Archive for Friday, January 21, 2011

Group hoping to get KAWR, a community radio station, up and running in Lawrence

January 21, 2011


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Past Event
KAWR | Introducing: Lawrence Community Radio

  • When: Saturday, January 22, 2011, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Where: Liberty Hall Cinema, 644 Massachussets Street, Lawrence
  • Cost: $10
  • More on this event....

In 2007, Kevin Kennedy saw an opportunity. Slowly but surely that opportunity became an idea, then a reality.

Kennedy, a longtime volunteer with public radio in Kansas, has been working with a group of people to bring KAWR, a community radio station, to Lawrence.

“If we can offer something so unique that you can have a personal interaction with a very local event, that makes it that much cooler,” Kennedy said.

Back in 2007, when a window opened to obtain a noncommercial radio permit, Kennedy teamed up with local nonprofit Lawrence Freenet to get the ball rolling. An application was awarded in 2008, with a major stipulation: The station had to be up and running in three years.

“It costs a lot of money to create a station from nothing,” Kennedy said.

Freenet’s nonprofit classification restricted what grants the station could apply for. So KAWR worked to establish its own nonprofit status that would allow it to capitalize on potential grant dollars. The new designation also bought the station an additional 18 months.

Kennedy said KAWR also has received equipment donations from the community, as well as office and studio space at Americana Music Academy, 1419 Mass.

Lawrence resident Barry Lee, who’s been involved with Kansas City’s community radio station KKFI since the ’80s, was eager to get involved with the project but recognized the challenges in the process.

“It’s a frustrating thing. There are lots of regulations,” Lee said.

Frustrating or not, it’s happening. KAWR is working to set up a tower, which will initially reach parts of Lawrence and Topeka. Kennedy wants the signal to eventually cover the entire Lawrence community.

KAWR will hold its first official fundraising event from 4 p.m. Saturday through early Sunday at Liberty Hall. Lawrence resident Malcolm Miller, who’s been working with the station for the past six months, helped organize and coordinate the variety shows, children’s story slams and local bands that will highlight the event.

The event will be an introduction to the possibilities of the station, according to Lee.

“Here’s who we are and here’s what we want to do,” Lee said. “… It’s something they’re not going to get on any other station.”

Kennedy hopes to stream original programming online by summer and, if all goes according to plan, it’ll reach its on-air deadline of summer 2012.


Bassetlover 7 years, 5 months ago

Will this be AM or FM? If AM, it will be tough to compete with KLWN but best wishes for a successful launch!

fairplay 7 years, 5 months ago

How so? Aren't all radio stations competing with one another? Whether it's commercial or non-commercial there are only so many listeners. In order for one station to begin growing an audience that audience must come from somewhere. Don't you think WAR 89.9 will be trying to assemble listeners from any place they can? KJHK, KLWN, KPR, the music stations in town or any number of Kansas City stations? Any idea what the format will be? Are they going to play music?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

To the extent that most listeners choose not to listen to more than one radio station at a time, I guess they can be said to be competing with KLWN. But I expect that the vast majority of those who may tune into KAWR (where did you come up with WAR?) don't currently tune into KLWN much, if at all.

They likely will primarily draw listeners away from KKFI, local NPR stations and KJHK, but I think for most listeners, they'll be an additional option to those stations, not a replacement. Folks who listen to commercial stations, with their screaming DJ's and insulting commercials probably won't find much of interest. And that goes doubly for listeners to folks like Rush or Merrell-- most of those listeners aren't looking to be challenged to engage in anything resembling critical thinking.

"Any idea what the format will be? Are they going to play music?"

From what I've heard, they intend to open it up to whatever programming suggestions volunteer programers come up with, and that will likely include music, although playing music also comes with some copyright considerations, especially if they go over the internet as well as over the airwaves.

