Tue December 25, 2012
North Country: Let's Put On A Radio Station
A new community radio station is up and running in Littleton.
NHPR’s Chris Jensen tuned in.
Announcer – Red Hot Chili Peppers….
It would be an understatement to call the studio of North Country Community Radio modest.
There’s a single microphone and a hand-me-down control board with dozens of levers and switches.
There’s a flowered couch, a row of vinyl records.
Some eight-track tapes.
A well-thumbed copy of “The Radio Amateur’s Handbook.”
And behind it all is this guy, Nate Alberts.
“I love music, first of all. And, I love the idea of bringing people together.
He’s a house painter from Lisbon who volunteered at a community radio while living in Colorado.
Alberts missed it so much that he put up a big chunk of his savings - $4,000 – and got to work.
Alberts has sandy brown hair, an ever-ready smile and lots of enthusiasm.
Here’s what he is looking for in volunteers:
“Basically anyone at this point who is passionate enough and committed enough to volunteer their time.”
So far he has a little over a dozen volunteer DJs.
One is Chris Collins from Meredith.
“I ran into Nate it and it was ‘Hey, Nate how are you doing? What is going on?’
“He said ‘I’m working on a radio station.’”
“I said ‘What radio station?’”
“He goes ‘I’m starting a radio station.’”
“And, I’m like, ahhhhhh, I’d love to do a reggae show.’
“So, here I am.”
Fade in reggae music….
Alberts says he’s still got plenty of air time to fill and is open to pretty much everything.
“We haven’t had anybody come in that I’ve rolled my eyes to as far as their ideas because I feel like because we are evolving in our programming there really are no bad ideas.”
So far North Country Community Radio’s offerings include a folk show, a punk metal show and a jazz show.
There are also community-service announcements.
”We’ve been looking for Zack. A lost, Jack Russell Terrier…”
News programming and community discussions may also be in the station’s future.
Alberts crafted the station’s mission statement to be broad.
“To unify and enrich the North Country through entertainment, cultural expression and involvement of the community.”
If you are close enough North Country Community Radio can be found at 1700 on the AM dial.
It can also be heard over the internet on a live stream that runs from noon until 8 p.m.
Plans are also in the works to seek a low-power FM license from the FCC that would reach more people around Littleton and provide better sound.
For NHPR News this is Chris Jensen