Midtown Raleigh News

Little Raleigh Radio loses bid for spot on FM dial

A community radio station is sticking with its online broadcast after losing its bid for a spot on the FM dial.

Jacob Downey, co-director of Little Raleigh Radio, said the organization will focus on adding new content and growing its online listener base.

“We’re still really, really excited about broadcasting to Raleigh and sharing Raleigh with the outside world,” Downey said.

The station presents a mix of musical genres, interviews and specialty shows with topics such as beer brewing and pets.

Little Raleigh Radio was one of several groups that applied to the Federal Communications Commission to create a low-power station on 106.5 FM that would have a broadcast radius of several miles centered downtown.

The FCC announced in March that it had approved applications from the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus and the Corporation for Educational Advancement, which sponsors the Thomas International Center in Raleigh.

The center says its mission is “cultural renewal in light of the Western and Christian intellectual traditions.”

The two groups proposed a time-share agreement, earning them extra points on their application that pushed them ahead of Little Raleigh Radio.

It’s not clear when the FCC will next take applications for LPFM stations.

Little Raleigh Radio launched in early 2014 with 24 hours per week of live programming that has since grown to 43 hours. A team of 34 on-air volunteers help produce the mix of shows the station streams, with many more in the background.

Downey said the group will focus on improving its website and planning events to boost its audience. The best-performing shows on the station have about 20 listeners at any given time.

The FCC’s denial also will allow the station to redirect its financial resources to the online station, rather than planning for the equipment purchases needed to broadcast over the air.

In addition, the group is exploring ways to boost advertising and possible content-sharing agreements with other stations.

Meanwhile, LPFM station WKRP on 101.9 is looking to launch Sept. 1. The community station would reach listeners between the Beltline and Interstate 540, from roughly Falls of Neuse Road to Old Milburnie Road.

“We know how we’re going to put it together, down to the last piece of equipment, but it’s been a matter of getting the financing together,” said D.P. McIntire, who has spearheaded the creation of the station.

McIntire said the station likely will blend a variety of music and news formats.

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