Morro Bay launching community radio station FM 97.3 The Rock
|By Nick Wilson, The Tribune (San Luis Obispo, Calif.)|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
After two years of planning and coordination, FM 97.3 The Rock is set to launch
Coordinators now are working to set up a studio in a room in the
"This is truly about uniting people through radio," operations manager
The broadcast will offer a host of talk shows, music programming, and bimonthly
"Community radio will fill a void that has been created by the corporatization of our media sources," Eckles said. "Do people in
The station already has been streaming online at www.esterobayradio.com out of Abrams' home. Nine shows currently air online, including
Those shows will now air on the radio, along with other local hosts such as physical fitness guru
Davis' program will feature local artists such as the band The Monroe and Green to White, as well as nationally-acclaimed performers, blending live and recorded music.
"I'm just grateful to be part of a really good, talented team that stuck with it," Davis said. "It's very difficult to get a station licensed."
Abrams is known for his nationally syndicated Animal Radio show, which won't air on 97.3 The Rock. But he plans to host a music show on the station, which he already hosts online, and manage operations. No salaries are being paid to those involved with the station, including Abrams.
Abrams has emphasized that community involvement and creative freedom within
Abrams estimated the first year of operation will cost about
An antenna will transmit its signal from about a mile away at the City Corporation Yard at
Station coordinators wanted to launch before the citywide yard-sale on
"We're planning a launch party outside the chamber," Abrams said. "We'll probably have somebody flip a big switch."
The board consists of 15 members from a variety of backgrounds, including City Councilman
Abrams said that open dialogue through station programming may help bridge a political divide that he says exists in
"Estero Bay Radio will provide a non-partisan platform for us all to learn more about our town and each other," Smukler said. "Sharing ideas, music, health-related information, events and public service information will likely increase connections and awareness throughout the
Peirce emphasized the importance of remaining non-partisan.
"(The station) will also need to be careful to stay separate from the political factions and remain very neutral," Peirce said. "If it's perceived as partisan it will become its own source of controversy ... At some future date, a majority of a city council could try to influence programming. That is something that all concerned should guard against."
Abrams said that he'll be cognizant of presenting opposing viewpoints for balance in the programming. He added that opportunities for those interested in producing short-term or long-term shows will be available, and encouraged those interested to get involved. College students also can get involved, and he has reached out to
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