Have you ever wished you could start your own radio station? There are three different types or radio stations you can start: low-power (for non-profit organizations), full-power (for commercial radio stations) or internet streaming (broadcasting live online). Here's how to start a non-internet radio station.
- Apply for a frequency. It may take a long time before you're assigned a frequency [source FCC].
- Apply for a license. It's illegal to operate an unlicensed radio station, even at extremely low power [source: FCC].
- Establish a source of funding. Remember, you'll need to pay for studio space and power, among other things.
Once you've taken care of these things, you'll be ready to proceed.
- Decide if you want to start a low-power or full-power radio station.
- Apply for a broadcast station construction permit from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This includes paying an application fee. [source: FCC]
- Decide how much power you need based on how far you want your station to broadcast. A full-power station will need tens of thousands of watts, while a low-power station may only need a thousand watts.
- Buy the necessary equipment, including transmitter gear and an antenna. You may need to rent space on a tower for your antenna.
- Design your studio. You'll need sound proofing, headphones, speakers, microphones and more
- [source: Community-Media].
- Recruit broadcasters. Make sure you have enough people to fill up all the time slots.
- Have your broadcasters practice doing shows for a few weeks before going on the air. They'll need to get comfortable with the microphone and develop their technical skills.
- Work all the kinks out of your program schedule. Make sure everything is running smoothly before you have your first broadcast [source: Community-Media].
Be responsible and use etiquette on the air. You never know who might be listening.