One of the initiatives that’s been taking up my Copious Free Time is helping start a low-power FM community radio station in Raleigh. A few months ago, a friend mentioned the Little Raleigh Radio (LRR) project and I became determined to help this project succeed.
I’ve been following low-power FM (LPFM) for quite some time so when I learned that the FCC’s window for granting new licenses may be opening again, I felt I had to help.
Led by Jacob Downey and Kelly Reid, veterans of N.C. State’s student-run radio station WKNC, the group has met twice now to discuss the direction of the station and plot how to get up and running. Through my prior research into LPFM and my experience in getting my own streaming radio test platform going, I have been offered a position on LRR’s board of directors. The board meets for the first time at the upcoming March 20th meeting at the offices of Raleigh Public Record. Raleigh Public Record has agreed to provide office space for LRR until the station can get its first official home.
The plan is for Little Raleigh Radio to begin streaming community events and music beginning August 1st. I’ve set up the Rivendell radio-automation software on a virtual host so that the station can begin streaming. Currently, the station is rebroadcasting the audio of the City of Raleigh’s Raleigh Television Network’s Government Channel (RTN11). Now the station needs to build its library, secure funding, assign responsibilities, and start getting the word out about itself.
I hope not only to provide some of the technical heavy lifting to Little Raleigh Radio, but to also keep the focus of the station on “community.” Who’s behind the latest charity event? Or the latest art exhibit? What creative minds are behind the latest festival taking over Fayetteville Street? What is the city planning to do to make our city even better? Who’s that unsung volunteer doing great work that deserves some attention? Yes, the station will play local music from local bands – and that’s all good – but I want to see Raleigh’s movers and shakers get some airtime, too.
It’s an exciting time! I’m looking forward to seeing this project come to fruition, bringing a unique new voice to all that’s happening in Raleigh’s downtown. Turn it up!