Community radio in Duluth? Maybe soWith a past career in radio and a love of the broadcasting field that he said he can’t seem to shake, Ivan Hohnstadt is hopeful that he can bring community radio to Duluth.
By: Sarah Packingham, For the Budgeteer News
With a past career in radio and a love of the broadcasting field that he said he can’t seem to shake, Ivan Hohnstadt is hopeful that he can bring community radio to Duluth.
“I don’t know if it’s going to go anywhere or if it’s dead in the water,” Hohnstadt said. “But it’s worth making people aware, and I have to try.”
While listening to a program on KUMD in Duluth, he learned that the Federal Communications Commission is going to be providing licenses to thousands of low-powered FM radio stations across the country.
The catch is that they are taking applications for licenses only the last two weeks of October, so planning and preparation in Duluth has to be done rather quickly, Hohnstadt said.
In order to get plans underway, Hohnstadt hosted a meeting at Mr. D’s last week to gauge the interest in the community. He said a handful of people who were eager to help showed up.
In the coming weeks, there is some work that needs to be done. The major task is to find a non-profit organization that is willing to step up to the plate and help.
“We need to find an established nonprofit group to support and submit an application,” Hohnstadt said.
From there, they need to determine a studio location, a tower to broadcast from, and to conduct an engineering study to make sure the station wouldn’t interfere with any commercial radio stations. Once those are in place, fundraising can begin.
Hohnstadt has already sent out emails to a few nonprofit organizations he thinks might be interested and is also open to suggestions from those involved and those he comes across in the community, as this is such a unique venture for the area.
Hohnstadt is hopeful that this station could cover a 5- to 10-mile radius and provide information not only on Duluth, but specifically news on the community it’s located in.
If a license is obtained, it’s going to take a lot of people to get it going. Hohnstadt envisions a small paid staff and then a number of volunteers. Volunteers could be kids from the Valley Youth Center, senior citizens hosting a talk show, or even someone who just comes on to read the lunch menus.
His big dream is to have multiple stations.
“In a perfect world, I could see a station in West Duluth, in the Central Hillside, in Proctor, in Superior,” he said. “They could share some programming, but do a lot of neighborhood specifics.”
People looking to get involved can contact Hohnstadt at firstname.lastname@example.org.