Pre-Convention Workshop: LPFM

PRP-artworks REC 2016

LPFM Workshop

• Wednesday, Oct. 19, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Philadelphia Sonesta Hotel
• Registration fee: $25, pre-registration is required
Add your registration with your convention registration, or register separately for this workshop only
• See information for discounted convention hotel rooms.

Michelle Bradley of REC Networks and Paul Bame from Prometheus will lead this all-day workshop on all things LPFM.


Workshop Outline
(Subject to change.)

Morning sessions
The Basics — Getting on Air and Being Legal
This session is a must, whether you are already on-air or not.  The presenters will cover the broad brush steps from your construction permit to getting on air.  Part of the process of getting on air should include knowing what is expected of you and what you can and cannot do.  This will include a brief overview of the FCC LPFM checklist.  This session will raise a lot of questions and these will be resolved either through open discussion or sessions later in the day.  Come and learn what you need to learn to get on air and stay there without getting into trouble with the FCC.

Programming and Staffing Your Station
Experienced and inexperienced station people will have a question-driven discussion to share challenges, successes, and get some good ideas for programming, programmers, staff, volunteers, and more.

Funding Your Station — Legally
Underwriting tricks and traps, payola, plugola, commercials, kickbacks, and paid political messages. Nontraditional funding — LPFM Laundromat? Come to this session to learn how to generate underwriting revenue legally and get revenue from other sources. Come share your own successes and challenges. Be solvent without breaking bad.

Networking Lunch Break
By now, you have observed who knows something which could help you.  Go to lunch with them and ask questions and share your experiences or you have identified someone who could use your help.  Share your knowledge.  Be sure to be back by 12:30 p.m. for the afternoon sessions.

Afternoon sessions
Webcasting Costs, Requirements and Constraints
Considering webcasting your programming?  Already doing it?  Unsure if you are legal or what you will do to be legal?  This is the session for you.  The legal basics will be covered and then there will be plenty of time for audience members to share their experiences with various services.

Where Does It Go? Signal Coverage and Interference
Antenna performance issues – Does your 100 watts feels more like 10?  What could you do to increase your coverage.  If you have good coverage, share what you have done.  If you have good coverage now, it could be reduced by new interference from other stations and new translators.  Learn what strategies could be used to improve and protect your coverages.  Some interference is just due to Mother Nature.  Learn how to recognize interference you cannot do anything about.

Keeping it Legal — A Review
This session will provide a basic review of the topics discussed today, including the LPFM checklist, interference issues, funding your station and staff your station.  We will also talk about the basics of a training program for your staff.

What’s Happening in LPFM? Plus Q&A
This session will provide an overview of the FM movement including stats on applications, licensed stations, but will all delve into the future concerning LP250, LPFM translators, AM revitalization, encroachment, rumor control and some Q&A.


Michelle Bradley is the founder of REC Networks.  For the past 17 years, REC has been providing advocacy and online services in support of the Low Power FM (LPFM) radio service.  REC operates various websites including FCCdata.org, the most comprehensive broadcast query; http://fcc.today, the real time dashboard to the FCC’s Media Bureau and myLPFM.com, the website for LPFM channel searching and station management.  Since 2013, Bradley has been offering professional services including FCC filings for LPFM, FM translators and full-power FM stations.  Michelle is based in Riverton, Maryland.

Paul Bame got hooked on Grassroots Radio by listening to Boulder’s KGNU in the mid 90’s. That also led him into activism for global economic dignity in the “Seattle-era” street movement. Along the way he also stood against police brutality, for an end of racism toward Native Americans and others, an end of media bias including that at NPR, of discrimination and dehumanization aimed at women, LGBT, and undocumented immigrants. When he co-founded Grassroots Radio station KRFC between 1997 and 2003 it is no surprise he also co-founded its news collective.

After chatting with Prometheus at Grassroots Radio Coalition conferences for a decade or so and leaving his Fortune 100 R&D job, Paul volunteered at Prometheus in 2010 and is currently our nerdiest engineer. His electrical engineering degree and ham radio experience comes in handy for application engineering — especially LPFM second-adjacent waivers of which he has filed more than he cares to count.  Paul also created and maintains the RFree software to make that job easier and freely available to others.


These sessions are hosted by CBI with content provided by REC and Prometheus. CBI itself is not responsible for the content, but supports REC and Prometheus’ efforts and knowledge in this area.

Check out our other pre-convention workshop: MusicMaster Genius Day!