Question: My husband and I are very interested in starting a commercial radio station, however, neither of us has experience in radio, I’m looking for someone that can guide us through this initial stage, your advice is truly appreciated.
Answer: Hi Diane -
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you – bit of a long weekend for me. However – this is a pretty detailed question, so, I’m going to have you contact me directly if you want, if you have more specific questions, or if you’re in need of more specific answers.
If you’re in the United States, the concept of starting a commercial radio station is daunting to say the least. First, I would look into hiring someone experienced in finding if there’s a radio station license available in your area. Typically, a qualified station engineer could do some initial leg work. However, you might also want to contact a radio station broker who could also help not only in finding a possible license, but maybe a construction permit (CP) or if there’s an already established station in your area that is looking to be sold.
Starting from scratch would take an awful lot of time and money. Even if you were lucky enough to find an available frequency in your area, there’s numerous site studies that would have to be completed, land that would probably have to be purchased for the location of a tower, field tests and so much more. Studies alone – probably would run in the range of $50-100K. Land – depending on where you are – could run at least $100-200K.
Before I give my advice – I need to ask: if neither of you have experience in radio, what is your motivation behind starting a station? Now – my advice: if you really want get into the radio business, find a local station in your area that’s already established. You can save a lot of money, and you’ll have the ability to have an already established signal that you won’t have to grow from scratch. With that said, now is probably a great time to get into a radio station ownership position. The economy is in a tough spot, and many local owners might welcome you with open arms (and bank accounts) ready to sell for less than what they would have been say 1-2 years ago.
Hope this helps, and feel free to contact me if you have further questions.
Edit: What do you think? Is it wise for someone to try and start a radio station, considering all the wrangling that would go on? The first thing that comes to my mind the the NIMBY (not in my back yard) factor of building a tower site somewhere that isn’t going to upset some group, such as nature folks, etc. Plus, there might be licenses available, but the way they’re being sucked up by “religious repeater radio” groups these days, it’s damn near impossible to get in on those either. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts.