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How Do I Start an FM Radio Station?

Are you passionate about radio and dream of one day running your own station?  Well, your dream is not a distant reality.  There are a lot of resources available to help you get started, and the equipment required is more accessible than ever!  Here are some important considerations to explore in the early stages of getting your station up and running.

 

Location, Location, Location

Two of the major decisions to make early on are the location of your studio and whether or not your transmitter will be located on-site or remotely.  Transmitters should be placed in an area that will minimize interference and maximize the potential range of your frequency.  Your studio should be located in a convenient location that is accessible to any potential guests.

 

What Type of License Do I Need?

In order to legally broadcast on FM frequency bands you have to obtain a license from the FCC.  There are two types FM radio licenses:

  • LPFM or Low Power FM (local) - These stations have a limited range and are only available to non-profit organizations.  They cannot include advertising content, but can be funded by donations and sponsors.
  • Full Power FM (commercial) - Commercial radio stations have a much larger range and are usually for-profit enterprises.

If you’re serious about starting a radio station, but are unsure of which license is appropriate, you will probably want to start with a Low Power FM (LPFM) station and move on to full power FM station later.

 

Educate Yourself

There are a lot of questions that are likely to come up as you pursue your dream of running a radio station.  By considering these questions now, you can be better prepared for what’s ahead.  Here are a few things to think about:

  • What are your startup and operating budgets?
  • What is the process of obtaining a license and a frequency?
  • What am I legally allowed to broadcast?
  • What kind of personnel will I need?

 

Equipment

One of the most important aspects of having a functional, high-quality radio station is having the proper equipment.  Radio stations require a large variety of equipment, including microphones, transmitters, audio mixers, and headphones -- to name a few.

 

Your best bet is to contact a professional radio broadcast equipment seller who can assist you in determining what equipment will best suit your needs.  Progressive Concepts is highly knowledgeable about their products and provides affordable radio broadcast equipment with 30-day no fault guarantees.  They are also available to assist you in obtaining an FCC license, help building out your station, and provide you with expert technical assistance.  

 

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