Portland to get new non-commercial station

A coalition of nonprofit groups in Portland has been granted a license for a new non-commercial FM station providing coverage to east Portland. Here's the announcement:

METROEAST COMMUNITY MEDIA AND COALITION OF COMMUNITY GROUPS ACQUIRE RADIO LICENSE

GRESHAM, Ore., May 16, 2008-MetroEast Community Media, in collaboration with a coalition of community groups, received word this week that its application for a non-commercial educational (NCE) radio station has been approved by the Federal Communications Commission. With its transmitter located on Mt. Hood, the signal of the new station - 91.1 on the FM dial - will reach most of the East Metro area as well as much of Portland east of the Willamette.

The license was granted as part of a rare opening of non-commercial radio licenses available to non-profit organizations. The coalition has been working for more than a year to acquire the construction permit. According to Common Frequency representative Todd Urick "This is a once in a generation opportunity. This may well be the last time we have a window like this where community organizations can get a full power non-commercial FM radio license." Common Frequency assists non-profits in acquiring NCE radio licenses.

As a non-commercial station, 91.1 will run no advertising and will be supported by its listeners and underwriting.

While decisions about the new station's format are still being made, Bruce Fife, President of Musicians Local 99, said, "We're hopeful that Portland's diverse and vibrant local music scene will be well-represented on this new station. It's long past time for these talented musicians to share valuable space on the air waves."

Jeff Simmons, of the web-based Portland Radio Authority, looks forward to hearing local music on the FM dial. "Portland has one of the strongest independent music communities in the country. We have an international reputation for our music, but you wouldn't know it listening to FM radio in Portland. 91.1 will give access to this vibrant cultural asset, and will open outsiders' ears to the amazing things happening in Portland."

Rob Brading, CEO of MetroEast said, "We're thrilled to have acquired this license on behalf of the community. Other than our founding, this license is probably the most important event in MetroEast's 25-year history. We're very excited with the opportunity to offer radio with an east side emphasis and to give voice to the vibrant local music scene."

Brading expects the station to go on the air sometime in 2009. "Next year is MetroEast's 25th anniversary. What better way to celebrate than by going on the air with this new station?"

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