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Volunteers involved with San Benito County Community Radio, who are working on bringing a community-based, low-power FM radio station to the area, are inviting the community to a planning meeting on Thursday, Sept. 25 from 6-8 p.m. at Mars Hill Coffeehouse in downtown Hollister. 

In October 2013, a group of volunteers applied for and was granted a license that allows for transmission of up to 100 watts. The Community Media Access Partnership (CMAP) is planning to help with funding for the station with volunteers staffing it. The endeavor is more than just a traditional radio station, however. Organizers plan to offer programming on the Internet, including broadcasts, videos and more. The group is working on develop location, vision, contributors, funding, programming, and all the details needed to create and sustain a community-based radio program in Hollister. 

An application submitted by CMAP for a low-power FM radio license was approved by the FCC in February. The applicant has 18 months from that date to build a station and provide a minimum of 36 hours a week of local programming, with the possiblity of an 18-month extension.

The license allow transmission of up to 100 watts, most likely from atop Vista Park Hill just north of downtown Hollister. Since FM radio signals are received on a line-of-sight basis, organizers say that anyone who can see Park Hill likely will be able to receive a radio broadcast from there.

San Benito Community Radio volunteers are seeking local residents’ ideas for station call letters and programming possibilities at the meeting, which will be held at 610 San Benito St. For more information about the LPFM or the upcoming meeting, contact Committee Chair Rob Campbell at 831-245-5232.

To see a YouTube video explaining the local Low-Power FM station effort, click here.