FAQs

How do I make a donation?  Here is our crowdfunding link to donate online. To save the 3% fees for credit card you can snail mail a check to Media Watch, PO Box 618 Santa Cruz, CA 95061, or use PayPal and signify your donation should go to the new community radio station.

Do I get a refund if no license is purchased? Yes. When we raised money last year to try to buy KUSP in bankruptcy court, we refunded everyone who requested it. We will do so again if we can’t consummate this license purchase, but we are hoping we won’t have to!

I wish I could give more money. What else can I do to help?

Where will the money go? All monies will go to purchase the license and transmitter of for 90.7 FM KSRI. If we have money left over we will use that money to help us through the first year’s budget, including rent, internet, fees to play music, utilities and much more. Detailed budgets are available in our business plan:

What is the timeline?  We hope to go on the air by April 2018. (F.C.C. approval depending).

How much will it cost? The offer for this frequency is $265,000, and it includes taking over the tower rental lease that is $1,500 a month to use. Our goal is to raise as much as possible in hopes that we will have money left over for initial operating costs. We are aiming for $300,000 so will still have funds to cover expenses as we get the station up and running.

How will you succeed in running a sustainable station when the previous board failed? We plan on starting out with many volunteers, and we are looking for a considerably lower-priced location for the station. There are many other community stations around the country who have successfully implemented a scaled-down, locally-sourced model. (Two good examples are KWMR in West Marin http://kwmr.org/ and KVMR in Nevada City http://www.kvmr.org/ ). We do not plan on running NPR in a market where it is already offered.

Who will run and own the new community radio station? We will!  Media Watch, a local nonprofit, is our fiscal agent to facilitate the rebirth of community radio in Santa Cruz County. While individuals can’t own a radio license, a nonprofit with a board of directors can. The station will be overseen by a diverse, committed Board of Directors. Day-to-day operations will be managed by a small paid staff, and a large group of volunteers will provide their time and knowledge to make the station a success. Our goal is maximum inclusion on a mostly volunteer-staffed, locally-focused community station.

What will it sound like?

Community radio reflects the unique place and culture in which we live. You will hear familiar shows from local music experts you have come to love, as well as news, public affairs, and cultural programs. We plan to bring back Your Call, Democracy Now!, Talk of the Bay, Ask Dr. Dawn, The Latin Quarter, and other popular shows, and we will include a training program to reach youth and other marginalized voices. We ask that you fill out our survey and give us feedback on our crowdfunding link to help us find out what you would like to hear and what you might want to help host or produce.

What is community radio as distinguished from public radio?

Community radio stations serve their listeners by offering a variety of content that is not provided by the larger commercial radio stations. Community radio stations carry news and information programming geared toward the diversity of the local area, and in particular, those groups poorly served by major media outlets. Specialized musical shows are also often a feature of many community radio stations. Community radio stations typically avoid content found on commercial outlets such as Top 40 music, sports, and “drive-time” personalities. It has been said that community radio should be 10 percent radio and 90 percent community. Community radio has been built around the ideals of access and participation. Stations are run by locals to serve a local audience.

How will this serve the community?

There are many nonprofits and social justice groups in the area that are doing important work. We envision providing space on the air for groups to discuss the issues they care about. We also will provide emergency broadcast services in our times of extreme weather patterns. We will celebrate the arts through numerous programs highlighting artists, musicians, writers, painters, dancers and more. We also will provide news about local politics and candidates in order to educate voters and offer the citizens of our community a chance to interact with their elected leaders.

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