East Side radio station gearing up

Organizers seek public input for name

With a station manager lined up and some funds in order, the East Side’s own community radio station, 104.7 FM, is gaining some solid ground.

Kathy Harris, an East Side radio veteran, has been hired as the station manager, and the station is closing in on a location.

The studio could very well end up being located in the newly opened Plaza Del Sol building on Payne Avenue.

Harris predicts the station will be up and running within six months.

Harris has been working in radio since 1976, when she started doing talk shows and news reporting, before transitioning to a music director position and eventually starting her own company.

When the company fizzled out, she transitioned to run programming that connects kids with radio broadcasting -- she’s worked with kids at the now defunct Radio Disney and the hip hop station B96.

Harris has been volunteering her time, but hopes to be on a payroll by the end of the month.
“It’s a lot of work,” she said, “but it’s going to be a really fun project.”

Harris has lived on the East Side for seven years, and sees the new station filling a well-needed role.
“I envision it to be a participation of all the people in the community,” she said.

She’s meeting with potential underwriters and other funding sources, while also hashing out a plan for programming.

While specific programming isn’t set, she said there should be shows in Hmong, Spanish and Somali as well as English.
“We’re going to make it as much as we can a little bit of everything,” she said.

She’s also working to set up classes for those who want to run shows, teaching them how to produce a radio broadcast, as well as what makes for a good show. And she’s in touch with a longtime radio programmer who’s currently working at Central High School.

Deanna Foster, director of the Dayton’s Bluff District Council, noted that enthusiasm for the station has been evident among a wide swath of East Siders. DFL state Sen. Fong Hawj has been present at every meeting, she said.
“He’s very interested in making sure the Hmong community is engaged in this,” Foster said.

Foster and the Dayton’s Bluff council got the ball rolling on acquiring a signal from the FCC, but Foster was keen to emphasize that the radio station is intended to be for all East Siders.

The central broadcast location at 180 Degrees, at the corner of East Seventh Street and Johnson Parkway, means that the whole area should get the 104.7 FM signal, she said.

Contact Patrick Larkin at 651-748-7816 or at eastside@lillienews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ESRPatrickLark.

Name the new community radio station

The new East Side community radio station is looking to the public to come up with a name. Entries must be no long than two words. The name should reflect “the values and aspirations of the vibrant and diverse East Side community,” according to organizers.

Entries must be submitted to eastsidecommunityradio@gmail.com by June 6th, 2014.


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