From Our Archives

I sure am getting excited about our internet venture. We went with the same company that Chuck uses. Fantastic service.  Very impressed. Brand-new. Using Orban internet sound processor -

MP3-Pro is decidedly superior to MP3. This software, , converts your MP3 to MP3-Pro on the fly.  

You can run a variety station with a single DJ (I did for the first 4 years). Our programming (we have 15,000 songs in various genre folders) can be totally programmed in 30 minutes daily - including liners, PSAs, and underwriting spots. I know this because Suzanne only needs this much time every morning. If you want LIVE DJ every hour you have a nightmare.  Take a look at our variety. We have morning live from 6-9 and afternoon 3-5, M-F. The rest is all plug-in and automated.

I think my station manager, Susan Michaels, would certainly deserve a nomination. For 3 years in a row Arbitron has us listed #1 FM in Northern Gila County (#3 in the entire county).  More importantly, she contributes to the community ALL the time. I mean ALL the time. This Saturday she will be MCing at Payson's 3rd Annual Optimist Fishing Festival (as she has the two previous years) while her brother, Kit Carson, is MCing the Limeliters Saturday night event.  Here are some of Kit's interviews - from Doris Leachman to the Limelighters:  All this from a small town of 16,000 and a surrounding total of 24,000.  
Take a tour around and you will see these two are extremely busy! Me, I just make suggestions
Steve Bingham, KRIM-LP 3/27/09

KZQX-LP fills a void.  "Everything old is new again."  There is nothing even remotely like it in our area, and it definitely appeals to an older and often ignored older demographic.  Our original intent was to serve people ages 50+.  In 6 1/2 years we've been on the air, that is what we have a reputation for doing.  I'm sure we could start fresh with a new format that would feature talk and independent new music.  It could be really good.  There are a lot of talented musicians out there.  I'm not sure how long it would take to get a new format established, but it would be a while.  I'm sure that a lot of our current underwriters would bail out on us. Meanwhile, what we are doing works, and the community really likes it.  I'd prefer to keep doing what we've worked on for years. 

Recently, it has also become popular with kids, age 8-13 or so.  Arbitron even confirms this. It blows me away. Wednesday evening, we had a Boy Scout Troop come to visit us, mostly ages 11-12.  What great kids.  They had very inquisitive minds, and new a lot about the station.  It seems that most of them listened on a a regular basis.  About all I could say was "wow." 

One of the most touching phone calls I've ever had came from the pharmacist at the local office of Texas Oncology.  That's where people in the area go for chemotherapy.  If you are familiar with the process, it is almost worse than the disease.  The good news is it really does save lives.  Anyway, we are their chosen background music.  It seems that their patients really like it, and they seem to be much more at ease with music playing. I thought that was pretty significant.  It is hard to ask for much more.....
Chuck Conrad KZQX-LP 3/28/09

Hey,  if it works and is not already duplicated, why not.  In many parts of the US, there are multiple stations for people over 50, however, that may not be the case in your town, of course.  As to picking a particular format, many community stations duck that issue by being many formats over time.

WRIR gets around that by having "Roots Music" on Monday and Tuesday nights, ye ol' country music. I mean the stuff played by white haired folks w ith NO amplifiers. Conversely, Wednesday night is electronica. Then Thursday its "Rock". Dance and international on Friday. Saturday its a unique twist on "oldies" (get the pun?).  Sunday Jazz and Gospel and international.  Weekdays its talk and news ...

No ONE of these genres ALL the time. There's no need to pick ONE genre for all 168 hours a week. That is the poison of modern segmented marketing by spreadsheet commercial radio.  Commercial radio stations USED to be multi-genre "back in da day".  Still are in many other countries.  

