Nan Rubin may be able to help you.
She was part of a Strategic Process imposed on KPFK in 1986. But Lorenzo Milam’s off-titled Sex in Broadcasting book was the handbook for getting on the air for many years.
You’re On the Air!
My greatest personal satisfaction in a long public broadcasting career has come from building a radio station from scratch. Flipping the switch and filling that empty space on the radio dial with brand new sounds for the very first time — nothing can match it.
I’m close to social security age now, but signing my first station on the air in 1975 was one of the biggest thrills of my life.
My first radio station was WAIF 88.3 FM in Cincinnati, one of a wave of community stations in Atlanta, Madison, Memphis, St. Louis, Tampa and elsewhere that hit the airwaves between 1970 and 1980 as part of the counter-culture and anti-Vietnam War era, guided in part by Lorenzo Milam and Jeremy Lansman’s irreverent station-building guide “Sex and Broadcasting.” We were licensed to Stepchild Radio of Cincinnati, Inc. and our bumper stickers read “Out of the Ordinary Radio.”
Building a radio station takes a serious commitment. First, you have to set-up a non-profit organization so you can legally apply for a broadcast license and also raise money. At the same time, you have to do a technical search to find an open frequency on the FM dial, plus locate a real physical place to put a transmitter and antenna. Then you are ready to fill out an FCC application requesting the frequency, and the FCC sits on it for months while they make sure everything meets their requirements.
In the meantime, you become a community organizer, holding a gazillion meetings to plan station operations, implement decision-making, devise programming schedules, scout out broadcasting equipment and studio locations, and ask people to give you money for a radio station that is just an idea and doesn’t exist yet. You are also holding your breath and hoping no other group has the same idea and applied for the same frequency.