country, please don't pursue this opportunity, as there is absolutely nothing available in big cities like Los Angeles and New York. The channels that are available are mostly in smaller cities and rural towns ? the 'last frontier' of the broadcast dial. You have to be a registered nonprofit to apply, and your group will have to pay for engineering and legal consultants in the next few months ? which will cost you a few thousand dollars at least. If your group is lucky enough to be granted a license from the FCC, you'll be responsible for the costs of equipment, which could run from $20,000 to $200,000.

Even if you don't live in a big city, most communities will only have one or two open channels, so the competition will be stiff ? some organizations have been waiting years for their shot at these noncommercial, full-power frequencies. But don't despair?media justice groups around the country are doing everything in their power to make sure that local nonprofits like yours can successfully file applications, and win radio stations. If your group meets the qualifications above, read on to get connected to the Radio for People Coalition, which will help you get your application in tip-top shape!

The time to act is now?today. The application takes time and money to complete, so you must get the ball rolling today in order to meet the October deadline. Don't miss this opportunity to claim your community's slice of the FM dial!

Here's how to find out more about how to get your own community radio station:

Visit http://www.getradio.org on the web to see if there might be a frequency in your zip code.

Read more about the Full Power window at http://radioforpeople.org or at http://prometheusradio.org/full_power

Do you have the vision to make this happen? Today might be the day when you and your community conceives an institution of local justice, accountable news and information, and organizing power that will live on to serve your children and grandchildren. And we want to succeed.

Join this movement today ? and get ready to apply for your own full power FM radio station!

Offline P'ahin Nunihan

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Re: FM Radio station in WY - Who wants to run one?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2007, 06:45:01 PM »
OK so I spent a couple of days thinking about this (and why it is a bad idea), but now I'm not so sure.  Here's my thoughts (and thanks amagi for not smacking me upside the head for my smart-aleck comments when we first discussed this):

- although it is expensive to apply and run a station, you don't have the huge FCC application fee as it is non-commercial (will need to hire a consultant though to make sure the app is done correctly - I'd hire a former FCC attorney instead of one of the leftist orgs).
- you don't need to be a tax exempt org, just not for profit, so you could essentially talk about whatever you want (subject of course to the normal FCC broadcasting regs) including political speech and supporting/bashing candidates.  AFAIK you can still do advertising.
- it's a pretty safe bet that there are available frequencies in much of Wyoming (for sure Crook/Weston - I ran some zip codes).
- it is even possible there may be little or no competition for freqs in some localities - might increase the chances getting a license.
- it's an opportunity to influence the culture in a county by offering programming that nobody's ever heard from either the left or the right.
- possible opportunities for "public service" messages (PM me if you want more details) exist - a plus in a part of the country with spotty cell and internet access.
- while expenses for the transmitter and antenna will be significant, this can be done a lot cheaper if we contribute labor, go with used equipment, and maybe fab the antenna ourselves.
- could start at lower power to save on costs and upgrade in the future

I know it's still probably out of our league, but if anyone else is interested in pursuing this, I'll put together a business plan and contribute significantly with finances to get an application put together.
We thought about it for a long time, "Endeavor to persevere." And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union. - Lone Watie

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around - Talking Heads

Offline bobcat

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Re: FM Radio station in WY - Who wants to run one?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2007, 07:39:03 PM »
Great idea Amagi.  While this might seem difficult to impossible to many, it's the people that are the POSSIBILITY thinkers that make things happen.

While I have never been involved in a radio station, I have seen them run on a shoestring.  I.e., run out of the back of a pharmacy (behind pegboard no less), out of a house, and even shared with another radio station.

It CAN be done!
Bobcat  

"Those who would sacrifice Liberty for security, deserve neither Liberty or security."  -Benjamin Franklin
"Citizenship is not a spectator sport"  -K Denninger

Offline P'ahin Nunihan

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Re: FM Radio station in WY - Who wants to run one?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2007, 07:52:31 PM »
Once I stopped thinking that it was a stupid idea, the first image that came into my head was KBHR in Cicely, Alaska.  I'm no Maurice, but perhaps a group of us could be.  Any ex-felons want to do the morning show?  ;D
We thought about it for a long time, "Endeavor to persevere." And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union. - Lone Watie

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around - Talking Heads

Offline yonder

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Re: FM Radio station in WY - Who wants to run one?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2007, 09:24:33 PM »
You can get a lot of great programming for such a station from Accent Radio Network.

