Midwestern reporters are talking about a “broadcasting craze” in Wisconsin, as five Low Power FM radio stations take hold across the state. These stations broadcast or will broadcast to communities 30 to 80 miles west of Milwaukee. They’re all around 20 to 40 miles apart from each other in a 40 mile area.
The latest is 98.7 FM, WVMO – “The Voice of Monona.” The non-profit overseeing the signal ran a contest to decide the call letters. Judges picked the winner from one hundred entries. The operation will run out of Monona City Hall. The Monona Fire Department hosts the transmitter antenna. Cable subscription fees paid for the LPFM’s startup costs.
Meanwhile, a 40 minute drive south gets you to Janesville, where WADR-FM, aka Janesville Community Radio, has been holding forth since July as an FM signal, after streaming Internet for around 18 months.
Here’s a YouTube below of the President of JCR being interviewed by a local news station.
We’re talking hyper-local at Janesville—e.g. coverage of the Rock County 4H Fair last month.
These two stations are just getting on the air. Impending signals include an LPFM at 92.5 for the city of Black Earth, run by the Mazomanie Music Conservancy. The group’s Facebook page describes the operation as non-profit “of local musicians and music fans formed in 2010 to promote live music performance in our area.”
Also in the works: a Christian station for Jefferson County and a Seventh-Day Adventist signal for Portage.
I think all this LPFM activity definitely qualifies as a craze. Congrats to all the crazies.