Matthew 7 years, 4 months ago

89.9 will never be allowed by FCC for Lawrence, because KC's KKFI at 90.1 ("1st Adjacent Frequency Station" to 89.9) has their secondary broadcast contour completely covering Lawrence - their 54dBu contour. The FCC will never allow any such interference between "1st Adjacent Frequency Stations" - the FCC is clearly on record regarding this after numbers of similar competing stations around the country were denied ANY interference with each other on their 54dBu broadcast contour "umbrellas".

del888 7 years, 4 months ago

Anything will be better than KLWN. They used to be a 'community' radio station. Now they're just a broadcast outlet for right-wing political views. And that Merell guy is a quack.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 4 months ago

listening right now to klwn, community radio? well, they just talked about current play at Theatre Lawrence. now interviewing regarding a local meeting.
what's the matter Dell888, your "merrell [sic]" ref, you opposed to free speech?

“Here’s who we are and here’s what we want to do,” Lee said. “… It’s something they’re not going to get on any other station.”

Kennedy hopes to stream original programming online by summer and, if all goes according to plan, it’ll reach its on-air deadline of summer 2012.

---yes, I was also wondering from the article just what is planned for the air time?
this article implies that it will be like KKFI. so will KAWR be Pacifica affiliated? if so, that is certainly worth knowing.

given the new media we have especially internet and satellite, it seems that this is a tricky time to start a new fm radio station.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 4 months ago

correction for you Joe: Frustrating or not, it’s happening. KAWR is working to set up a tower, which will initially [broadcast a signal reaching] parts of Lawrence and Topeka. Kennedy wants the signal to eventually cover the entire Lawrence community. [The group plans to build the tower at ---]

bearded_gnome 7 years, 4 months ago

Our mission : KAWR shall serve Lawrence and the surrounding communities by providing a voice for local music, art, cultural and news programming that will cover a wide spectrum of programming from local to regional and traditional to experimental. KAWR shall strive to be the voice of Lawrence citizens and to provide a mechanism for all citizens to share their knowledge, wisdom, education and creativity with each other and the surrounding communi

---a good mission statement. it is hoped that they will indeed go to live local events. and coverage of local events could truly make KAWR unique. the local NPR affiliate generally does not broadcast local events.
so KAWR could get a fine niche for itself.

I do wonder how welcome will conservative people and opinions be on/around KAWR?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

"I do wonder how welcome will conservative people and opinions be on/around KAWR?"

If you have a programming proposal, get involved and see if you can get it on air. But you should have in mind an intelligent and broad-based discussion of conservative ideas, which would likely include having those ideas challenged by listeners. You won't be able to censor the phone calls the way Rush does.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

You may be right. On the other hand, it's still much easier, and cheaper, to just plug in a radio and turn it on, no matter where you are, than to stream an internet radio station. I expect that will remain the case for awhile yet.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 4 months ago

Any alternative to right wing, corporate media monopoly is welcome.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 4 months ago

Exactly like PBS, which once was truly public and now, after 30 years of right wing attack, is a shell of its former glory and increasingly a thinly disguised means of corporate propaganda.

"...this documentary on the health care reform brought to you by a charitable contribution from GlaxsoSmithKline." Etc.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

PBS's flagship news show, the Jim Lehrer show (or whatever they call it these days,) tends to have more conservative guests than liberal. But what it really tends to be is a parade of Inside-the-beltway "experts." They rarely question that party line-- a party line that makes very few distinctions between Democrat and Republican.

And otherwise, aside from PBS's parade of mostly apolitical shows, their public affairs division is dominated by middle-of-the-road stuff, with a much stronger slant to the right than to the left.

Some of public radio's entertainment programming has a somewhat leftward slant (to the extent that entertainment can be political,) but like PBS, their news programming also tends to middle of the road, with a strong bias to inside-the-beltway "experts," which itself tends to lean in a fairly rightward direction.

But such facts don't lend themselves to the wingnuts' martyr complex.

