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In San Francisco, 15 Applicants Vie for New Low Power FM Radio Licenses

#LPFMNow that the FCC has loaded up its database with all of the new low power FM (LPFM) hopefuls that applied during the window earlier this month, many of us are having a field day sifting through the data to see who is in the running for new stations.

As I mentioned on Friday, many colleges and universities applied (I’m still sticking to my preliminary estimate of around 100). In addition to that, there are lots of religious groups, community organizations, secondary schools, as well as public safety groups.

Even though licenses will be harder to come by in urban areas, we’re seeing plenty of applicants in cities around the country. In San Francisco, 15 groups are hoping to get on the air with new LPFM radio stations. The wide range of non-profit entities vying for licenses in San Francisco include some long-time Bay Area arts and social service non-profits, an institute of higher learning, some interesting arts organizations, a few groups devoted to radio, and a couple of organizations with ties outside the Bay Area that are filing applications all over the country.  The following is a list of all of the applicants for San Francisco LPFM licenses, broken down by the frequencies being applied for:

90.9 FM Applicant

Noisebridge is a “hacker space” in San Francisco’s Mission District that is devoted to promoting and encouraging “technical, scientific, and artistic skills through individual projects, social collaboration, and education.” The community space houses an electronics lab, machine shop, darkroom, sewing/crafting supplies, classrooms, library and kitchen and could soon also have its own radio station.

93.7 FM Applicants

Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) is a long-time (30+ years) San Francisco non-profit that provides media training. The range of services provided by BAVC include a youth track, which offers audio engineering, video production, and web/code/design classes for teenagers. It also operates cable access television channel SF Commons in San Francisco.

World Peace Through Technology Organization runs the 14-year-old “How Weird Street Fair” on Howard Street in San Francisco and is devoted to promoting peace through technology. According to its LPFM application, “…a radio station is a vital educational tool. If properly fostered, communication technologies can be technologies of peace. Whether it be the wheel, the sail, the printing press, the combustion engine, the telegraph, telephone, or computer, all of these advances share one common denominator — they have each facilitated communication, connection, and greater understanding.”

96.1 FM Applicants

The California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) mainly educates graduate students across a range of disciplines and plans to utilize a LPFM radio station in order “to further the educational, intellectual, and artistic programs and provide another avenue of outreach to the local community.” According to its application, CIIS will provide airtime to students, faculty, neighbors, and other community groups in order to provide news about local events both on and off-campus as well as academic programming. Its proposed program schedule also includes music programming as well as the possibility of shows produced by outside organizations like Democracy Now, Prison Focus, and Economic Update.

New Beginnings Immigration Services plans to utilize a radio station in order to aid its clients as they navigate the immigration process. According to its application, “The programing format will consist of news segments, cultural events and story telling (such as folk stories), economic development -advise segment, education segment (including but not limited to higher education access), responsible citizenship, and other topics related to immigration that cross over. The radio will be used as a tool to increase visibility to the aforementioned topics while also creating an additional means of providing information to individuals who otherwise may not have access to it.”

M&M Community Development Inc., San Francisco Branch is a new outpost of a larger non-profit that has been applying for LPFM stations all of the country. With a proposed studio at 55 Hawthorne Street (the same building where a cluster of Cumulus commercial radio stations broadcast from, including KNBR, KFOG and KSAN) in San Francisco, M&M’s application states that it is a non-profit “whose presence has flourished in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States.” The application states that the group has “helped to increase community awareness of hate crimes and raise money to rehabilitate burned churches in the south.” In San Francisco it plans to provide educational opportunities to high school and college students under the leadership of its president Angel Logan. M&M Community Development has at least  two LPFM stations owned by local branches in Alexandria, Louisiana (KCJM-LP) and Lafayette, Louisiana (KZJM-LP), which were created with the help of broadcast consultant Tony Gray.  Various branches of M&M are applying for new LPFM licenses in Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, St. Louis, Oak Bluff (Massachusetts), and Long Boat Keys (Florida),

96.9 FM Applicant

Sound of Hope Radio Network, Inc. is applying for a LPFM license in order to provide programming for the Chinese community. An existing radio network, Sound of Hope programming has been heard on various radio stations in the San Francisco Bay Area (including KSJO). According to its application, “The goal is to bring significant programming to under-represented groups in the Chinatown district of San Francisco, while concurrently enhancing and enriching broader audiences in the community of the San Francisco radio market. Our primary focus is promoting the interests and needs of the Chinese language population in San Francisco as to issues of concern and an understanding an appreciation of the valuable enhancements and appreciations that inures in the values of traditional Chinese and Western culture.”

