Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Starting a Community Radio Station (But Were Afraid to Ask)

Like Halley’s Comet and first kisses, some things are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. And for all you radio lovers out there, that opportunity is here — because this October you’ll have your shot at transforming the FM dial.

From Oct. 15–29, the Federal Communications Commission will accept applications for new Low Power FM radio stations. These community radio outlets are run by all kinds of nonprofits — everything from schools to civil rights groups to labor unions to cultural organizations to churches.

And while there are about 800 LPFM stations broadcasting all over the country right now, the October application window will be our best chance to get hundreds more on the air. We won’t have another opportunity like this for a long time — maybe not ever.

Free Press and the Prometheus Radio Project have put together an amazing guidebook that provides step-by-step instructions on how to launch your very own station. And while starting a radio station may sound like a daunting task, the great thing about community radio is that it’s, well, a community effort.

Yes, it takes years to build a radio station, but you can get your application together in a matter of weeks. And time is on your side: If the FCC grants you a license, you’ll have years to put your awesome radio station together.

So if you have the passion to make it happen and know of a nonprofit organization in your area you can collaborate with, dive into the guidebook to find out the answers to questions like:

  • How do I find out if there’s an available frequency in my community?
  • How do I fundraise?
  • How do I choose a location for my station?

We’ve also got tips on how to find an engineer, plan your station’s programming, and more.

So help spread the word. Download the guidebook today and let’s start a radio revolution!

Interested in applying but still have questions? Email Candace Clement at Free Press or contact the Prometheus Radio Project.

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good