On Monday, Millbrae Radio became the latest San Francisco Bay Area applicant to have its LPFM application granted in the recent licensing window. Originally part of a much larger mutually exclusive group of applicants, Millbrae Radio modified its application in order to achieve singleton status on the San Francisco peninsula. Its proposed station will broadcast at 96.1 FM and will have its main studio in South San Francisco.
According to REC Network’s Michelle Bradley, Millbrae Radio opted to move out of its group by moving its transmitter site. She told me, “The other applicants are in the City and East Bay. They were the only San Mateo county applicant. Apparently they moved to a location where they were at least 24km/15 miles from the other applicants in the group. They were able to break out of the group.”
In its application to the FCC, Millbrae Radio states that its
…mission is multicultural diversity – through information, education and the arts. The goal is to bring significant programming to under-represented groups in Millbrae, a city with a substantial population of Chinese Americans. The mission is also to concurrently enhance and enrich broader audiences in the general community. Our primary focus is promoting the interests and needs of the Chinese language population in Millbrae 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.
When I first reported on the initial batch of San Francisco Bay Area applicants back in November 2013, 9 groups were in competition for the 96.1 FM channel in San Francisco. At the time, Millbrae Radio and South San Francisco Hispanic Community Radio (which has been dismissed) were the only San Mateo County applicants in the group. Three others were in San Francisco and 4 were in the East Bay in Alameda County. Currently 6 groups remain in the MX group and REC Networks is predicting that 3 groups (Alameda Unified School District, California Institute of Integral Studies, and Poor Magazine) will be forced to time-share unless a settlement is reached.
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