LPFM strategies across the South

Prometheus Radio - Posted on 21 March 2010

It has been one decade since the creation of LPFMs, and we now have an opportunity to learn from 10 years of experience of organizing community Low Power FM stations. So far, we got to visit three different LPFM stations in our first three days, WRIR in Richmond, Va, WCOM in Carborro, NC, and WMXP in Greenville South Carolina. We had the chance to speak with representatives of each station to learn about their successes and struggles, learning more about what needs stations have and what creative strategies can help address these challenges. Please click read more to learn about these stations.

First we visited Richmond Independent Radio Station where we were interviewed by Patricia Stansbury for her program Lightly On the Ground Radio. We advocated for the passage of the Local Community Radio Act (S592)- a campaign that WRIR has actively supported through their participation in Policy briefings in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

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At a meet and greet hosted by the station, we met a handful of active members, including Judd Proctor who shared stories with us of Gay and Lesbian Heroes, History and Culture which he broadcasts daily on The Rainbow Minute on WRIR and 200 stations nationwide. 

WRIR has a strong fundraising model, relying on a combination of grants, individual donors and underwriters. Alyssa Stansbury had some tips to offer LPFM's who are trying to do underwriting: 1.Make sure that the people who already listen to your station are aware that they can donate cash money for local spots on your programs 2. Sponsor local events which will garner you lots of publicity in exchange for announcing the events on the air. 3. Have various underwriting packages available on your website and advertise it: “Get the Word Out with WRIR”

Heading South we made a brief stop at WCOM, a LPFM station right in downtown Carboro North Carolina that broadcasts in Spanish and English featuring a combination of locally and nationally produced content including a local latino youth show Pa'lante

Prometheus helped to launch WMXP: The Voice of the People, an LPFM station run by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement in Greenville, North Carolina during a barnraising in 2007. Efia Nwaganza, the founder of the station recounted how three men who had just been released from the local detention facility, visited the station after listening to it during their incarceration. They are now participating in the station by helping fix the roof, and doing landscaping, and will eventually be able to produce their own programs.