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LPFM Watch: New LPFM Accused of Interference + WNXA-LP Nearing Launch

This was a pretty quiet week in the world of low power FM (LPFM). Stations continue to work towards getting on the air and the FCC is still making its way through some lingering applications.

LPFM Accused of Interfering with Full Power Station in Texas

An existing LPFM station, KYEB-LP in Garland, Texas, licensed to Iglesia Alfa Y Omega, is being accused of unlawful operation and of interfering with the signal of full power commercial radio station KESS-FM in Benbrook, Texas. According to KESS’ complaint, KYEB-LP is operating beyond its allowed operating power and is interfering with the KESS signal. KESS also argues that the LPFM station is airing commercials. There’s no word yet from the FCC on these allegations, but REC Networks’ Michelle Bradley weighed in, saying in a statement that, “REC supports Univision’s complaint against KYEB-LP. If the allegations made in the compaint [sic] are true, this is a serious violation of the FCC Rules, puts the integrity of LPFM at risk and strains the relationship between LPFM and the full-service broadcast industry. The alleged actions of KYEB-LP are not representative of the LPFM service as a whole.”

WXNA-LP is Closer to Launch Date in Nashville

One station that is close to getting on the air is WXNA-LP in Nashville, Tennessee. Radio Survivor readers will recall that WXNA-LP is a project of WRVU Friends and Family, the same group that fought the sale of Vanderbilt University’s student radio station WRVU-FM.

According to the Tennessean, WXNA-LP is expected to get on the air before June 4, 2016 and, “The nonprofit, community-driven low-watt radio station emerged out of the ashes of WRVU, the Vanderbilt-owned radio station that switched to a streaming only format in 2011. There will be shows for fans of indie rock, Gospel, rock, R&B, jazz, Bluegrass and virtually every other genre.” Pete Wilson, who was the last community DJ on the air at WRVU-FM before its FM signal was turned over to Nashville Public Radio, will be the first DJ on the air at WXNA.

As a letter to the Tennessean points out, Nashville has a long history of community and low power radio. That legacy includes nearly 11 year old Radio Free Nashville (WRFN-LP). Its General Manager Greg Welsch writes, “It is through our lobbying and work with media organizations across the country that moved the FCC to open up a second round of low power licenses that allowed WXNA and Workers’ Dignity Radio WDYO to obtain construction permits.”

College Radio Station KXSU-LP on the Air in Seattle

Among the LPFM applicants in the city of Seattle, Seattle University’s KXSU-LP is the first to get on the air. According to KPLU, “Like many stations that hold LPFM licenses, KXSU started out as an internet-only service and featured mostly indie and local music.” I toured the station in fall 2014 as it was preparing for the transition from online-only to terrestrial broadcasting.


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2 Responses to LPFM Watch: New LPFM Accused of Interference + WNXA-LP Nearing Launch

  1. rikwall March 13, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    Hi Jennifer,

    Given your interest in radio history, I thought you might appreciate a tiny suggestion about the KXSU story. The sentence: “Among all of the Seattle-area LPFM applicants, Seattle University’s KXSU-LP is the first to get on the air.” is not quite accurate. If you said first on the air in the City of Seattle it would be accurate.

    KVSH-LP 101.9FM has been on the air since October of 2014. We’re on Vashon Island and we look across the waters of Puget Sound at the Seattle, a 15 minute ferry ride away. So I think most folks would consider us to be in the Seattle area.

    Here’s our website: We actually incorporated in 1999 and have been webcasting since 2001. We put our public access cable television station on the air in 2005. We launched our Emergency Alert Service on 1650AM in 2007. And now, after years of dreaming, we’ve got a community FM station. And we just added a volunteer built beautiful downtown Vashon remote studio.

    But the main thing is that all our much admired colleagues who also have shown guts and persistence are joining us on the air. Community radio is alive and thriving.

    All the best,
    Rick Wallace
    Vice President, Voice of Vashon

  2. Jennifer Waits March 14, 2016 at 9:54 am #

    Hi Rick,

    Thanks so much for the clarification. I edited the post. And congrats on the launch of KVSH-LP!!


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