Fossick 7 years, 4 months ago

Good on them. Entrepreneurship ought to always be encouraged, IMO.

bearded_gnome 7 years, 4 months ago

apparently Boozo doesn't actually listen to Rush, Hannity, Ingraham, et al. just gets its info from hate sites like Dailykos.

now boozo, if I did such a show on KAWR, I'd have to contend with liberal elitist snobbishness based on total ignorance such as yours. and I'd blow my anonymity. you know, in '06 and '07 some of your liberal peacenick brethren actually sent me threats of physical harm through private messages on this site because I defended the war in Iraq, and we're about done and won there btw [takes bow for being right]. being anonymous is kinda nice in lawrence with my politics and nutbags like you wandering around.

Maybe they can get some programing tips from Air America.

=LOLZ!!! if they affiliate with Pacifica, look out!

and boozo's assessment of PBS is just silly. "middle of the road" to Boozo is far left because he/she/it is wacked out far left fringie.

abc, nbc particularly, cbs, all display leftward bias in what they report and what they do not. they try to claim objectivity too. some of the NBC/GE execs should be tried for treason for giving technology to Iran that was used against our troops in Iraq.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

My advice-- stick to this website. Your penchant for inane frothing could short out a radio station, and maybe even yourself.

fairplay 7 years, 4 months ago

Bozo, I sure hope you haven't put ALL of your money in this failed venture. If you are NOT Josh Montgomery, you are sure starting to sound like him. Get your lifeboat off of that sinking ship ASAP.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

This answers the question I posed below. It's personal.

(Montgomery posts here under his own name. He and I have never met.)

fairplay 7 years, 4 months ago

Curious as to how they plan on being heard in Lawrence other than online. Looks like they are broadcasting to every cow in Overbrook.

BTW, Overbrook has two other stations with towers in their community, KCIU (LPFM) and KMXN. KMXN is more than 10X the signal strength of WAR and still barely comes in around Lawrence. Looks like this venture group would've been wiser to go straight streaming.

Good luck. Somehow I don't think KKFI or KJHK have to worry too much about WAR fragmenting their audience.

fairplay 7 years, 4 months ago

Because I don't see it as an honest movement to do great radio and benefit the community so much as an opportunity for a few to satisfy their egos.
Why do you blindly support a radio station that doesn't broadcast to Lawrence but, in fact, points a signal at Topeka? Not very Lawrence society conscious of you. And, as you stated, the majority of listeners it is likely to attract will come from other non-profit stations that ARE Lawrence centered.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

The intent is for the signal to reach both Lawrence and Topeka. I fail to see how that makes them dishonest.

So is your opposition personal or ideological?

fairplay 7 years, 4 months ago

I fail to see how my caution to the inexperienced media mogul wannabes is either ideological or personal. Why are YOU taking this so personally? Sounds like it's too late and you have already invested heavily in this fantastical scam without doing your due diligence. Good'll need it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

You make a few good points. But those points get lost because your true motivation appears to be a personal conflict with someone who you perceive to be involved in this project.

I've been at least peripherally involved in establishing community radio here in Lawrence for the last 15 years. Although I'm not involved in this particular endeavor (at least not yet) I'm all for it.

BTW, neither KHJK nor KANU are community radio stations. And KKFI exists primarily to serve Kansas City, not the surrounding communities, including Lawrence and Topeka.

Alceste 7 years, 4 months ago

All one needs is the most simplist of outside antenna (which can easily be placed in the attic) tuned to the FM frequency and the music is there.

Alcesteland receives all this nonsense. Sadly....that is what is being broadcast: NONSENSE: Little kids with toys who know one another and are NOT open to ideas. Tsk, tsk. Fit right in with respect to how Lawrenceville, Kansas operates. How about a 500watt DC deadkey put right on that freq. every now and then?! hahahahahahahhaha

Wait....that would NOT be legal. My bad.....

Alceste 7 years, 4 months ago

Wonder if any of the peoples establishing the station might want to set up a SHOUTCAST stream via the web in the meantime?

We can handle that here over at Alcesteland.....

