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Good morning Maui! Inside Mana’o Hana Hou radio

Manao_Logo_Final copyI was very happy to get this update on the status of the island of Maui’s Mana’o Hana Hou radio the other day from John Bruce, an engineer who sits on the Maui Media Initiative board for Mana’o.  The operation describes itself as a “non commercial secular FM broadcast station,” with the official call letters KMNO. The community station streams at 91.7 FM from around 7,000 feet on the slopes of Haleakala.

Begun a dozen years ago as a low power signal, Mana’o Hana Hou is now licensed at 1,200 watts. Bruce writes:

“When the noncommercial band was opened up a few years ago a ‘full power’ license was applied for and awarded. At the time two stations were battling for an adjacent channel on Oahu so Mana’o Radio’s original ‘full power’ was 110 watts. Finally the conflict in Honolulu was resolved and the 1200 watt power was applied for and approved by our friends at the FCC.”

Here is the rest of Bruce’s history of the station.

“The project was founded by Barry Shannon and his wife Kathy Collins who managed the non profit with a small board of Directors and many volunteers. The station was and is an eclectic mix of live announcers presenting their own version of non commercial radio. There wasn’t and still isn’t any form of live assist at Mana’o Radio though there is an automation computer playing overnights. (Utilizing ‘Station Playlist’.)


As time went on Barry Shannon passed and Kathy Collins continued managing the outlet. She became busy with her other career(s) and passed the station on to a new organization that will continue with the mission of Mana’o Radio.

Mana’o in the Hawaiian language means to share inner thoughts or feelings generally of a spiritual nature, it is a word used frequently in Hawaii in music and day to day language use. The new organization, Maui Media Initiative Inc., chose to use ‘Mana’o Hana Hou Radio’ as the identifying label. The term ‘Hana Hou!’ is roughly translated as ‘encore!’ as used at the end of a performance of stage or music, very commonly used here in Hawaii. The original Mana’o Radio went off the air due to a transmitter failure and in a 45 day time span a new non profit was formed and the signal was back on the air. A new studio location was built in Wailuku and a new Nautel transmitter was installed. We operate with minimal processing and we do not engage in the ‘Loudness Wars’.

The board of Maui Media Initiative consists of an active group of community members. With more than 40 volunteers presenting music of nearly every style Mana’o Hana Hou Radio provides the Maui Community with an eclectic, free form, non commercial, non political, secular radio signal. Live music is presented twice a month in an effort presented by some of Maui’s best musicians and their guests.

Our web stream is very powerful, using a dedicated Prostream device. It is available on, the Tunein app, (Look for Maui, Hawaii USA, find it and put it in your favorite file so you don’t lose it.) iTunes under eclectic streams and the page. If you search remember to place the apostrophe in the word Mana’o, it is an ‘okina used in the Hawaii language as a phonetic glottal stop or separator. (The web address is with no ‘okina.)

Mana’o Hana Hou Radio gets no funding from any government or religious organization unless they are an underwriter. Underwriting is a major funding path but small contributions are provide by members of the community both here on our island and all over the country. An important part of our funding stream is the grassroots efforts by volunteers presenting live music broadcasts from supporting venues.

Maui Island has a resident population of around 130,000. Mana’o Hana Hou Radio reaches about 75% of Maui’s residents with our 1200 watt FM signal at 91.7 FM. With the power increase we achieve good “in building penetration” which allows smaller indoor radios to tune us in. A large and important population is Lahaina on the West Side of Maui. Our signal is blocked to Lahaina by the West Maui Mountains, we have a goal of setting up a booster for West Maui coverage in the future. As usual, it’s all about the money.

The Board Of Directors of Maui Media Initiative and Mana’o Hana Hou Radio greatly appreciate our volunteers, supporters and the Maui Ohana (Family) at large. Hardly a day goes by without someone’s statement about what a fantastic place this is to live and what an asset this eclectic broadcast outlet is.”

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