Local low-power radio station gets green light from FCC

After nearly two years of waiting, a local group has been given the go-ahead to start building their low-power community radio station in our area. The group, named Fulcrum Radio, just received its construction permit from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and will start building their studio as soon as possible.

Fulcrum represents northwest Seattle, and is one of 13 city groups that were granted a spot on the dial when the FCC opened up an application window for low-power FM stations in late 2013. A low-power FM station is radio that broadcasts at 100 watts or less, which means its reach would be about three miles. Fulcrum plans to set up their antenna at the Norse Home on Phinney Ridge, and expects to reach about 100,000 residents in Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, Greenlake, Greenwood Queen Anne, and Magnolia. They’ll be on 107.3 FM, and expect to webcast as well.

One of the organizers, Eric Muhs, says their volunteer-run group needs to get moving quickly – they have to be up and running within the next year. They have to build a studio, install an antenna, and develop internet simulcasting. “But more importantly, it means getting the community involved – we want to make and broadcast what the community wants and needs,” Muhs tells us. “We need to develop a small army of broadcasters, journalists, djs, fundraisers, and organizers.”

Muhs says they’ve raised about $4,000 so far, but they have an anticipated annual operating budget around $25,000. To get involved with Fulcrum or to learn more, visit their website or Facebook page.

 

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