It would be impossible to have the block diversity WRIR has without about 160 to 180 volunteers that come in on a weekly basis! That's the key, find a way to bring lots of people in the door.  Which is why of course having something NOT duplicated on other radio stations is a key and so common to most Community Radio Stations. Being the Ignored Niche is their key to success.  That is also why the atmosphere set by the Board of Directors and management is so vitally important.  Do societal dissenters feel welcome in the station? That is the question.  The Lame Streamers are all generally listening to the 100kw BlowTorches (because you need a LOT of financially successful listeners to sell enough ads to pay for 100kw !)
"Max" - Chris Maxwell, WRIR-LP

How about doing several formats simultaneously over differing media, e.g., your basic programming on your licensed lp, and then on the translator frequencies, you could try a few at varying times to determine whether there's an audience.  Run Texas.  Meaning, be a Texas Station...for any and all Texans, giving them every top format there is...with no or very few underwriter interruptions.  Put 'em on iPhone,, and any other "free, or one-time fee only" web sites that have thousands of internet stations (with yours having a very special brand among the thousands:  "It's Texas!"--THE strongest brand in your entire state, and, larger, for most of the South.  )Throw in some Tulsa country artists, and some cajun' New Orleans artists to appeal to neighboring resident states' listeners.

If we all banded together...  Engineers,  Salespersons, On-air Talents.  We could create community liaisons, with an eventual series of winner performances in different cities for differing functions.  New Orleans has Mardi Gras.  

St. Pat's Day just year, are there any Irish communities being served by an LPFM on our list?
July 4...every station.  Texas, would HAVE to go TOTALLY PATRIOTIC for 36 or more hours!  Maybe a live LPFM internet broadcast from several contributing stations?  Take the best hour or two of events in several cities.  Put all of them on at the same time, and let station management choose which to run at any specific time.  Benefit to the stations:  "NATIONAL AUDIENCE!"  (Several cities at once!!--attract new underwriters with a multi-city reach pitch)  Benefit to the listener, his hometown station will be featured on a "national scale!"  (a multi-city scale).  Who's for putting forth ideas here?
Doc Thayer 3/28/09

WZFR, 97.7 FM Album Rock For The Tri-State - We have a fulltime volunteer that does AM drive M-F from 6-10 AM from his house by streaming to our studio using AirLink.  Mid-days are automated and Afternoon drive from 3-6 PM is live with another afternoon drive full time volunteer.  Then we have several different shows from 6 PM-10 PM each night.  So we are live most of the time. Bill Spry, General Manager

Comments on Local versus National Programming

My response is, We are not looking for any new national programming.  Just about everything broadcast is local.  With a few exceptions, we simply prefer to originate our own."  Chuck Conrad, KZQX Radio

We air 6 hours a week of nationally syndicated programming.  “Swinging Down The Lane” (big band show); “Hits of Yesteryear” (oldies show); and “The Doo Wop Stop”.  Our stance on these syndicated shows is:-          
They must offer something better than we can offer ourselves,
They must fit into our format (oldies; Saturday morning big band),
They must meet non-com rules on content, and
They must not cost us anything.
 These three programs are all excellent.  We download them from the internet.  I wholeheartedly recommend them if they fit into your format.  Email me directly if you need more info.  We’d consider adding other syndicated shows if they meet our requirements (above). Brad Beer

1) if compatible with our format, we will air it.  More so with our Theology as other theological views are covered on other local stations
(2) We are not looking for any new national programming.  Everything we air is local except:  Not now
(a) networks we are currently affiliated with or (b) high value programming like hourly news  None
(3) We will air unless you pay us. Think this is worded wrong
(4) We do not have the staff to record and time-shift to fit our schedule.  True
Bob Hayes

WZPH-LP, Zephyrhills, FL is entirely local.

CCB LPFM Clients: Five First Baptist Churches
Below is an almost-random look at some of Christian Community Broadcasters' clients: all these stations have in common is they are all First Baptist Churches.  (Actually, Baptist churches comprise a very small percentage of CCB clients.) Each is a reference for CCB.

