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Table of Contents
Annotated Web Links
Micro Radio Art Gallery
Micro Radio/Low Power FM
Creative Concepts for Funding your Micro Radio Station
Rogue Radio Research Main Page / Origins and Strategies / Capitalism v. Enterprise / Listener Support: On-air, Canvassing, and Tabling / Sales: T-Shirts, Buttons, Bumper Stickers, and Whatnot / Non-profit Status / Concluding Comments
There is more than one way to skin a transmitter. A system that is recommended by European Free Radio activists, and has worked well for at least two stations in the US, is to have staff contribute cash to run the station . There are two main ways to run this, the co-op or pay-to-play.
"Of all people we know the bills of running a radio station for over two
years. And we know there is a larger philosophical question lurking
just around the antenna, but we look at it kind of like we(Kind
Radio/Hays county Guardian/ Joe and me)) own the "boat" (transmitter,
antenna, mixer, 4 x 8 room) and the programmers are the fisherman. They
pay $10.00 a month. That and the occasional fund raiser at a bar. Maybe
$150 raised. That and also if the programmers want new equipment,
"fishing poles"(mikes, CD players, cassette player, turntable, etc.),
they buy them, or bring them just for their show. We all love fishing
so we all make it work, and its not fair either!
"Free Radio Memphis asked each DJ to through in $5 a week, sliding scale, and work exchange credited. Most people found it easier to give the $5, It was enough to pay rent, utilities, phone bill, continuous equipment upgrade and, when the fit hit the shan, our lawyers."
-Petunia Joan,Free Radio Memphis
There are 168 hours in the week.
Not a insignificant sum. Even if there are fewer operating hours and taped shows, it can still add up. As long as the money you charge or the contributions you get (depending on how you look at it) is reasonable and affordable to all, I don't see this as a major burden on announcers. You can also draw names out of a hat a give the person(s) picked a free ride for a month, just to break it up. This method for raising fund is by far the most consistent source of station income and costs nothing to implement.
"Here's the beauty of micro-radio (at least for us): I spent, I don't know, somewhere around $1000 to set up our station with everything. That $$ is gone forever, and I've gotten my $$'s worth in my own entertainment many times over, and I hope I never see that $1000 in cash again. The only ongoing expense for shows is the tapes to record them (which I buy in bulk) the tapes to make copies as gifts in return for guests being on the air (it's the least I can do, and they love it), and the snacks/beer that we eat during/after a transmission. We will NEVER need to advertise, we will NEVER need to raise $$, and thus will NEVER have to answer to the "almighty dollar". As soon as we "owe" anyone anything, it exerts control over our content, language, and programming (ala Noam Chomsky, the journalist is woe to bite the hand that feeds him). We are mobile and solar powered, so we don't even have rent or electric bills to pay! Ah! Smell the freedom!"
-Cap'n D,SPURT Radio, Berkeley, CA
European Free Radio
"As you won't be advertising when you get on air and most likely will not have any form of financial support, it is good practice to start collecting weekly subscriptions from your membership even before you go on air. This will probably be your only source of income so keep it for basic necessities such as rent; electricity etc."
-Radio is my Bomb
"Doing radio costs nothing. No one thinks about it, but it's true. It's still the cheapest and most environment-friendly medium. If you have one rich uncle you can skip this section. But money has to come from somewhere. Contributions from the programmers are a steady source of income. It sounds a bit outrageous to tell volunteers they have to pay to work. But they will do it, and should consider it an honour. Not that they will come up to you and do it voluntarily. In these circles the position of treasurer is a thankless task."
- Hoisting the Jolly Roger or The Birth of a Station: Intro to Advanced Anti-organizational Science in Theory and Practice