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February 11, 2024 12:12 pm  #1

High School Radio Station To Be Forced Off Air By Newcomer

This isn't local and my dim memory tells me I may have posted something on this in the past. But this is a well written and fascinating story of a small 10-watt station in a tiny town in Michigan, that is being forced off its frequency by a newcomer, which wants to put a retransmitter on its current 88.5 FM dial position. 

WOAS is a Class D radio station, the lowest of the low and because of that designation, is obligated by the FCC to give up its position if another broadcaster comes calling. And now another one has. 

In the linked Detroit Free Press story, the charm of the little station that means so much to a small town comes through, as those who've worked so hard to keep it running try to figure out what to do next and save this precious high school student run-outlet that's been serving their city since 1978, somehow staying on the air 24 hours a day even through the pandemic, when students were all remote learning at home. 

"This spring, when he learned they’d lose their frequency, [station manager Ken] Raisanen mentioned in the local newspaper what happened, and noted that the station could use some donations to help keep it going. There was no official fundraiser. No GoFundMe either.

But word spread through town. People came up on the streets and handed him $10 or $20 bills. An anonymous resident gave him $1,000. Before long, he raised enough money to buy a new transmitter for the school this summer so the station can boost its signal strength to 100 watts, the minimum required by the FCC for an upgraded license. It would be a ticket out of the unprotected realm of the dial. It should prevent this kind of displacement from happening again. And it just might guarantee that WOAS remains one of the few student-run stations still broadcasting."

It shows that radio still has the power - even at 10 watts - to mean something in a small town that doesn't have another one. 

Radio station had same dial spot for decades until bigger station took its frequency


February 11, 2024 4:58 pm  #2

Re: High School Radio Station To Be Forced Off Air By Newcomer

I see they have an Internet stream. Could they not continue as an Internet-only station?

Last edited by Dale Patterson (February 11, 2024 4:58 pm)

"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram

February 11, 2024 5:05 pm  #3

Re: High School Radio Station To Be Forced Off Air By Newcomer

And it's a Christian station that's poaching their frequency!