If you’ve ever thought about having your own local radio station and believe in radio evangelism, now is the time to act! This is a great opportunity for you, your church or organization to acquire a station license for your community.
The FCC has announced a new station application filing window coming up this fall from Nov. 1 – 8, 2023. This is for low power FM (LPFM) new station construction permits. According to the FCC this is the first LPFM filing window since 2013, thus opportunities like this do not come along often. The filing window is available for LPFM proposals in the entire FM band (channels 201-300).
refresher on the process
LPFM stations can broadcast with a maximum power of 100 watts, with an antenna 30 meters above average terrain. Typically, such a station can produce a good quality signal within a radius of approximately 10 miles of the station’s antenna site.
Interested parties should first determine whether an open channel for an LPFM station exists in the area where they potentially want the station. This is because the application cannot propose a station that would cause interference to any other station.
The FCC has created a program where you can conduct a search for an open frequency. This channel-finder program is available to the public online at: https://www.fcc.gov/media/radio/lpfm-channel-finder.
While research on the channel-finder tool is a good first step, most applicants will benefit from more granular engineering research that can be provided by a broadcast consulting engineer.
When you access the channel-finder on the FCC website, it will be helpful to have the latitude/longitude of the area of interest. Google Maps/Google Earth and other map software can be used to locate the coordinates than can then be used with the Channel Finder. One tool that you may find useful for converting addresses to Lat/Long coordinates is this “Geocoder” from the Census Bureau. The link below is an example finding the coordinates for the White House in Washington DC. This is available to the public online at:
nonprofit entities preferred
It is important to know that the LPFM applicant must be a nonprofit entity that is local to the station’s antenna site. For reasons concerning the FCC’s rules about ownership of LPFM stations, a local Seventh-day Adventist Church alone is not a good candidate to be an applicant. Interested parties should use a different existing qualified nonprofit organization as the applicant or create a new nonprofit corporation for that purpose.
Once you have a station, LifeTalk Radio can provide all the programming 24/7 plus you can include your own local programs anywhere in the daily or weekly broadcast schedule. Guidance in your application process and set up is also available.
In most cases, the applicant will benefit from the assistance of both a broadcast consulting engineer and a broadcast attorney in preparing and submitting the application to the FCC. LifeTalk Radio recommends that interested parties contact broadcast attorney, Donald Martin, for an initial free consultation. If appropriate, he can then suggest one or more engineering consultants to assist with technical elements of the application. Please see his contact information at the end of this article.
time sensitive process
This window of opportunity is time sensitive, thus we recommend interested parties begin the process as soon as possible. However please keep in mind, application does not guarantee you’ll end up with a local radio station as there may be multiple applicants for your area. We hope God will open the way for your application to succeed and recommend we all make this a matter of earnest prayer.
At LifeTalk we are praying regularly for God to provide more stations to carry the Good News and connect more people with Christ. We believe miracles still happen! May God bless you as you help spread the gospel in your community.
Mr. Martin’s contact information:
Donald E. Martin, P.C.
P.O. Box 8433
Falls Church, Virginia 22041
Administration | Station Relations