FL, Merritt Island (near Cape Kennedy) - WCPL-LP 95.5 Application: 6/13/01.  CP: 1/28/04  On Air: 6/30/04 Format: Christian Contemporary Slogan: The Connecting Place. Network: Salem Music.  Coverage: 72,000+  Website:
CCB: Handled applications; all FCC filings, and provided RF equipment.  Held CCB LPFM Seminar at station
General Manager: David Baker 321 453-2144

PA, Brookville (near Pittsburg) - WWJL-LP 95.9  Application: 6/14/01.  CP: 1/16/04  On Air: 11/12/04.  License returned / cancelled: 6/12/07  Station did not seek assistance after going on the air; forgot to renew and license expired.  Returned license to FCC to avoid possible $7,000 fine.
CCB: Handled minor mod filings, provided equipment.  Appealed fine; station decided to withdraw.

UT, Monticello (near Four Corners) - KAAJ-LP 103.9  Application: 6/7/00  CP: 5/7/01  On air: 5/13/03Format: Christian Contemporary.  Networks: FAmilyNew; USA news.  Coverage: 2,000+  Website: CCB:  Handled applications, all FCC filings, and provided RF equipment.  Assisted station in increasing power from 37 to 100 watts and changing frequency.  Station coverage now extends nearly 75 miles!
 General Manager: Pastor John Williams 435-587-2534

How LPFM Operators Got Into Broadcasting

KZQX-LP Chalk Hill - Chuck Conrad
If it is any indication, I owned my first microphone at age 11.  That was a really big deal for me.  My family traveled every summer to visit relatives who were scattered all over the country.  Every now and then our chosen over night motel would be in a small or mid size town that had a radio station in a store window, usually right in the downtown area. I would insist on going to see it just so I could peer inside to see what it looked like.  Usually by the time we could get there, the station had signed off for the night, but I still liked looking inside.  I was an equipment junkie at a very early age.

Sometimes on these trips, I'd spot a small station or its tower on the outskirts of a town. Wondering what it looked like inside was a source of great fascination to me.  If I got to sit in the front seat of he car, I couldn't keep my hands off the car radio's tuning knob.  I just couldn't get enough of it.  Dreaming of the radio station I'd last seen kept me amused during those long hot summer days sitting in the back seat with no air conditioning.  

KELS-LP Greeley, CO - Brett Reese
I started in 1987 in the basement of an AM station in the middle of nowhere, Wyoming.  4 pots and two turntables and we could pick out our own records, so long as they were coutry.  What fun, broadcasting to my high school freiends who only occasionally talked me into some RATT or other hard rock ... maybe once!  Walking home two miles after the midnight shift.  $22 for eight hours!! 

Radio Station Broker - Deb K
I married into radio. I had dabbled a bit in radio, as a volunteer and writing spots for various entities (I was a purty good writer in my day).

The ONE thing that I have noticed in my years of being officially in broadcasting is that every successful (either on air, management, ownership, sales) broadcaster had at between ages nine and twelve is what I call "the vison." All they knew is that "I want to be in radio." Well,not all of them were successful, my some day ex, the Old Goat, wasn't the least bit successful (wanna know how to make a small fortune in radio? Start with a large one). But, still, he had "the vision" at nine, and from what I understand he talked incessantly, as a young boy, about starting the first
stations in his home of West Branch MI. I finally paid that debt off 26 years later, but he actually did it.

Personally, owning radio stations and being on air, pretty much left me cold. Yeah, much of the time, it was pretty cool being Mrs. Radio Station, and it was cool to have a positive influence in my community, but MY passions are helping people into their radio dream and sometimes, getting people out of their radio nightmare. I am deeply worried about my adopted industry.

Bill Turner
I was too young to actually recall a specific time I became passionate about radio, but my Dad says he remembers. When I was 3 years old I was given an old radio in a shoe box. The plastic covering for the radio had been broken and removed, thus the shoe box. I remember I loved that radio and spent hours in front of it.

There is an old reel-to-reel tape made when I was 4 years old.  Amid the songs and jokes my Dad is guiding me through, I'm interjecting "It's buh-zack-ly twelve midnight" and "I'm Fall Harvey" (I couldn't say exactly or Paul correctly).