Offline JenS

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Re: FM Radio station in WY - Who wants to run one?
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2007, 09:28:57 PM »
I am very interested in working on this type of thing. That would be very cool.  ;)
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Offline P'ahin Nunihan

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Re: FM Radio station in WY - Who wants to run one?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2007, 09:45:53 PM »
Thanks for that link yonder.  Do you know if they are looking for straight affiliates, or can you just pick up a program or two from them?  For various reasons I don't think I'd be interested in organizing, running or investing in a Christian radio station, but some of Accent's programming looks interesting.

Although it is more work, in general I think a local radio station will do better if most if not all the programming is local.  I realize this is counter to all recent trends and if you're gonna' do 16-18 hours/day it's a big task, but I still think it's desirable.

You can get a lot of great programming for such a station from Accent Radio Network.
We thought about it for a long time, "Endeavor to persevere." And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union. - Lone Watie

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around - Talking Heads

Offline bobcat

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Re: FM Radio station in WY - Who wants to run one?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2007, 09:47:16 PM »
I'll volunteer to do an hour of classical and jazz... ;D  with a sprinkling of the Bill of Rights or some Jeffersonian papers... :)

At least as soon as we get our collective posteriors out there. ;)
Bobcat  

"Those who would sacrifice Liberty for security, deserve neither Liberty or security."  -Benjamin Franklin
"Citizenship is not a spectator sport"  -K Denninger

Offline P'ahin Nunihan

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Re: FM Radio station in WY - Who wants to run one?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2007, 10:17:12 PM »
Uh-oh, you said the word jazz - hope amagi doesn't hear it - I don't believe she considers it music.

Believe I answered my own question about Accent - no charge (except for spots I suppose) for their shows and can use as much/little or their programming as you want.  But some of the programming on their site might not be theirs to barter.

Was incorrect on advertising - within 88.1-91.9 advertising prohibited by the FCC.  But the FCC is also making available channels north of 92MHz where advertising is ok.  Not sure on the rules - will read up at my favorite website, fcc.gov.  :)


I'll volunteer to do an hour of classical and jazz... ;D  with a sprinkling of the Bill of Rights or some Jeffersonian papers... :)

At least as soon as we get our collective posteriors out there. ;)
We thought about it for a long time, "Endeavor to persevere." And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union. - Lone Watie

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around - Talking Heads

Offline P'ahin Nunihan

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Re: FM Radio station in WY - Who wants to run one?
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2007, 10:53:56 PM »
Looks like if you go non-commercial license advertising per se is prohibited.  You can have program sponsors (think public radio).  So this type of license means donations and sponsorships by business mostly.  Can go after government funding but I suspect I just made some of you puke - sorry I was just kidding.  ;)

Well so seems to me it's weighing the benefits of a legal broadcast license against the government restrictions.  I can see why most of these stations are either religious or run by lefties - those groups have experience relying on donations.  A non-commercial libertarian-slanted radio station?  Hmm...

Maybe the cart is before the horse here.  Do folks in Wyoming listen to radio?  Is there a need for local radio programming?  What would people want to hear about?  My uninformed thoughts:
- a hunting show
- a truck show
- a curmudgeon show about local politics and events
- the cattle report of course
- a homesteading/penny pinching show
We thought about it for a long time, "Endeavor to persevere." And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union. - Lone Watie

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around - Talking Heads

Offline wyomiles

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Re: FM Radio station in WY - Who wants to run one?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2007, 08:53:39 AM »
I think this is a great idea.
Might be able to get some money from the Gates'.
I think Wyoming folks would listen to all sorts of music. Cowboy poetry is usually a hit.  Hunting and fishing stories might be fun.
Anything libertarian too ! Open carry stories, survival, homeschooling report, etc.
Miles
" Cultivators of the earth are tied to their country and wedded to it's liberty and interests by the most lasting bonds" --Thomas Jefferson --1785

