Broadcasting Archives

Want to Start a Radio Station?  What are Your Options?

1. Apply for an Low Power FM radio station.  

2. Start a Part 15 Neighborhood Station for Under $1,000 

3. Start an Internet Radio Station.  Easy to do.  Reach your community and the world.  Many traditional radio stations stream their programming and there are 
many thousands of internet only stations. There are a number of streaming companies offering various packages and options.  Music licensing fees must be considered 
and keep changing.  Internet radio is limited to computers and various electronic devices.  Broadcast radio is still the way to reach people in their cars, when they are 
eating, or jogging.

4. Leasing an FM radio station subchannel.  "Piggyback" on any existing station's signal. Subchannels have been used for years by "Reading Services for the Blind."  
Special fixed-tuned radios are necessary' they can be portable. Sale of these radios can provide additional income for the station operator and commercials can be aired.  
Leasing a subchannel can be expensive and varies from city to city.  For example, WSB 98.5 in Atlanta charges $10,000 per month.

5. Leasing a Digital Radio Channel.  This is a new option.  All full-power TV stations are now Digital with the ability to have TV and radio sub-channels.  There are now
HD digital radio stations with sub-channels.  DT radios are not common yet and cost several hundred dollars.  Both Digital TV and radio stations can multi-cast - transmit 
several channels on the same frequency.  One LPFM station is already being carried by a full-power Digital station on one of its channels.  This is a option now that will be 
more popular in the future.

5. Carriage by a cable TV system.  Virtually all cable systems carry radio stations - either as the audio for a local classified ad channel or as a separate audio channel.  
Some LPFM stations are being carried by cable systems at no charge on their "classified ad channels".

6. Carrier Current Radio. Also called "leaky wire" radio.  The signal is transmitted a few feet from a radiating wire in the ceiling or college dorms, retirement homes, or other 
"communal" housing.  This form of "broadcasting" is limited to the dorms / residences of the participating organization.


"Pirate Radio" - Not the Way to Start an LPFM (See FCC BSTA-20061206AFZ)

2/9/07 - New Licensing Loophole Involves Influential Senator (
"Radio Goldfield," a pirate station run by seasoned citizen Rod Moses out of his trailer in Goldfield, Nevada (population 440) has received special temporary authority from the FCC to operate a 100-watt FM outlet without an official license until such time as the FCC opens another LPFM filing window.  How did he do it? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's ringing endorsement, in correspondence to the agency, probably sealed the deal:

Radio Goldfield programming brought regular weather reports to this high-desert area of Nevada, where conditions can abruptly change in often times dramatic ways....Radio Goldfield programming also included timely and reliable information on law enforcement, public safety and school activities that helped the residents of Goldfield stay informed and engaged in their community. Moreover the station broadcasted Sunday religious services that were listened to faithfully by those living too far from a place of worship or those simply too feeble to make a weekly journey there practicable.

That, plus oldies pumped from an MP3 player. Rock on, Rod. I can't find record of this STA on file in the FCC's databases, but Moses did receive a warning letter from the Enforcement Bureau in August of last year for broadcast piracy. He shut down within 24 hours of contact, however, which appears to have helped his cause (yet also runs somewhat contrary to LPFM law).  Special Temporary Authority status typically runs for six-month periods, with a "limited number" of renewals available.

Q&A  "How to Start & Operate a Community Radio Station"
What types of "community radio" exist?  What is LPFM?  Can I have an LPFM station in my community?  How large an area will my station cover?  Where should I locate my station? (AM)  What are my programming options?  How much will it cost to start the station?
How much will it cost to operate?  Who can apply?  What if I do not have a non-profit organization?  How long must my organization has been in operation?  What can serve on the organization's board?  When can I apply?  How can I apply?  What happens after the FCC filing window?  What happens if several groups all want the same frequency?  What happens when I get my construction permit?  What equipment do I need and where do I get it?  Where do I mount my antenna?  How do I select the right antenna and transmitter? 

What types of "community radio" exist?  Low power FM (LPFM), Internet Radio, Part 15 AM, carrier current, and audio subchannels (to a full-power).  Unless otherwise noted, Q&A's below relate to LPFM.

Low Power FM was created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in January 2000.  Non-profit organizations were permitted to file for stations during four "FCC filing windows" from June 2000 to June 2001.  Today, 858 LPFM are on-the-air; of these, 52% are operated by churches and Christian ministries, primarily with music programming.  Formats range from KGOD-LP airing Scripture 24/7 without commentary to stations offering "God's County," (Christian country music format).

Christian Community Broadcasters was founded by John and Henri Broomall in early 2000 to assist churches, ministries, schools, and other community groups file for, construct, and operate LPFM stations.  CCB has assisted more than one hundred "communicasters" (community LPFM / NCE groups), from basic filings to the most complex technical and regulatory challenges.  This primary purpose of this website and its various links is to provide current and accurate information about LPFM, equipment, programming, music licensing, and underwriting ("paying the bills").  Please read and then contact CCB with your questions:  770 720-1037 or
JohnBroomall @

HATT Power Calculator     LPFM and the Thin Air Decision    IRS and NCE Regulations   Arbitron Changes Audience Reporting Procedures

FCC Launches Major Payola Investigation  FCC Low Power Actions  11/1 Translators - A New Insight from WGRV-LP   Progress on "Sale" of LPFM Permits / Stations   Waiting on the FCC for a License - How Long?    Emergency LPFM Station Serves New Orleans  Arbitron Ratings for LPFM