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LPFM Watch: From Veterans to Newbies, New LPFMs Eye the Airwaves

While recording this week’s podcast, Eric Klein regaled me with tales of his experience hanging on out a roof with Freeform Portland volunteers, as they worked to install an antenna for the new lower power FM (LPFM) station in Portland, Oregon. He described how many of the team were college radio veterans hoping to replicate positive radio experiences from their youth.

While some LPFMs are like Freeform Portland in that they are lucky to have volunteers with radio experience, others are learning as they go. An extensive article in the Long Beach Post recounts the story of LPFM-to-be KLBP-LP in Long Beach, California. According to the piece,

For five years, Ken Roth and the rest of the Long Beach Community Television and Media Corporation (LBCTMC) have fought to bring the voice of the people in Long Beach back to FM radio. The group was integral in the return of local access cable television to the city in the form of PadNet and then turned its sights toward the radio dial. Late last year, the group received word from the Federal Communications Commission that it had been granted a construction permit for its low-power FM station and the clock on the 18-month time window began to tick.”

The Long Beach Radio Project will operate on 99.1 FM and is intended to reach a wide variety of constituents. “Whether it’s video games, mobility and transportation, politics or getting airtime for local musicians that can’t quite break into the Los Angeles market that’s dominated by corporate radio stations, KLBP stands to serve as an access point for Long Beach residents that, up until now, only existed on Internet radio,” writes the Long Beach Post. KLBP’s Ken Roth tells the Long Beach Post, “‘We don’t have a bevy of radio veterans that are going to come in here and start this…This is a community endeavor and we’re going to learn as we go. But I think that as long as we make sure that any journalism we do we practice ethically and ensure that the work is solid, then I think we can be a benefit.'”

New Public Safety LPFM in Baltimore

A wide variety of LPFM stations are hitting the airwaves, including some with a public safety mission. Baltimore’s WTTZ, “The Maryland Transportation Channel,” held a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week for its new station, which will air commuter updates as well as instrumental music.

A Trio of Dismissals in Florida after FCC Query is Ignored

As far as pending LPFM applications, the FCC dismissed three in Florida yesterday, including Hunters Creek Education Radio in Orlando, Lake Mary Community Radio Inc. in Lake Mary, and Alafaya Community Radio in Orlando. The FCC had sent Letters of Inquiry to all three applicants, requesting further information on their applications within 30 days. When none of the applicants responded, the applications were dismissed.


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