Arlington will soon have its very own community FM radio station, WERA. Broadcasting at 96.7 FM, starting December 6,WERA-LP’s mission is to enlighten, enrich, and entertain Arlington’s diverse community by promoting and facilitating independent radio production.
They are currently accepting applications to create programs of local interest by those who live and work in the Arlington area. If you are interested in creating radio programs for WERA, download a programming application here.
“The signal will cover nearly all of Arlington and a part of downtown Washington, DC, including the White House and a portion of the National Mall,” AIM Executive Director Paul LeValley says. “But our focus will be on Arlington with the intent to provide hyper-local news, information, and entertainment,” he adds.
“WERA will provide another means for AIM to fulfill its mission of providing access to the media and offering training, resources, facilities, and equipment to all so that anyone can produce their own content. Although details are still being worked out, the station’s goal will involve having community residents host their own radio programs featuring talk, music, news, and event coverage. “We’ve been impressed at the high degree of interest within the community,” LeValley says. “Radio programming remains very popular and a lot of people seem to want to participate in creating it.”
Although the FCC granted AIM a construction permit for the station in June 2014, it was not until the end of September that AIM’s Board of Directors gave the go-ahead to develop a station over the course of the next 14 months. The Board also established a standing committee and charged it with working alongside staff, AIM members, and the public to plan and implement all the steps required to build and operate a low power FM station.
The committee and an interest group made up of AIM members and Arlington residents are beginning to meet and plan details of the station now,” LeValley says, “with a goal of getting the license to broadcast by December 2015.”
The FCC created the Low Power FM (LPFM) radio service in January 2000. LPFM stations are authorized for non-commercial educational broadcasting only (no commercial operation). They operate with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 100 watts (0.1 kilowatts) or less, with maximum facilities of 100 watts ERP at 30 meters (100 feet) antenna height above average terrain (HAAT).
In early 2012, a small group of Arlington residents approached Arlington Independent Media to ask if AIM would consider being the non-profit partner in an application to the FCC for a low power FM construction permit. The Board of Directors granted the Executive Director authority to expend the necessary funds to hire an engineer and put together an application.
In June of 2014, The FCC issued AIM a construction permit to build a low power FM radio station to operate at 96.7 MHz.
Construction of a state-of-the-art audio production room at AIM is now complete. In addition to serving the needs of our current video and multimedia producers, this audio suite will contribute to our continued efforts to teach audio production to community members and encourage the creation of quality community audio programming.
For press queries, please contact Paul LeValley at 703.524.2388.
If you have a program idea for WERA that you would like to submit for consideration, please send it to [email protected]