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Inside Wisconsin’s Low Power FM “broadcasting craze”

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.

Map of LPFMs in WisconsinThe 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.

WVMO will go live this Friday, just in time for coverage of a Monona Grove Silver Eagles football game, and just a day after National Radio Day.

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.


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4 Responses to Inside Wisconsin’s Low Power FM “broadcasting craze”

  1. Daniel Hintz August 17, 2015 at 2:08 pm #

    Hi, Matthew.

    Great article.

    Saw no mention of the great station I currently DJ at, though: WXRW in Milwaukee, Riverwest Radio. We have our LPFM license in hand and we will soon be broadcasting over the air at 104.1 on the fm dial. We are currently streaming our programs online at our website (riverwestradio.com) while we raise the remaining needed funds for our transmitter. We are extremely excited to be transitioning from online station to terrestrial station, and the love we have received so far from the Riverwest neighborhood has been incredible.

    Keep up the good work.

    Cheers!

    Daniel Hintz, aka Cactus from the In the Field program

  2. Michi Bradley August 19, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

    Let’s not forget REC client WFAQ-LP, Kettle Moraine Community Radio in Mukwanago, WI.

    • TheDukeOfHighwayJ August 20, 2015 at 7:06 am #

      101.3 or streaming @ wfaq.com

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