Offline bobcat

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Re: FM Radio station in WY - Who wants to run one?
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2007, 09:13:10 AM »
Well, one could always run an underground station?  It's been done before.  However, where I've seen it done successfully was in a mean and nasty metro area that was hard to DF.  Authorities could never find them.  Hours of operation were sporadic-on purpose.  Not real conducive to gaining a listening audience and keeping help/volunteers willing to skirt the overly restrictive laws.  Not the right fight for this.

So, probably not a real productive idea.  About as productive as getting govco funding (gag).

Quote
Looks like if you go non-commercial license advertising per se is prohibited.  You can have program sponsors (think public radio).  So this type of license means donations and sponsorships by business mostly.  Can go after government funding but I suspect I just made some of you puke - sorry I was just kidding.  Wink

Well so seems to me it's weighing the benefits of a legal broadcast license against the government restrictions.  I can see why most of these stations are either religious or run by lefties - those groups have experience relying on donations.  A non-commercial libertarian-slanted radio station?  Hmm...

PN, is there any advantage to an educational type of station?  Or does that just get lumped into some useless subcat under non-commercial?  Just looking for an entry angle...

And on programming, if you were to broadcast in Crook, we've got a real challenge with a market audience of 6500+ depending on wattage run.  So a broad variety of programming as you noted may be appropriate to draw listeners?  Donations would likely be few and farrrrr between, even with the dreaded 'telethon'.

Not quite sure how one would survive in a non-commercial environment.  (It almost seems the antithesis of true libertarianism?)  It would take some long term commitments and dedicated volunteers.  As you say PN, some experience in this would be helpful, likely crucial to success.

Keep those ideas coming!
Bobcat  

"Those who would sacrifice Liberty for security, deserve neither Liberty or security."  -Benjamin Franklin
"Citizenship is not a spectator sport"  -K Denninger

Offline P'ahin Nunihan

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Re: FM Radio station in WY - Who wants to run one?
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2007, 12:09:55 PM »
Educational falls in the same category as non-commercial.  So yes schools would apply for the same type of license.

Underground radio has it's time and place, but maybe not quite yet  ;).

I agree - tough to survive without a steady source of funds - even with volunteers doing most of the work.  Let's face it, there just isn't much money in radio stations, even for-profit stations - there potentially is with programming, if you have a great product (like Prairie Home Companion for example - which reminds me, season opener coming up - gotta' get tickets).


Well, one could always run an underground station?  It's been done before.  However, where I've seen it done successfully was in a mean and nasty metro area that was hard to DF.  Authorities could never find them.  Hours of operation were sporadic-on purpose.  Not real conducive to gaining a listening audience and keeping help/volunteers willing to skirt the overly restrictive laws.  Not the right fight for this.

So, probably not a real productive idea.  About as productive as getting govco funding (gag).

PN, is there any advantage to an educational type of station?  Or does that just get lumped into some useless subcat under non-commercial?  Just looking for an entry angle...

We thought about it for a long time, "Endeavor to persevere." And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union. - Lone Watie

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around - Talking Heads

Offline MamaLiberty

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Re: FM Radio station in WY - Who wants to run one?
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2007, 03:51:17 PM »
Speaking just for myself, I don't listen to the radio much - and that only in the car. If I go beyond town here, the stations fade out one by one, so it's impossible to listen to anything for more than a little while anyway. Usually I just turn it off because I have a choice between Rush Limbaugh or "country music" which is more accurately called trucker rock and roll with a twang.

If I want to listen to music, I can get all I want from my own CD player.

Seems to me that a newspaper would be far better and reach far more people. And then we could take advertisements to finance it.

Just my 2 cents worth...
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Offline JenS

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Re: FM Radio station in WY - Who wants to run one?
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2007, 05:38:18 PM »
I am a big fan of talk radio...not sure about WY reception though, perhaps a Sovereigns of the High Frontier Society station? http://www.hisovs.org/
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