A new community public radio station, WZAA 106.9 FM, began broadcasting in Fayette County in March.
Community public radio stations are an imperative asset to county localities. Community public radio provides emergency broadcasting for weather warnings, Amber Alerts, and national emergencies that commercial radio stations aren’t required to offer. Public radio is a vital source of local news and events for the public.
Mike McMeans, of Jamestown, saw an opportunity to apply for a low-power FM frequency in 2014. He presented engineering plans to the Village of Jeffersonville’s City Council.
“Us engineers are geeks. We love this stuff. That’s how I got interested. There was an opportunity and I applied for the frequency. There was a window of opportunity with the FCC to obtain a radio frequency,” said McMeans.
McMeans, who works as an aeronautical engineer at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, was granted the construction permit from the Federal Communications Corporation (FCC) in 2014 and has spent the last few years developing the Fayette County radio station in his spare time.
He manages and operates WZAA by himself as a non-profit public foundation that he created in order to be eligible for the FCC permit.
WZAA broadcasts the Billboard Top 100 songs from 1955 to the 1980s. Local programming is still being developed. McMeans said live morning and afternoon drive-time talk shows with Fayette County news may begin as early as August.
The station now provides coverage in the Jeffersonville area from South Solon to Jamestown. McMeans is working to relocate WZAA’s antennae from atop his downtown Jeffersonville building to a 4,000 square foot building at the Jeffersonville Crossing to expand the coverage to the entirety of Fayette County.
Reach Ashley by calling her at 740-313-0355 or by searching Twitter.com for @ashbunton