We write to ask for your support to get a new progressive radio station on the air for Albany. Help us declare our independence from corporate-owned media.
The Federal Communication Commission a few years ago did something very rare – they made low-power (100 Watts) FM broadcast licenses available. Collectively we were able to get several broadcast licenses in several Capital District communities. Each license gives you the right to broadcast to cover primarily one community – in our case, Albany.
The permit for Albany is held by the Green Education and Legal Fund, but we are part of a multi-county radio effort led by the Sanctuary for Independent Media based in Troy. Collectively we are trying to raise $30,000 by the end of the year to get both Albany and a Schenectady station (WOOS) up and running, otherwise our permit expires in January (we already got one extension and another is not likely.)
The Sanctuary has recently been able to get a station up and running. WOOC is at 105.3 FM (internet). I am part of the news collective that puts on a great hourly news show live Monday to Friday from 6 to 7 PM (repeated at 7 and 9 AM the next morning, with Democracy Now at 8). The co-hosts are a vary multi-generational, multi-racial mixture of very dedicated, skilled and diverse people. See a short video about the stations.
We are now working to set up a sister station in Albany. The challenge is that we must be broadcasting by the end of this year – which means we have to raise $25,000 for a functional Albany station (to get on the air, $15,000.)
We plan to network the stations together to jointly broadcast shows like Democracy Now while doing our own local content.
The mission of WOOA along with our sister stations will be to promote social and environmental justice and freedom of expression. You’ll get commercial-free, hyper-local news and public affairs, plus shows highlighting local arts and culture… programming you can’t hear anywhere else!
And we’ll be streaming worldwide on the Internet too!
We will be working to produce local content from various communities within the city and the capital district – political, cultural, educational, social. We will also work to shine a bright light on what happens – and doesn’t happen – at the state capitol, covering issues such as climate change, mass incarceration, housing, poverty, GLBTQ rights, greens / Indivisible / DSA, health care, food, health care, etc.
Because operating costs for low power FM are relatively low, the major challenge we face is raising the initial funds to purchase equipment and install it. We estimate the total will be about $25,000 to do what we need: build and equip broadcast studios; buy and install the tower, antenna and transmitter; and rig the communications links required to connect the studios to the transmitter site
The $30,000 allows us to get the transmitter and basic operation on the air in the two cities. Additional funds will later be needed for local studios. In the meantime, we will use the studio at the Sanctuary in Troy as our main production and training facility.
We’ll be able to build our 100-watt radio station if 100 people step up to “Buy A Watt” for $250 each.
You can pool resources with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and acquaintances. A house party, bake sale or benefit concert might be all it takes to raise the $250 to buy a watt. All contributions are fully tax deductible.
You’ll get the satisfaction of knowing you helped put a new non-commercial radio station on the air in a community that critically needs independent voices for local news, local public affairs and local cultural programming.
Thanks for your help!
P.S. Donate before Trump and the GOP Congress eliminate charitable tax deductions. Make 2017 the year of resistance and renewal.
You can mail donations to GELF, 156 Big Toad Road, Poestenkill NY 12140.