I recall in first grade playing records on my record player and announcing the songs to a pencil, choosing WXYZ for call letters because I though that it was cool to have the last letters of the alphabet and still have call letters that begin with W like all the stations around Richmond, Virginia, where my family lived at the time.

By 4th grade, the old reel-to-reel recorder was permanently in my room. I'd borrow my sister's record player so I'd have two turntables. I would cut out the headlines from the paper and grab the copy of the commercial my Dad was running and 'play' radio. My Dad managed Cokesbury Bookstore in Kansas City at the time.

By 6th grade, just after Christmas, I saw a 100mw. CB base station transmitter in the toy department at a department store. I wanted this $30 transmitter so bad, my parents let me do chores through the month of January to earn the money to take it out of layaway. My station was born.

The level of professionalism increased. Friends would come over and we'd have all night broadcasts fueled by sodas and candy bars. Before hand, we'd visit classical KXTR FM because they'd let us take the teletype paper they had tossed in the trash. These became our newscasts for the all nighters. I was spending my allowance on the
top 40 hits, collecting glass soda bottles to cash in to supplement my funds.

When we moved to Dallas at the end of 7th grade, I didn't know anybody, so I'd DJ my station 12 hours a day during that summer. On the first day of school in 8th grade I met my best friend who was interested in radio as well. He decided we needed to be on the AM band, so we built a 100mw. Radio Shack AM transmitter.

The station was kept on the air all through high school and after until I got my first radio job. By the end, we had upgraded to a real control board we bought from KMAD in Madill, Oklahoma. The two turntables (store bought) were wired in, two cassette decks for the commercials and liners and a weather radio was wired in. Since I
worked in a record store as an Assistant Manager, I had the record reps for the labels giving me record service for the station. We ran commercials as well, trading spots for giveaways on the air (but had a tough time finding listeners to give the stuff away to).

Finally, in 1978, after a stint as a volunteer at community radio, KCHU FM in Dallas, and being thrown on the air at KSEO AM & FM in Durant, Oklahoma, I nabbed my first job in Eagle Pass, Texas at KINL. The first song I played on the air: Surrender by Cheap Trick in July 1978.

I became program director, music director and morning jock in November 1978 at KINL. I worked on air until mid-1987 when I started doing sales. Finally in 1992, I got to the Houston market where I GM a daytime only AM that is time brokered (my owner told me to find the easiest way to run the station so I sold the time to an exceptional bunch of radio folks that super-serve the 125,000 Vietnamese in the greater Houston area).

My dream has always been to have my own radio station in a small town. LPFM is the way I'd like to go. I'd rather provide the first radio service for an unserved town where I could know most of those I'm talking to over the airwaves and not owe my life to a bank. I know it won't be easy and that I'll work harder than I do now, but a
dream is a dream and you have to follow your dreams.

Bill Turner


Dave Garner, WUCP LP 106.1, Farragut , TN  

A Mississippi radio amateur and broadcaster who braved the fury of Hurricane Katrina to keep his ham radio club's low-power FM (LPFM) broadcast station WQRZ-LP on the air was one of three recipients to receive the Small Business Administration (SBA) Phoenix Award. The SBA honored ARRL Member Brice Phillips, KB5MPW, of Bay Saint Louis, for "Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery by a Volunteer."

 "We are proud to be the first Amateur Radio organization-owned broadcast facility in the US --and proud Mississippians--to serve our state and as a model to the country as the first broadcast station to be attached to an emergency operations center," Phillips says. He notes that the station lost everything to the storm except "our lives and our commitment to the community."  

Owned and operated by the Hancock County Amateur Radio Association, WQRZ-LP (103.5 FM) was built and is operated by volunteers with disabilities. Before Hurricane Katrina hit, Phillips and WQRZ-LP Program Director Christine Stach, KC5RIC, relocated the station from a small shed next to their house in Waveland to the Hancock County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which was forced to move twice.

