Thursday, October 13, 2016



Portland Radio Project (PRP) is now on-the-air 24/7 via KSFL-FM 99.1 FM. Initially launched as an online station in 2013, PRP and another noncom organization were granted a LPFM construction permit in 2014. The FCC stipulated that each of the two organizations would have 12 hours to program each day.

As time went by, PRP thrived and the other noncom org, Portland’s Q Center – a gay and lesbian outreach organization, wasn’t doing well. So Q Center transferred their 12-hours per day to PRP. The FCC approved the consolidation recently. Now 99.1 FM is PRP, all day and all night.

91.1 is not a typical LPFM facility. A combination of good planning and good luck is allowing 91.1 to reach a considerable portion of the Portland metro. Take a look at PRP’s coverage shown on the right. 100-watts combined with a great transmission site can cover a significant area of a major city. Some locations experience terrain interference but KSFL is a player based on it’s area served.

PRP’s format is hard to categorize.  Much of the music is Triple A but there is ample time for folk, blues and jazz. The station’s mission is to give voice to local musicians, nonprofits and businesses. This means there are also quite a few talk shows on PRP, so they aren’t a “pure” music station.


PRP joins one of the most eclectic noncom FM radio menus in the nation. On the left is a new Portland noncommercial dial guide. It is hard to find another city with this much variety.

KOPB, KQAC and KQAC are the biggest players with major noncom formats. 

KBOO was one of Lorenzo Milam’s first independent community stations. Though some of KBOO’s programming is still “old school Pacifica,” KBOO apparently isn’t hung up on Pacifica’s ineffective governance system.

And PRP has an on-air competitor: Triple A leaning KXRY – Xray FM [link]. Xray has been around longer and is operated by radio pros, so it will be interesting to see whether the market can support both stations. I wrote about Xray in my first post for this blog, September 29, 2014 [link].
But wait, there are more unusual LPFM stations in the Portland area. 95.1 KISN-LP calls itself Good Guy Radio [link], a flashback to a legendary Top 40 station that rocked Portland back in the 1960s.

Then there is a one-of-a-kind LPFM: 100.7 KQRZ-FM by and for Ham Radio enthusiasts [link]. KQRZ has four hours of Ham Radio News every day.  The rest of the schedule is filled with “crooner” music such as Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.

Get your fix of Slavic treats (I’d like an order of Sarma, please) on 102.7 KIEV-LP a/k/a Slavic Community Radio.


Last Monday (10/10) Mind & Soul Radio, KXNB-LP 101.3 FM [link] signed on in Omaha.

Mind & Soul Radio is Omaha’s first African-American community station. (Many people don’t know that Omaha has a sizable Black population.) The new KXNB features news and music, including classic hip-hop, R&B and Gospel other genres. One of the founders of Mind & Soul Radio is Michael Scott, a former TV anchor. Scott does weekday morning drive, mixing music with news and callers.

Another founding volunteer, Doug Paterson, told the Omaha World Herald [link]:

This has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  I’ve been fortunate to have worked with several start-up theatre companies…[but KXNB] brought a kind of unique urgency…to respond to needs in North Omaha. KXNB will be an entirely fresh  voice in Omaha radio.

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