The Evansville Courier Press has an article on low power radio stations entitled Low Power, Higher Calling. Back in 2000 the FCC passed rules that allowed for low power radio stations. Seems like they got hung up back in ’96 or ’98 or so, and I stopped paying attention. I remember having been annoyed because I had visions of garage-based operations playing obscure music, discussing things of local interest, and generally providing an alternative to the same-old thing.
Turns out about half of these licenses have been snatched up by Christian groups. According to the article, there isn’t much local involvement in programming the station. The folks they interviewed basically plug in network offerings out of Nashville and let it go. That’s disappointing to me. Already, if you listen to shortwave, most of the English speaking offerings seem to be the BBC, Voice of America, maybe the CBC if you’re lucky, and wave after wave of Christian broadcasting. More power to them if they have the will and the ability to fill up the spectrum. I’d just like to listen to something else. As it is, I went to XM — at least they provide musical offerings that isn’t the same old thing. But, for obvious reasons, they don’t have any particular local offerings.
The FCC has a Low Power FM Radio Service at: http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/lpfm/
You can search that site for offerings in your area. For example, I see that in my area there is: