Freak Radio Santa Cruz is one of the longest-running unlicensed stations in the country, in addition to having one of the highest profiles. The station has survived by pure tenacity, probably also aided by being located in the small seaside college town of Santa Cruz rather than a larger city where it would be under the nose of the FCC. That said, Freak Radio has had its run-ins with the Commission over the years. The most recent was a notice sent to the landlord of the building housing its transmitter.
Station volunteer DJ Uncle Dennis tells SantaCruz.com that
“Basically, we got a call saying the landlord had received a notice from the FCC saying a illegal transmitter was found and that he would be fined if he didn’t get rid of it…. This is a typical tactic they use to deal with unlicensed broadcasters.”
Long-time organizer and DJ Skidmark Bob confirmed the story to John at DIYmedia.net. However, John also notes that Freak Radio keeps its studio and transmitter separated, and so the station can continue its live internet stream in the interim.
In other–much more clueless–pirate news, Rhode Island’s Block Island Times reports on unlicensed WOHP (“Old Harbor Pirates”) broadcasting out what is presumably a bar called Club Soda. However, it sounds like organizer DJ Jonah the Profit is a little hazy about broadcast regulations, telling the Times that
the group isn’t breaking any regulations…. “We operate under a 100-watt frequency,” explained Profit, so as not to interfere with other stations or two-way radios. “We abide by the FCC rules(.)”
I’m not sure what a “100-watt frequency” is, but if he means they’re broadcasting with 100 watts of power on the FM dial without a license, then WOHP sure as hell is breaking regulations. Did anyone at the Block Island Times fact-check this? Anyway, I’m not sure how busy the Boston FCC office is, but with this story in the press and the DJs’ apparent lack of a clue it’s just a matter of time before the Commission pays them a visit.