Claiming to be the first LGBT FM radio station in the nation, PRIDE 96.7 [LINK] has signed on in Minneapolis.
PRIDE 96.7 is iHeartMedia’s third new Instant FM station in the market. iHeart now has EIGHT competitive FM signals in the market. Rumor has it they have more Instant FM stations on the way.
To create PRIDE 96.7 iHeart purchased an FM translator K244EQ FM 96.7 from a Wisconsin broadcaster for $300,000. iHeart’s PRIDE RADIO streaming audio is broadcast on KQQL-FM’s HD3 signal. The HD3 feeds K244EQ. Soon FM 96.7 will broadcast from the Twin Cities best site – atop the 57-story IDS Center at 170 watts. Here is PRIDE 96.7’s projected coverage area:
WELCOME TO CALHOUN BEACH
The new FM voice is a marvel of signal spacing and legal creation. To accomplish the translator move from Wisconsin iHeart got the FCC to approve a new, previously unknown, city-of-license: Calhoun Beach, Minnesota.
Calhoun Beach could be any of the beaches around Lake Calhoun. To local folks “Calhoun Beach” usually refers to the northwest corner of the lake that borders the hipster area of Minneapolis called Uptown.
|CALHOUN BEACH AT NIGHT|
Calhoun Beach has a historic place in Twin Cities broadcasting. The Calhoun Beach Club was the original studio location for WTCN-TV in the 1950s and 1960s. (WTCN is now KARE-11 TV.) It is a fashionable address. Condos and apartments at The Calhoun Beach Club are priced far above public media wages.
|CALHOUN BEACH CLUB|
WHAT PRIDE 96.7 SOUNDS LIKE
As some of you may know, I am In the Life but I am probably not in PRIDE 96.7’s target demo. The emphasis is on dance music, synthesizers and lots of women artists. The prevailing mood is party, love and lust. You can see their playlist at [LINK].
The on-air hosts are upbeat, friendly and never obtrusive. Even though PRIDE 96.7 is about one week old, they are talking A LOT about people and events in the community.
LESSONS FOR NONCOM RADIO
This train is moving fast. Public radio should conduct an organized effort to get public radio’s HD channels on FM before the FM spectrum is full. I recall CPB sponsored FM frequency and underserved area studies in the 1980s and 1990s. Why not map FM translator opportunities now?
Commercial broadcasters like iHeartMedia and religious noncom broadcasters like the Educational Media Foundation (K-Love) are gobbling up the FM dial. Seize the day CPB—help turn those HD Radio lemons into FM lemonade.