 As the storm surge waters reached the building's second level, Phillips braved the elements and rigged car batteries to power the station's broadcasts of search-and-rescue and other emergency information. WQRZ was one of only four of the more than three dozen Gulf Coast radio stations--and the only one in Hancock County --to stay on the air during the early days after Katrina struck. Phillips also was among the many radio amateurs providing emergency communication in the storm-stricken region.

FEMA distributed 3000 FM radios to Hancock County storm survivors so they could tune to WQRZ-LP and learn where to get food, water, ice, tarpaulins, help from the Red Cross and The Salvation Army and other survival assistance.  Normally solar-powered, WQRZ-LP serves the Bay Saint Louis, Waveland, Diamondhead and Kiln areas of Mississippi . WQRZ-LP's licensee, the Hancock County Amateur Radio Association, is a non-profit IRS 501(c)(3) organization.>.

KEMB-LP Uses Four Methods to Distribute It's Signal

WTAZ-LP Added to Cable System

KZQX-LP, Hurricane Rita, and Translators

KREV-LP Streams Football Games

WRIR-LP Has Largest LPFM Coverage

WTND-LP 106.3, Macomb, Illinois
12/17/05 It's currently 3:30AM in Macomb, IL and WTND-LP just recently finished live coverage from the return of a battery of the Illinois National Guard into Macomb. It was a very emotional event for both those at the event and those listening on the radio. This coverage was also being carried on the W0KIE Satellite Radio Network/RFD, WQNA a NCE-FM in Springfield and on the American Council of the Blind's music network.

This LPFM station was the only media that was carrying this very emotional event live. This is a prime example why we supported the creation of the LPFM service back in 1999 and we will continue to support it today. It's coverage like this that defines true community radio.  Congratulations from RECNET to WTND-LP and Stephanie who was live on the phone at the 13 degree cold. Thank you for helping to define true community radio! 

KAMG-LP 92.1  Enid, Oklahoma
Amigos Ministry Church Inc.
Contemporary Christian Music Station with Spanish format  (first in Oklahoma)
Started 2/2207. 68 watts
Support: Church has grown
Only site allowed by FCC is opposite side of (small) town from target audience.  Can be heard in cars but not in homes.  Goal is more power / coverage 
Jacob DeSouza

KELS-LP 104.7, Greeley, Colorado Legal ("Pirate Radio") 
Format: light rock and country (mostly)
Broadcasting: 24 - 7 - 365 (Since Jan 1, 2004)
Studio: 300 sq ft.  Painted like a pirate ship inside, one room and bathroom.
Automation: winamp based playlist scheduler Automation system
Support: More time, more dollars. But we're happy with our time/income ratio. Usually sales by customers calling us.
Status: Cruising along with local commentaries, FSN news, and five different formats, mixed but all fairly mellow.
Contact: Brett Reese,  FM Station Manager 970 405 3231

WGRZ-LP 93.1; Melbourne, Florida 
WGRV-LP 107.9; P.O. Box 100085, Palm Bay, FL 32910

Smooth Jazz 
Broadcasting: 24 - 7 - 365 (Since Feb 2003)
Studio: 1600 square feet
Automation: EZ Automation's great GRV: local automated Semi-Voice tracked 
Support: Always could be better. a lot of listeners and interaction, but they are very tight fisted.
Status: After seven hurricanes....we are still hanging in there.

WDSG-LP 107.9 Sanford, North Carolina (First LPFM on the air in North Carolina)
Format: Solid Gold Hits of the 50's and early 60's. The top songs from 1950 thru about 1964
Secular music with several religious oriented minute long features mixed in.
Broadcasting: 24 hours a day, all local automated Semi-Voicetracked morning show 6-9AM
Live request show 3-5PM weekdays
Studio: 2 room office in downtown district.
Automation: iMediaTouch, very pleased with it's operation
Support: Local business sponsors only. We've had 7 very faithful sponsors for the past 2 years but can't seem to get beyond that.
Status: Struggling financially, always have, we may go silent end of January.

