BETWEEN NOW AND THE FINAL WRAP-UP, ANY $50+ CONTRIBUTION RECEIVES TWO TICKETS TO ANY MISSISSIPPI STUDIO SHOW BETWEEN NOW AND JANUARY 31, 2013.
New York has WFMU. Minneapolis has “The Current.” Seattle has KEXP. Portland should have a radio station as smart, sassy and talented as it is.
That’s right, we’re starting a locally-grown radio station. And no, not just for your computer and iPhone, but on your radio, in your car, blasting out of your living room stereo. A real radio station on the FCC-sanctioned radio dial. But we are looking for donations to fund the first, important step: Hiring engineers and purchasing the “starter kit” of transmitters, towers and mics; this will give us the ability to begin broadcasting early next year, and to sustain a radio station from underwriting and membership.
Why are we doing this? Well, because radio is in trouble!
It is increasingly filled with cookie-cutter, pre-fab, un-imaginative corporate-controlled playlists, mindless drive-time blabble and nowhere near enough local color, attitude and music. We want well-curated programming created by people with the exceptional taste. When we’re not playing incredible music, we want sharp-as-tacks deejays entertaining, explaining, and informing.
Here are the stats: Fifteen years ago, the country's 10,000 radio stations were owned by 5,000 entities; but by 2008, four companies—notably Clear Channel—had gobbled up half the radio airwaves and were increasingly bumping out locally produced shows in favor of lower-cost programming like formulated playlists and syndicated talk shows. Portland is no exception. We want to buck that trend.
But we need your help. We have accomplished perhaps the hardest part—we have acquired an FCC license, an incredibly rare commodity. But now, we need your help to acquire and fund the skills and equipment necessary to launch the station.
The upshot is: We have a radio license. But, really, what is a radio license without equipment to pump the music out into the airwaves?
Your donation, quite literally, will be the nucleus around which the radio station is built.
Our biggest challenge is securing the time, human capital and equipment necessary to serve as a cornerstone and foundation for this radio station.
We have a rare opportunity to build a new, independent radio station. The Media Institute for Social Change, an Oregon-based nonprofit, is raising funds to purchase the necessary equipment (transmitters, tower, mics) and, most important, to hire a team of crackerjack engineers and seasoned station managers to build the station.
By no means does this amount reflect the real costs of starting a station, but we have (as they say) friends in the business who are providing equipment and services at greatly reduced rates; no, not free, but at a fraction market-value. It is a rare opportunity.
But, if we can fund this opportunity, this initial cornerstone will be what a modern-day, independent radio station is built on—and we will begin broadcasting on Portland’s radio waves early 2013.