Starting a radio station is not everybody’s cup of tea. But if you are really passionate about it, all that it takes is adequate funding, knowing the basics and following a few specific guidelines.
There are three types of radio stations that you can opt for – low power primarily for non-profit organisations, full power which is the usual commercial radio stations and Internet streaming which is broadcasting live.
Here are some tips on starting a non-internet radio station.
Your first step should be to apply for a frequency. The permit takes a long time coming so you should complete this step well in advance. The next is to apply for a licence. In most countries around the world, it is illegal to operate a radio station that is not licensed, even if it is a very low powered one. Finally, arrange for adequate finance depending on the scale that you want to launch your project. You have to make provision for studio space, equipment and power.
Once these preliminaries are out of the way, the actual work of setting up a radio station begins. You have to decide if you want a low power or full power radio station. This will determine the amount of power that you will need. For example a full power radio station will require tens of thousands of watts while a thousand will be sufficient for a low powered one. Apply for a broadcast station construction permit from the regulatory authorities and start the building work only after you have received it.
Next get necessary equipment from reputed suppliers that will include transmission gear and antenna. You will have to rent space on a tower for your antenna. When you design your studio, pay special attention to the acoustics and soundproofing. Audio clarity is very crucial for a radio station and your reputation will depend on it. For this reason, do not hesitate to invest in the best of headphones, speakers and microphones.
Finally, hire broadcasters, enough in numbers to fill up all the time slots. Even if your studio is ready, have the broadcasters practice for a few weeks before you go on air. It is important that they are at ease with the microphone and the technicalities of the equipment before starting on the real thing.
Work out a programme schedule that will adequately take care of the daily period of broadcast you have in mind. Run through dummy broadcasts till you are confident that all the kinks have been ironed out and you are ready to go on air live.
Follow these few guidelines and you should have your dream radio station up and running successfully.