Asheville FM

In the year 2009 Kim (the college radio junkie) and Greg (the music junkie) along with 30-40 others would meet at Laurey's Catering, downtown Asheville. These meetings became regular and Friends of Community Radio– as they had come to call themselves–realized one day they had the talent, the drive, and the equipment to start their own station.

Options on the table, Internet radio was the fastest, easiest, and most accessible option. All the plans came together seamlessly which propelled them in the decision to rent a studio. Friends and volunteers helped put the studio up in a much faster way than was anticipated.

By September of the same year, everything was in place to start broadcasting. They helped broadcast a couple of community events and finally, a month after remote broadcasting the music festival of a local record store's fifth anniversary, was the opening of the studio with a full day celebration.

Their community is made up of around 80,000 people in the western half of North Carolina. In a historically recognized red state, Asheville is a “little blue nugget.” “There is not a lot of that voice being heard,” Kim says while Greg adds in, “The stuff we’re doing is just not done on any other outlet." There is hope that their station will provide news and enlightenment to culture, community, music and other various arts. From Greg and Kim's years and experience they knew that their community lacks this outlet for voices in town and they need it.

Three and half years from the meetings at Laurey's and Internet radio is successful. As of now, the audience they serve has a wide set of interests. In fact, the number one program on their station is an old time country program that broadcasts vinyl gems while following in a close second is the anarchist news program. Greg jokes their audience is made up of anarchist cowboys, but underneath that statement is a sliver of truth. They do serve a pretty broad audience.

The programming of Asheville FM is centered on the community’s interests. They currently have 42 different programs and have more in the works. The different radio hours are made up of news, talk, comedies, jazz, world, and hip hop—all local. The station is a success, but for one reason or another not everyone in the community has the opportunity to listen in. Lower income families still do not have access to the internet and it is still much cheaper to find a station on a radio than it is to buy a computer and get online. Likewise, some community members would like to reach out to folks that are in prison and Greg added with sincerity that community radio, "makes the community in real time feel like a community."

Greg and Kim explain their community is in need of both an internet station as well as a low power FM station. They want to bring their community’s voice to everyone.

Both of them have been stopped multiple times in the streets by community members asking when they will be on the dial. They've obviously entertained the thought of having a low power FM station so when the FCC released news of the window allowing organizations to submit applications, they knew exactly what needed to be done.However, the window is not until October, so until their application is in, they will continue training new DJs as they come in. Kim laughs, saying that a favorite is listening to the first worries of a newly trained DJ's– "They're always apologizing!"


Thanks to Tatiana Benally for helping to put together this profile!