Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Community Radio is People: That's YOU!

The following is a message that was sent to members of the KBXE Publicity Committee, but - all our welcome, so here is your official invite :)


Yo! Here's my attempt at urging you to dedicate some of your valuable and limited time to help KBXE this summer - it's a LOT of work to build a new radio station and we really need your help.

I can completely understand how busy you probably are this summer - I know my calendar has very few "open" weekends left, along with wanting to spend time with Escher (almost a year and a half old now!) and what not, it's crazy and seems like there is barely time to breath...

But, KBXE is important. And, KBXE is on a tight timeline. I hope you can come to our meeting tomorrow night at 5:30 (Thurs, July 1st, 2nd and Minnesota – old People’s Nat. Gas building meeting room). From sharing ideas to planning events - the more people the better!

If you can't make the meeting, but still want to help, please let us know if you can help with events on these dates:

Sat. July 3rd (THIS sat) we are going to be in the Debs parade - meeting in Debs at 10a, with the parade starting at 11.

Sun. July 18th - something really cool is happening, but you have to contact me to find out what (

August 5th-8th, the Clearwater County Fair - we'll have a booth there and need volunteers to help staff it. Even if you can just offer a couple hours, we truly need all the help we can get.

If you are available at any of these times, please come out and help! Contact me back to let me know, and feel free to ask any questions:

Northern Community Radio has a great reputation doing a lot with a little, and we do that with volunteer support - help make KBXE happen and thanks!


What is KBXE?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

90.5 KBXE Is Heating Up in July

by Doug MacRostie

July is shaping up to be an exciting month in the world of 90.5 KBXE, the yet-to-be-built radio station that will serve Bagley, Bemidji, Fosston, Gonvick, Clearbrook, Debs, Erskine, Zerkel and beyond. From new studios to parades, from fairs to ???, it's going to be a lot of fun!

Coming up this Thursday at 5:30pm the KBXE Publicity Committee meets at it's temporarily-regular time and place (first Thursday of the month, 2nd and Minnesota – old People’s Nat. Gas building meeting room in Bemidji) with a lot of exciting things to talk about (if you want get involved with the Pub Comm, check out the group on Facebook, or call us for more info 800-662-5799). The reason this is the temporary regular date and time is...

The purchase of studio space for 90.5 KBXE has to be closed by July 7th - we have teamed up with Harmony Natural Foods Cooperative to purchase the former TruStar Federal Credit Union building at 413 3rd Street Northwest in Bemidji. 2,600 square feet of that would be 90.5 KBXE studio space (next to Dave's Satellite), the rest would be the new location of Harmony. The location serves both organizations, and it's been great that we've been able to work with another local, community-oriented group in a mutually beneficial way. So, by the time the next KBXE Publicity Committee meets, we should be sitting in the future home of the KBXE studios!!!

Coming up on Saturday July 3rd, volunteers from 90.5 KBXE will be in the Debs 4th of July Parade starting at 11am.

On Sunday, July 18th... [more information available through the Publicity Committee ;D] cool is that?

The first weekend of August we'll have a big booth at the Clearwater County Fair in Bagley, next to the kiddie barn area. We're planning to have some local musicians stop by the booth to play some tunes, and we'll have CDs and stickers to give away - plus all the info you need to support a radio station being built. We could definitely use some volunteer help at the fair, again contact the Publicity Committee for more info, or call 800-662-5799.

Do you have questions about KBXE? Wondering how, exactly, we're going to do what, exactly? Get involved! Building a community radio station is a community process - we're a grassroots organization, and we're still at the early stages of this project - you're help is more than welcome, it's needed!!!

Help Save PTFP!

PTFP is an acronym for a federal program: the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program. PTFP is in trouble.

PTFP is the place public radio and television stations go to apply for federal funds to help build new stations. It also keeps existing stations on the air when the equipment wears out, and helps public radio stations prepare for or recover from hurricanes, floods or other natural disasters.

It is a good program. It has just 3 employees and low overhead. PTFP helped KAXE replace an ailing transmitter in the past, and we hope it will help us build KBXE in the future. It is a small federal program; a drop in the proverbial budgetary bucket. PTFP received a total $44 million in 2011, most of which will be distributed to public radio and television stations.

Yet, for some reason, PTFP has been targeted as one of only 4 programs in the whole government as examples of what the President wants to line item veto this year. Efforts to cancel the program have come from both Democrats and Republicans in congress. They have linked cancellation of PTFP with lowering the deficit.

At the root of this, there seems to be general misunderstanding about PTFP. Some people think it is redundant, because the Corporation for Public Broadcasting funds many aspects of public broadcasting, and has recently provided funding for digital conversion.

Unlike the CPB, the PTFP doesn’t exist to fund HD radio or digital TV. PTFP exists to build stations. PTFP is the only place organizations like Northern Community Radio can go for federal funds to buy actual, basic broadcast equipment. The PTFP’s highest priority is to make sure public broadcasting is available to people everywhere in the United States. It won’t pay for everything—the program requires every applicant to leverage public money with matching private funds.

In 2007, the FCC opened what is probably the last window for applications for new noncommercial broadcast licenses ever (because the FM spectrum is pretty much completely full now). They granted hundreds of new construction permits, many to grassroots organizations—community licensees, colleges, nonprofits and American Indian groups, to name a few. Most of these new stations are not built yet. A loss of the PTFP right now will mean an irreplaceable loss in new community radio stations because the stations in the pipeline—that had counted on PTFP for help—may not be able to find enough money to build. If they can’t build in time, their licenses will go to wealthier organizations that can, and it is likely that no new licensing opportunity will ever come again.

This is a critical issue for all small and community-based radio stations in the public radio system. You can help! Here is a link to a letter you can send to your congressional representatives (by email or printable letter) about PTFP. It is on an NPR website, the Public Radio Action Center (when you fill in the identifying information, most of you will be a “non-station advocate.”)

Here is a link to write to your local congressperson:

And another link to write to your senators:

Or, call KAXE if you want more information, and ask to talk to me! 218/326-1234.

-Maggie Montgomery, General Manager
Northern Community Radio