Alceste 7 years, 4 months ago is the beginning for shoutcast. If nothing else, those "in the know" could begin to stream KWAR via the internet. One HAS to begin somewhere.

Clearly, the people TRYING to set up a real RADIO station aren't doing a very good job. Maybe they are a bit to clannish/cliqueish?????????

We been hearing and waiting for this radio station for a LONG TIME. Funny......egos always get in the way of good stuff. shrug

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

They have to have a studio before they can go on the air, internet or otherwise. I believe they are on the way to getting one set up.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

By the way, it's KAWR, as in Kaw, the river, Radio.

And why shouldn't Topeka be able to participate in Kaw Radio? (that's not specifically directed at you, Alceste.)

Alceste 7 years, 4 months ago

There is no reason Shoutcast CANNOT be used prior to the actual FM xmisision in some semblance of effort to "train" the kiddies. However, methinks it will be just like KKFI and KCUR which are social clubs, not radio stations.

Bozo....ya don't need a "studio" to stream shoutcast; ya don't need a FCC license.....ya just do it on the most basic of desk top/laptop dinky processor computers. It's a start.

So far, all we've had is talk, talk, talk. Alceste went to one meeting and threw up his hands in disgust. Kids. Gosh darn kids.....all wannabees. When will end?

Mama, put my guns in the ground I can't shoot them anymore. That long black cloud is comin' down I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

You're right that anyone can set themselves up to stream audio (or video) over the internet any time they want. That doesn't mean anyone will listen to them, or that they won't be inviting the RIAA down on themselves for streaming copyrighted material without paying the proper fees/royalties.

The radio world is an ever-evolving one, but currently, a community radio station still needs to involve the community, no matter how it gets transmitted/shoutcasted.

Alceste 7 years, 4 months ago Shoutcast has been around quite some time and the RIAA issue has been dealt with. If you own a computer; have access to the internet; and use it at all for any type of "radio", SHOUTCAST is something you may just want to try. There are, literally, tens of hundreds of stations streaming most excellent talk and music as well as Right Wing/Left Wing/No Wing thoughts.

One used to need a Winamp (a free download...similiar to Windows media player) but no can stream whatever you wish right from the shoutcast website.

From little things, big things grow.....

Lawrence Free Net is a JOKE.....if KAWR is controlled by that merry band of lackluster slackers, good if.....

Alceste 7 years, 4 months ago

Oh my word.

I just call a spade a spade which is now frowned upon by the youth in our PC mutated community. Lawrence Free Net has been a scourge since it's inception.....they're about as balanced as Freddy's scale and we all know Freddy is dead. Guess why.

Shoutcast is simply a FREE standard methodology for deploying ANYTHING from the most basic of desktop computers or laptops. I have no commercial or financial interests in the thing and never have and never will. Use it? You bet I do....EVERY's a fine way to get COMMERCIAL FREE quality via whatever method you choose.....used to be one had to use the Winamp media player....but no you can stream the audio right from the shoutcast website.....I prefer the Winamp because it's just easier for me. Worldwide. Great matter what your taste in music is or what your political persuassion is, Shoutcast is right there for you.....high quality audio too.....

Alceste 7 years, 4 months ago

Clearly, you know nothing about Shoutcast or the laws that govern it. Elsewise you would not be demonstrating your ignorance right here.

Were Shoutcast and Winamp and Nullsoft the evil robber barons you portend, it would have been shut down a long time ago. It's viability and length of uninterrupted service speaks for itself.

If RIAA et. all were bothered by it, do you think it would be so readily available this very day? Look for ways to DO things; not for ways NOT to do things! hahahahhahahhahaa

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 4 months ago

For what it's worth, as nearly as I can tell, Freenet's current involvement in KAWRadio is minimal and approaching zero.

If anyone knows differently, please correct me.

woodscolt 7 years, 4 months ago

My advice is that kwar distance themselves from lawrence freenet as much as possible.

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