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Town Seeks Radio License

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Town Seeks Radio License;
Christine Dempsey
Courant Staff Writer. Hartford Courant. Hartford, Conn.: Sep 13, 2004. pg. B.3

Abstract (Document Summary)
The low-power radio station would provide routine and emergency information to listeners within a 3- to 5-mile radius, which would reach everyone in town, said Paul Benyeda, the town's emergency management coordinator. It is modeled after one in West Hartford.

If the Federal Communications Commission approves a license, which could take months, the station would be 1630 AM. The town applied for FCC approval about six weeks ago, Benyeda said.

The equipment needed for the station includes a small transmitter and an antenna that, under FCC regulations, can be no higher than 50 feet, Benyeda said.

Full Text (327 words)
(Copyright The Hartford Courant 2004)
The town is planning to start its own radio station.

But don't expect to hear a disc jockey spinning tunes.

The low-power radio station would provide routine and emergency information to listeners within a 3- to 5-mile radius, which would reach everyone in town, said Paul Benyeda, the town's emergency management coordinator. It is modeled after one in West Hartford.

If the Federal Communications Commission approves a license, which could take months, the station would be 1630 AM. The town applied for FCC approval about six weeks ago, Benyeda said.

The cost of the station, which would be set up at the fire station at 75 Center St., would be covered by a $25,800 health department grant, Benyeda said.

The station is eligible for the grant in part because it would give information about mass vaccinations in the event of bioterrorism, said Steven Caron, emergency response coordinator for the health department.

"There is a multitier of public health issues that we are addressing through this," Caron said.

The station also would broadcast evacuation information if ever needed, such as for severe weather or a serious accident, Benyeda said.

For example, the station might have been useful three years ago, when swimming pool chemicals exploded at a business in town and some neighborhoods had to be evacuated, he said.

And, the station would be used to give residents and motorists detour information if there were a major highway crash, Caron said.

Luckily, such dire scenarios are unusual. Most of the time, the radio station would be used to announce town events, such as meetings, school cancellations and pool openings.

The equipment needed for the station includes a small transmitter and an antenna that, under FCC regulations, can be no higher than 50 feet, Benyeda said.

The town plans to put the antenna on a lamppost behind the fire station, he said.

The FCC also prohibits the town from broadcasting anything that could be construed as commercial, he said.

Ouster From FM Band Rocks Station; [NASSAU AND SUFFOLK Edition]
Paul Marinaccio. Newsday. (Combined editions). Long Island, N.Y.: May 2, 1986.

Abstract (Document Summary)
The dream began twon years ago when the non-profit station started operating legally at 640 on the AM dial through system alled carrier current. The signal radiates from power lines, enabling most radio-listeners in the 12-square-mile area surrounding Roslyn Road to pick up WQNR. Last September, using a transmitter built by station owner Kristian-Victor Holtegaard, who owns the house. WQNR with a slot at 97.9 on your FM dial.

According to Operations Director John Scott the principals, who one ay hope convert WQNR into a commercial station, said they "went FM" on the advice of radio engineering experts they decline to identify. [Brett Jason] said the experts cited a section of FCC regulations permitting unlicencsed low-power operations in certain instances. Scott said the FM signal added another 20,000 listeners. But the FCC said it did so by operating illegally in portion of the FM band reserved for educational stations. Inspectors showed up recently and told the station to sign off, but the operators suspected a hoax, in part because the inspectors' identification did not look official, Jason said. FCC inspectors returned to shut down the FM signal for good and notify the station of the $750 fine.

Full Text (749 words)
(Copyright Newsday Inc., 1986)
Attention, please. The staff and mangement of WQNR-AM, the homeof ROCK IT RADIO, would like the 5,000 people they believe are stillwithin the sound of their ovices to know that their short-lived FM simulcast should not be considered a pirate operation - even if the FCC did shut them down for rocking without a license.

The staff and management of WQNR-AM say they're taking kids off the streets and giving them the chance to be the next Big Time, Big Deal deejays like Don K. Reid and Wolfman Jack.

"We're being played up to be a pirate station, run by someone who sits in their bathtub with a microphone and plays music out thorugh he toaster," says Program Director Brett Jason whose rock station operates out of studios built inot the side of a house on Roslyn Road. "In fact," he continues, with the force and infleciton of a broadcaster who found his life's calling 20 years ago after meeting Cousin Bruce Morrow, "We are an important part of he community."

It's not just that WQNR organized benefits, nd rock shows of Long Island artists with names like "RUFFFKUT," and reads the schoolld closings and public service announcements on missing children and drunk driving. WQNR has taken its on-air talent from Brookhaven's high schools and nightclubs - and, in one case, literally off Sunrise Highway.

That was Joe Randolph, 16, of Medford, Joe was hopping down Sunrise Highway when Jason stopped to give him a lift, and brought the Patchogue-Medford High Schoold student to the station. Joe once spent lot of time at video arcades. Now he's the voice of WQNR Monday nights and Saturday afternoons. "It's like a rock 'n' roll dream," he says.

The dream began twon years ago when the non-profit station started operating legally at 640 on the AM dial through system alled carrier current. The signal radiates from power lines, enabling most radio-listeners in the 12-square-mile area surrounding Roslyn Road to pick up WQNR. Last September, using a transmitter built by station owner Kristian-Victor Holtegaard, who owns the house. WQNR with a slot at 97.9 on your FM dial.

According to Operations Director John Scott the principals, who one ay hope convert WQNR into a commercial station, said they "went FM" on the advice of radio engineering experts they decline to identify. Jason said the experts cited a section of FCC regulations permitting unlicencsed low-power operations in certain instances. Scott said the FM signal added another 20,000 listeners. But the FCC said it did so by operating illegally in portion of the FM band reserved for educational stations. Inspectors showed up recently and told the station to sign off, but the operators suspected a hoax, in part because the inspectors' identification did not look official, Jason said. FCC inspectors returned to shut down the FM signal for good and notify the station of the $750 fine.

While WQNR pauses over what to do next - one possibility is to ffiliate with an existing educational FM station - the deejays are trying to et used to life on AM again. "The pones don't ring as much," explains Jerry Edwards, 19, as he mixed "Attack of the Mad Axeman" into "Blondes in Balck Cars" Wednesday night Edwards, a pressman by ay, met his girlfriend, Cassie Rein, "over the air" when the 17-year-old Port Jeffersona Station teenager called in a request.

Cassie is now WQNR's morning drivetime disc jockey.

Chad Soler, 16 is another star. Chad has an air name - Chad Evans - and understands the rationale behind not playing a heavy metal group such as AC-DC in the morning. "You have to keep it kind of mellow," the Newfield High School junior explains. The deejays covet their jobs for the attention as well as the experience - some say they have been mobbed in nearby stores when wearing their red WQNR jackets.

Back on he street, listeners are unhappy. Christine Monahan 18, can't get the WQNR's AM signal at her home in Port Jefferson Station and collected 560 protest signatures in three hours at the shopping center she works at in East Setauket. "Listen, it's like losing a party, or someone missing in the family," she said. "Like Cassie in the morning - when you wake up and don't hear her voice.