Tom Roe on free103point9’s New FM Station and Microradio Past

Tom Roe, program director for free103point9, was my guest for last week’s radioshow where we discussed that organization’s approach to transmission arts and how they were able to obtain a rare noncommercial full-power FM broadcast license. That show is now available for downloading or listening online.

In the second half of the live broadcast version of the show Tom and I talked a little about the fact that free103point9 actually started out as an unlicensed micropower station in 1997, before deciding to go online only. This makes free103point9 one of only two contemporary broadcast stations to have roots in unlicensed radio. The other one is shortwave station WBCQ whose operator, Allan Weiner, was the man behind the infamous Radio New York International, a station which in 1987 attempted to emulate European pirates by operating off-shore. Weiner wrote a memoir of his pirate radio days called Access to the Airwaves: My Fight for Free Radio. Unfortunately the publisher, Loompanics Press, went out of business in 2006, although it looks like new and used copies are still available online.

Fully indulging in the tangent, after the jump you can watch a compilation video of news coverage of Radio New York International from 1987.


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