Home Antioch With January Launch Approaching, KSLN Community Radio Seeks Donations

With January Launch Approaching, KSLN Community Radio Seeks Donations

by ECT

With the launch of a new community radio station slated for January 2017 in East Contra Costa County, KSLN 92.9 FM is seeking support to help launch.

In total, they are seeking $7,770 in donations from the community and have launched a GoFundMe page.

The community radio project, based out of Antioch, was started by a local nonprofit to serve the approximately 270,000 residents of East Contra Costa County. KLSN 92.9 FM will broadcast 60s and 70s classic rock, high school sporting events, Diamonds Baseball, student productions, as well as programming from local organizations, municipalities, schools, and talented residents.

According to Chris Ponsano, an FCC deadline is looming where station must begin radio operations by February 4,2017, or the broadcasting license will be revoked.

Local resident and project manager, Chris Ponsano, said, “The project is the epitome of ‘Stone Soup.’ Starting from nothing, so much has been accomplished by the enthusiasm of volunteers and the support of our business sponsors coming together to build a unique project to serve local community interests of education, community news and information, and entertainment. We are continuing our efforts but we still lack certain funds to pay for critical equipment and fees needed to successfully get on the air by the FCC deadline. Our latest figures show we are $7,770 short of our goal. We’re asking the community to continue to support this worthwhile project. And we’re happy to offer something of value in return.”

Ponsano highlights that when they began the process of bringing the radio station from an idea to reality, they were nearly $100,000 in the hole. Today they are at the finish line but need the community’s help.

“A Community Station has the same expenses as a full power commercial station, so we do not need much,” says Ponsano.

He says there are many reasons to support the project where this is a rare and special opportunity to have a community radio station saying it’s not likely they will have this opportunity again in our lifetimes. There will be local sports broadcasting of the six BVAL high school sporting events. Educational opportunities, advertising opportunities, internship opportunities and emergency information specific to the community will be shared.

Ponsano calls the process of bringing a community radio station to East Contra Costa inspiring.

“Starting a community radio station involves far more than simply learning what buttons to push or spinning your favorite records. It meant learning how to best serve the community as a community station. From the beginning, we have reminded ourselves that there will be thousands of listeners – our neighbors – throughout the East County looking to their local station for content that is relevant to them.  This is the 4th largest media market in the country and there are a lot of radio stations. The community has to want what we are doing or they have no reason to listen to us. We want to provide value,” explained Ponsano.

He says some of the biggest challenges was overcoming the trend of people thinking a radio station was not relevant.

“It has become normal to just accept that all of our major media originates from outside the area.  East County has never had its own radio station, and increasingly more radio content is syndicated. The Contra Costa Times reduced its local coverage and eventually combined to become the East Bay Times,” explained Ponsano.  “All our television broadcasts come from San Francisco. But the area is hungry for local relevant media.”

He says costs, lack of industry experience and funding were also major hurdles.

Ponsana also highlighted how Jim Lanter of State Farm Insurance in Antioch has been invaluable in his advice and knowledge. He is also the stations music director.  Owen’s Hoady, a local music producer, gave the station fabulous advice that helped Ponsano at an early stage of the project.  Chris Lauritzen and his sister Margaret Lauritzen-Lane were the first to step forward with substantial help and encouragement, which remains much appreciated.

The sponsors include:

  • Sean McCauley donated the use of an office for volunteer and staff meetings.
  • Lauritzen Yacht Harbor provided a three-year lease for the radio station building.
  • Lowes Home Improvement named KLSN Community Radio their “2016 Heroes Project,” donated all the building materials for the remodel, and sent their volunteer crew to paint the exterior.
  • Martin Rudolph & Sons Construction accomplished the actual remodeling including framing, electrical, drywall and painting.
  • Tom Duffy Flooring donated the flooring and baseboards.
  • Freschi Service Experts donated and installed a new HVAC system.
  • The Alarm Guys donated the alarm system as well as the monthly security service.
  • Antioch Glass replaced large broken plate glass windows with safety panes.
  • Parcel Plus Printing donated printing services.
  • Retro Equipment donated radio station equipment for the studio and broadcast tower.

How to Donate:

Contributing local businesses and individuals receive on-air radio acknowledgments, and are also recognized online at http://www.klsn.org . The website offers underwriting and sponsorship information, and accommodates donations online. Donations can also be made through KLSN Community Radio’s new Go Fund Me account.

Donations are tax-deductible and will be used to purchase the services and equipment needed to complete the project.

Questions can be directed to 925 625-KLSN (5576) or via email at [email protected].

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ECT Watcher Nov 25, 2016 - 10:23 am

Its a shame those who originally started this project were pushed out. The same people who laid all the ground work for this even to become a reality. Will never support this project going forward.

Chris Ponsano Nov 27, 2016 - 9:53 pm

ECT Watcher@ I’m so sorry you feel that way.

It’s true that there are some bruised feelings among some of the original participants, but the intention was NEVER to exclude anyone. We have nothing but gratitude toward those who laid the groundwork to make KLSN Community Radio a reality for all residents of East County. Anyone who has something to contribute to this project is welcome to join. And there is lots to do!

KLSN belongs to the community, and community radio mean everyone.

Comments are closed.