Sampling Community Radio in Budapest

I had the chance to visit some community radio stations in Budapest during my recent trip there.

Through the fortuitous circumstance of happening upon a fellow Wisconsinite while attending the ESF workshop (Paul the Mediageek just produced a show of us discussing that event in greater detail), who was also very interested in community radio, we ended up making contact with representatives from two community stations in Budapest, which we visited after the conference was over. Read More

Mother Nature, Meet Rainy-Day Fund

For the last few weeks my home community radio station, WEFT, has been hobbling along at reduced power, due to severe weather which fried our 20 year-old, 10,000-watt transmitter. Over the course of this time, the station’s rented a 1,000-watt transmitter, bringing our effective radiated power up to about 1/5th of its licensed capacity.

Buying, shipping, and installing a 10,000-watt transmitter is not cheap (think approximately $60,000). Fortunately, because our old transmitter was insured and verifiably destroyed by an “act of God” (lightning/water damage), we should be receiving something around $27,000 in compensation. In conjunction with that, WEFT had a “rainy-day fund” set up shortly after we paid off the mortgage for our studio building more than 10 years ago. We paid off the mortgage early and saved the remainder. That fund has about $25,000 in it. Read More

When Lightning Strikes

On Friday, May 30, my local community radio station, WEFT, suffered a lightning strike to its antenna tower. Although the tower’s lightning protection system protected part of the airchain, it did not save it all: a critical piece of our 10,000-watt transmitter’s innards got fried. Upon inspection, there also appeared to be water damage, with “debris” found inside the transmitter itself. Repairs have been unsuccessful.

Regionally, the Midwest is suffering from a particularly rough patch of severe weather; WEFT is but one of many casualties to Mother Nature this summer. Typically, the weather extremes is one of the things that makes living here fun. Read More

Full-Power FM Filing Window Imminent; FCC in Chicago

Next month, the FCC will open a long-awaited filing window for applicants for new non-commercial FM radio stations. The FCC is currently considering placing certain parameters/limitations on how many stations a single entity can apply for – possibly in hopes of avoiding the flood of mass-applications for FM translator stations filed by greedy godcasters in 2003.

At present, the FCC is considering capping the number of full-power FM stations a single entity can apply for at 10, but it’s waffling under pressure from some incumbent broadcasters, like the aforementioned godcasters and some public broadcast outfits. Read More

Full-Power FM Filing Window to Open in October

The FCC will accept applications for non-commercial, full-power FM stations from October 12-19 of this year. That’s a filing window two days longer than the usual, and the heads-up announcement is 4-5 months earlier than standard.

The Prometheus Radio Project calls this “your best, and possibly last, opportunity to bring full power community radio to your town.” All applications must be filed electronically. Check GetRadio.org to do a quick search and see if the possibility exists where you live.