102.5 FM Applicants

San Francisco Community Radio, Inc. (SFCR) is an organization familiar to Radio Survivor readers, as it was an outgrowth of the movement to prevent the sale of University of San Francisco’s college radio station KUSF. Following the shut-down of KUSF-FM, supporters started a new online station, KUSF-in-Exile, in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood. According to its application, “San Francisco Community Radio (SFCR) was formed in 2011 by former volunteers at KUSF 90.3 FM with the explicit mission of educating, engaging, and inspiring the citizens of San Francisco by operating a community-focused, independent, educational audio program content source via radio (LPFM), and the Internet. This mission will be accomplished by returning educational and community programming to San Francisco and educating area students in radio (both behind the microphone and behind the scenes) by providing them with real-world experience in running a community radio station.”

SF Indiefest is an arts organization that intends to expand its offerings to include a LPFM radio station. According to its application, “SF IndieFest intends to use its Low Power FM station to continue bringing…innovative arts programming and digital storytelling to the SF Bay Area community. Our programming will feature a diverse spectrum of non-commercial music, news, and public affairs with all aspects emphasizing the local: local stories, local news makers, local musicians and local artists.”

San Francisco Hispanic Community Radio, which lists its address at the location of Cornerstone Church in San Francisco, is proposing a new LPFM station at the same location. In its application it states that the new station will provide services for the Spanish-speaking community. Programming will include religious instruction, “instruction and counseling with regard to combating alcohol and drug abuse,” and educational shows featuring experts in health, finance, language instruction, and immigration information. The LPFM application was prepared by Antonio Cesar Guel, CEO of Hispanic Christian Community Network in Texas. That network owns radio stations all over the country and Guel has prepared numerous new LPFM applications in various markets under similar sounding names.

The San Francisco Public Press hopes to expand its current efforts in “nonpartisan journalism” by developing a LPFM radio station. It hopes to further highlight the work of its own journalists and its non-profit partners (including the Center for Investigative Reporting and California Watch) through radio broadcasts.

Independent Arts & Media is a San Francisco non-profit dedicated to supporting “local, independent, commercial-free media and arts projects that build community, civic participation and cultural engagement.” It is applying for a new LPFM in order to carry news, talk, and informational, music and cultural programming. According to its application, “All radio programs will greatly advance our programming and mission to support free speech and civic participation.”

Outsound is a San Francisco-based non-profit that is”dedicated to supporting the presentation of original works of experimental music and sound art, and to educating the public and raising awareness of this new music as an alternative to both traditional and market-driven music.” Outsound Presents produces weekly music series and an annual week-long New Music Summit.

CounterPULSE is a San Francisco theater, performance space, and gallery that provides “educational opportunities, space and resources for emerging artists and cultural innovators, serving as an incubator for the creation of socially relevant, community-based art and culture.” It hopes to use a new LPFM station to “foster dialogue with diverse communities.” CounterPULSE hosts the Performing Diaspora Festival, has resident artists, various events, as well as a Boot Camp for Artists.

LYRIC is a San Francisco non-profit that works to “build community and inspire positive social change” through its program offerings for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQQ) youth, their families, and allies of all races, classes, genders, and abilities.” It hopes that a LPFM radio station will create “many new opportunities to expose and educate audiences to the diversity of LGBTQQ youth in our communities.” Specifically, its application states that, “LYRIC’s Youth Advocates can bring life-support and ‘real talk’ to the airwaves about the issues facing LGBTQQ youth…”



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