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15 Seattle area non-profits coordinate to apply for LPFM licenses

BPT Make Radio challengeThe Seattle and Puget Sound region of Washington State has been the site of some thoughtful local coordination around low-power FM, with Sabrina Roach at Brown Paper Tickets assisting a community of non-profit groups in the effort. Today they announced that 15 non-profits and universities are ready to apply for LPFM licenses when the FCC finally is able to open the licensing window.

That window was scheduled to open tomorrow, October 15, though at this point certainly will be delayed due to the government shutdown. Nevertheless, at noon Tuesday the Seattle-area applicants will hold a public event at Pike Place Market to preview what they’re calling “The Sound of Tomorrow,” sharing their plans for community service and showing off a map of the neighborhoods that may get new community radio stations.

Roach and Brown Paper Tickets played a central role in helping to find financing for new stations. “We found $9 million in public funding available for LPFM applicants to compete for in King County, and have created a guide for applicants in other cities to identify similar funding,” Roach said. “LPFM applicants can qualify for this start-up funding, and have a great chance at it being granted.”

Hollow Earth Radio, located in Seattle’s Central District, has been an online station for seven years, and is now planning to take to the airwaves, aided in part by a $19,000 Technology Matching Fund grant from the City of Seattle. Other applicants plan to offer hyper-local news in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, immigrant rights advocacy in the town of SeaTac and the recording of oral histories in the University District and Sand Point, both in Seattle.

Brown Paper Tickets calls itself the “Not Just-For-Profit event company,” donating 5 percent of profits to non-profits in the category of each ticket-buyers choice. The company also provides a week’s salary each year for an employee to work for a cause of his or her choice. This year Roach chose LPFM.

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