Brief by Central Staff
Media – October 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine
From time to time, we hear people talk of starting new radio stations hereabouts. Several years ago, it was in Leadville, and more recently, Salida.
And then we hear that the money needs are great and the licensing process is lengthy and difficult.
But that may not be the only route to radio. The Valley Chronicle in Paonia recently reported on a different approach taken by Angel Babudro, a North Fork resident.
Babudro had been a disk jockey for KVNF, the public-radio station there. They had a falling out, but he still wanted to be on the air.
While surfing on the Internet (http://www.freeradio.org), he read about a renegade radio station in Berkeley, Calif. The unlicensed low-power broadcaster had been shut down by the Federal Communications Commission and fined $20,000. But they went to court, and a federal district judge halted the FCC action, pending a full hearing.
Babudro decided to try it himself. He bought a ¼-watt transmitter and went on the air with Western Colorado Community Radio, a/k/a “Rubber Rebel Radio” or simply “Angel’s Station.”
If you’re going over to Paonia for the fruit harvest, you can catch the FM station at 88.3 MHz, up to about three miles from the town limits.
He has bigger plans, some of which he tried to implement at KVNF, which “wouldn’t go along…but then I realized I could just do it myself.”
If you want to do it yourself, you’re entering a gray legal zone and likely a courtroom. From what we read, the transmitter, amplifier, and antenna will run about $200, and you’d also need a microphone and some audio gear. So it appears that you can get into pirate radio for even less than it costs to get into the offbeat magazine business.
Of course, the hours sound even worse than ours.