KZQX-LP, 104.7  Chalk Hill Texas (ten miles south of Longview)
Also on translators K270AW, 101.9 in downtown Longview, and K287AJ in downtown Kilgore.
Format: iJazzy Adult Standards, with a smattering of Big Band. We call it "Americas Original Classics" although many of the artists are quite current, like Rod Stewart, Michael Buble and Diana Krall. In many ways we sound like a typical "middle of the road" station from the 1960's. 
       We also feature a Gospel Brunch on Sunday mornings, and every evening from 6:30 until 8:00 we have a show called "The Supper Club" which is a little quieter music than our regular fare. Sunday evenings we run Old Time Radio, as well as a radio history show that is produced by a local high school. 
Mission: Serve as a community station, delivering local programming that is not available over the air from any other source. 
Internet: audio streaming It seems to have a following. 

WWTL-LP 106.7, Logan, Ohio (Local radio... the way it should be)
Format: * Country Christian (originally started with Southern Gospel and still play a fair amount as we make the transition).   Mix in 2 short (1-3 minute) Christian segments (salvation, apologetics, news, some encouragement).  Longer Christian segments in evenings and early mornings (Chuck Swindoll, Charles Stanley, Love Worth Finding, Ravi Zecharias, Truths That Transform, etc.)
Broadcasting: * 24/7, using automation. * Limited remote broadcasting (6x per year) due to lack of staff (not desire)
Studio: 10x16 on steel skids. Horribly designed. No restroom. Bottled water available.
Publishing:  The Edge, a 16 page monthly magazine that tackles controversial issues from a biblical perspective. Circulation: 10,000
Target Audience: Adults 20+ who do not regularly attend church
Competition: A country station in town, broadcasting stuff from WV. 2 contemporary Christian stations from towns 30 miles away and many of stations in Columbus (60 miles) 
Support: Local radio sponsorships and local ads in printed paper. Listener support for special projects.
Staff: Ummmm. 2 (with rounding) who are paid less than minimum wage as contract workers.
Status: Not achieving goal. Desire is to raise $10K monthly on radio, and $10K monthly in print, distributing 50,000 papers. We're about 10% of the way there...
Interests: If anyone has short, evangelistic programming available, we are interested. We would scrap all "encouragement" type programming if there was more quality short, daily, evangelistic messages.

KCWG-LP, 100.3 Crown King, Arizona
Market: Crown King is a small town (approximately 200) atop a mountain range and we are on one of the higher peaks overlooking the town. 
Format: Traditional Country Music format with about 5-10 % spiritual/ gospel mixed in. Air PSA advising the public that it is a nice place to camp, fish, hunt, eat and sleep-over. (We have no ownership in these ventures.) In the past we used "Come up and see us sometime" but wondered if that was a call to action ???  We also air historical information about the area. The town church supplies spiritual spots and we plug their Sunday service.(no charge)
Staff: Three part-timers and are automated most of the time. 
Support: comes from renting out tower space to another radio station (Class C, 40KW, Spanish language format) and cellular operators, utilities, etc. The other station found us because of the LPFM license application .) We air no sponsor spots

WZPH-LP 96.7 The Zephyr, Zephyrhills, FL, USA, Earth, Milky Way

Format: To break/set a world record, a dj had to buy a radio station. This happened Mar. 14, 2005. After completing all contractual obligations, on Ap. 14 at 9 pm, the dj, Dr. Dr. "Doc" Thayer, started playing no commercials...just song after song after song, reaching a world record 100,000 songs in a row! That's a world record for a FCC licensed FM radio station! (Third attempt at Guiness.)  Doc said, "I LMA'd The Switch, in Zephyrhills.  I switched it from The Switch, which was playing Contemporary Christian Hit Music to Goodtime Oldies. It's now the Zephyr and has a world record--with NO commercials
The Zephyr's audio is streaming the audio on the internet at:

Would you like your station added to this section?  Let us know!