Puget Sound Nonprofits Announce Plans for 15 New Neighborhood Radio Stations

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15 Puget Sound Nonprofits and Universities are Applying For a Low-Power FM Radio Station License with the Assistance of Brown Paper Tickets and Unveiling Their Plans and a Map of the Prospective “Sound of Tomorrow” at a Public Event at Pike Place Market Oct. 15. Pike Place Market is Considering Application for a New Radio Station and May Benefit by Time Gained from the Government Shutdown.

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“Helping nonprofits and educational institutions to claim a greater portion of the public airwaves will ultimately strengthen communities.” said Sabrina Roach, a professional “Doer” specializing in public media for Brown Paper Tickets.

Fifteen local nonprofits and universities that are ready to apply for low-power FM (LPFM) radio licenses are sharing their plans for community service and a map of the neighborhoods that they plan to serve at a public event at Pike Place Market at noon on Oct. 15. A list of the applicants can be found at: http://community.brownpapertickets.com/Doers/radio.html. Seattle-based Brown Paper Tickets is assisting these nonprofits in their application, and has helped eligible groups across the country learn about the opportunity to own their own radio station, as part of its National Make Radio Challenge.

“Helping nonprofits and educational institutions to claim a greater portion of the public airwaves will ultimately strengthen communities,” said Sabrina Roach, a professional “Doer” specializing in public media for Brown Paper Tickets. The world’s only Not-Just-For-Profit ticketing and event registration company invested in filling every available frequency in Seattle with a qualified applicant brought awareness to nonprofits about the opportunity to own a radio station and provided free guidance and resources to applicants across the nation through its National Make Radio Challenge. “Our company’s social mission is building healthy communities, and we believe that LPFM is a powerful tool in achieving that goal.”

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a 2-week LPFM application window that was to have opened Oct. 15. The government shutdown is causing an unexpected delay in being able to submit the LPFM applications. There is one nonprofit considering application, but are not yet ready to commit to it, who may actually benefit from the extra time created by the government closure.

“At the urging of some of our community members we are considering applying for a low-power FM serving Pike Place Market and parts of downtown Seattle,” said Ben Franz-Knight, executive director of the Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority. “Pike Place Market has many diverse stakeholders, and this is an exciting opportunity to explore with them.”

Roach is offering her assistance, should Pike Place Market decide to submit an application. “I will continue to assist LPFM applicants in the Puget Sound to make certain that all who have decided to apply are ready whenever the government gets back to business,“ said Roach.

This will be the first and likely the last time that LPFM licenses will be awarded in large urban markets, making this an important opportunity for nonprofit community groups to reach much larger audiences. It is also the first opportunity in eight years for nonprofits to apply for LPFM anywhere in the United States.

The Puget Sound radio applicants have a wide variety of new programming planned, from hyper-local news for Ballard, Rainier Valley and the Central District, to immigrant rights advocacy in SeaTac, educational facilities for Bothell and Seattle, and recording and collecting oral histories in the University District and at Sand Point. Engineers who have worked with the FCC predict that between 5 and 8 frequencies could be licensed to Seattle and several more outside of King County, where there is less competition for on-air frequencies.

“Radio can be the glue that sticks neighbors in the same room to talk and amplify that dialogue in the community,” said Roach. “These stations can become the foundation for neighborhood communication hubs with low barriers to training, equipment and Internet access, while distributing content across platforms.” Roach worked 11 years in public media, including Seattle’s KUOW and KBCS, before taking on her position with the Brown Paper Tickets Doer Program, a group of professional advocates for creating positive change in communities. She created and directed the National Make Radio Challenge, and identified millions in public funding that can be applied to LPFM.

“We found $9 million in public funding available for LPFM applicants to compete for in King County, and have created a guide for applicants in other cities to identify similar funding,” Roach said. “LPFM applicants can qualify for this start-up funding, and have a great chance at it being granted.”

The Central District’s Hollow Earth Radio has been streaming on the Internet for seven years, and is making plans to broadcast on the public airwaves, aided in part by a $19,000 Technology Matching Fund from the City of Seattle. “By broadcasting even a few miles on the FM dial, we could help more people in the Central District who aren’t necessarily connected to the Internet, and at the same time become accessible to thousands who drive through our community,” said Forrest Baum, of Hollow Earth Radio. Hollow Earth hopes to help the neighborhood by adding hyper-local news to the station’s programming, and giving a voice and opportunity to community members interested in learning how to become broadcasters and community journalists.

The public meeting and unveiling of a Sound of Tomorrow Map, identifying neighborhoods that would be served by the proposed LPFM stations, will be at the Pike Place Market, Elliott Bay Room, on the top floor of the Economy Market Oct. 15 at noon. The public is welcome and asked to register for free at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/485691. For more information, go to http://community.brownpapertickets.com/Doers/radio.html.

About Brown Paper Tickets: Brown Paper Tickets (http://www.BrownPaperTickets.com), the Not-Just-For-Profit event company, demonstrates the highest commitment to social responsibility in the ticketing industry. The company donates 5 percent of profits to nonprofits in the category of each ticket-buyers choice, pays employees a week's salary each year to work for the cause of their choice, and employs a team of “Doers” -- professional advocates for creating positive change in communities. Brown Paper Tickets builds communities through events, donations, setting a higher bar for good corporate citizenship, and a business model that builds a better world.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’d like to get a copy of the map of the Sound of Tomorrow, or discover the nearest neighborhood radio station planned to serve your neighborhood, give us a call or an email and our Doer specializing in public media will assist you with information, interviews and contacts to build your story.

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