In 2011, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had the first new window in 10 years for new LPFM radio station licenses. Burlington, VT’s “The Radiator” WOMM – 105.7FM was licensed in the last and only other LPFM window back in 2000.
Early in 2012, the FCC announced a second window for LPFM licenses and each of the three community media and public access TV (PEG) stations (Vermont Community Access Media (VCAM), Regional Educational Television Network (RETN) and Channel17/Town Meeting TV with the help of a few community media minded locals and thePrometheus Radio Project, worked to prepare to submit applications. Over the course of 2013, each PEG station worked on their applications, submitting them late in that year. Much of 2014 was a waiting process, as the FCC reviewed single and competitive frequencies across the U.S. Learn more about the process here.
In early September (2014), we got word from the FCC that we were moved into the “timeshare” round of applications. This meant that we needed to work with the one more more of the four applicants to share the one frequency. Over the next couple of months, we worked to create a working memo of understanding between three of the applicants (VCAM, RETN and Channel 17/Town Meeting) to share the station’s airtime and responsibilities. Part of this process involved dropping from three applicants, to just one (owned by VCAM). The fourth applicant, St. Xavier’s Catholic Church in Winooski, opted to pursue an alternate frequency, which they were granted.
As of December (2014), we have been granted the call letters WBTV-LP for 99.3FM and are working toward station building including final mission & vision, governance procedures, and the tech building.
From the start of this process, a core group of PEG staff and community members have worked to learn and apply for the FCC LPFM process. Known as the LPFM Core Group (aka the Red Tape Committee), these people are:
- Scott Campitelli, Executive Director at RETN
- Andy Crawford, Technical Director at CCTV
- Bill Simmons, Director of Media Services at VCAM
- Kate Blofson, Community Member
- Seth Mobley, Executive Director of VCAM
- Llu Mulvaney-Stanak, Development & Communications Coordinator at VCAM – Chair of LPFM Core Group
Once we reached the “timeshare” status, we started gathering a growing group of community members to assist with fleshing out the station mission, vision, and governance process. Learn more about them in the committees drop down menu under “About” in the menu header.