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Don't Call them Pirates: San Francisco's New LPFM FCCFreeRadio

FCCFreeRadio Studio in San Francisco

FCCFreeRadio Studio in San Francisco

The San Francisco Bay Area has been home to a wide range of radio pioneers and renegades, from the very early days of broadcasting with Doc Herrold’s experiments 100 years ago to freeform radio in the early days of FM in the 1960s to pirate radio advocates like Stephen Dunifer of Free Radio Berkeley.

And now today, during a period of time when many have written off terrestrial radio entirely, there are still those who find reason to be inspired to build new over-the-air stations.

Over on my Spinning Indie blog I just wrote up a profile of a new micropower FM station in San Francisco called FCCFreeRadio. Operating under the same assumption as fellow station Pirate Cat Radio, FCCFreeRadio believes that the U.S. government has granted emergency authority for broadcasters to operate without a license during time of war, including the current “war against terrorism.”

Regardless of whether or not you believe their legal rationale, I think it’s impressive and inspiring to see that they are trying to create a community station playing local programming. They haven’t given up on radio and are hoping to bring back a little of the good old days of personality-driven radio. I admire their passion.


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