“Save Our Sound!” campaign heats up

September 29, 2010 by Wally Bowen

Dear Friends and Supporters of MAIN and MAIN-FM:

We had a huge turnout Thursday evening of producers, volunteers, staff and listeners, out of which came a multifaceted “Saved Our Sound!” campaign to keep MAIN-FM on the air!

A campaign steering committee was also formed. Members are: Debbie Keefer, Phil Davis, KP Whaley, Wendy Owens, Keith Fisher, and Wally Bowen. The steering committee will meet this weekend to finalize the “Save Our Sound!” campaign.

Volunteers to assist with the campaign are still needed. We especially need folks with contacts among local businesses interested in reaching a progressive audience. We also need folks who are comfortable answering the phones. In general, we just need folks who are passionate about keeping MAIN-FM on the air!

To find out more about volunteering for the “Save Our Sound!” campaign, please e-mail: volunteer@main.nc.us

We are very encouraged that via a mix of donation pledges, new under-writing clients, and new webhosting clients, we will be able to raise – by Nov. 1 – an additional $3,500 a month to cover the station’s monthly operating expenses. But all of us – producers, volunteers, listeners, and staff – must pull together to make this happen.

In fact, there are two “silver linings” in the dark cloud hanging over MAIN-FM:

1. This crisis is an unprecedented opportunity to build a stronger sense of community among our staff, board, producers, volunteers, and listeners – especially given the influx of new listeners who are Thom Hartmann fans.

2. There is an excellent chance that our signal will be fixed within the next six months, as the Local Community Radio Act has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives (on a bipartisan voice-vote) and has a great chance of passing the U.S. Senate before the end of this year.

Finally, here is a preliminary breakdown of MAIN-FM’s monthly operating expenses. You will note that these expenses do NOT include technical and administrative support (accounting, IT support, FCC compliance, grant-writing, marketing, volunteer coordination, and policy advocacy) provided by MAIN’s administrative and IT staff.

MAIN-FM Monthly Operating Expenses:

Studio Rent:                      $650

Tower Rent:                      $445

Tech/Ops Staffing:      $1,025

Liability Insurance:        $448

Phone/Webstream:        $300

Repairs/Maintenance:  $350

Dish Network:                    $35

Pacifica Dues:                     $10

NFCB dues:                          $25

College Music Journal:    $35

ASCAP/SESAC License : $30

BMI License:                      $25

Supplies:                              $35

Postage/Delivery:             $40

Monthly Total:        $3,453

Since MAIN launched its radio station in 2003, there has been confusion about the station’s operating costs. Despite our best efforts, we were never able to overcome a persistent belief among some that the radio station generated surplus revenue, which was then used to support MAIN’s ISP operations and advocacy work.

In fact, the opposite is true. MAIN’s ISP operations have ALWAYS subsidized the radio station. Indeed, the synergy between our ISP (and advocacy work) and the radio station is central to our vision of enabling local citizens to spend their Internet dollars via the ISP (MAIN’s Internet access and web hosting), and thereby support alternative media like MAIN-FM.

MAIN-FM, in turn, was envisioned as being a powerful media platform for raising public awareness that, instead of writing a check to AT&T, Charter, or Go Daddy, progressives can keep our Internet dollars local to support media reform advocacy and the alternative voices of MAIN-FM.

If this crisis finally lays to rest the myth that MAIN has been using the radio station as a “cash cow,” it will be worth it – provided we succeed in keeping MAIN-FM on the air!

Remember,you can make a secure, tax-deductible donation online, or mail your donation to: MAIN, 34 Wall Street, Suite 407, Asheville, N.C. 28801. Please note that your donation is designated for MAIN-FM.


Noise Radius this week – Tennessee Jed, Kings of Prussia

September 28, 2010 by Arieh.Samson

This week on Noise Radius, Tennessee Jed stops by the studio to play live, some of his darker numbers.  We’ll hear a pair of ambient tracks from Asheville’s largely visual progressive thrash unit Kings of Prussia.  They just released …Occurring Before In Time… produced by Winston-Salem’s Jamie King of Swift fame.  Also, deep tracks from Junip‘s 2010 3 Disc Deluxe Edition release Fields.

Noise Radius every Tuesday 7pm – 10pm

Safe Harbor – Sunday the 26th

September 26, 2010 by Arieh.Samson

Sunday September 26th, Safe Harbor celebrates funk from here and far away galaxies.

Join host Tariq Z. & hear music from Chocolate Milk, Tower of Power, Lettuce & Lubriphonic.

Safe Harbor – Sundays 10pm

This week on Forward! Up!

September 25, 2010 by onair

Within our weekly exploration of the roots and branches of the Tree of Dub, we’ll be showcasing an outstanding new record just released on front-running glitch label  MultiMusic.  Mimosa’s “Silver Lining” isn’t limited to glitchy dubstep, but that’s where it shines. A must hear for 2010, tune in this Wednesday evening at 10:00 to sample a few tracks from this excellent new album from LA’s Mimosa.

Keep your ear to the ground for a showcase of San Francisco dubstep trio Beats Antique in anticipation of their Asheville appearance at the Orange Peel October 14th. Perhaps even an on-air interview!

See you Wednesday evening… Forward!Up!  Bup Bup!

Budget shortfall may silence MAIN-FM, 103.5

September 24, 2010 by Wally Bowen

A budget shortfall of approximately $3,500 a month may silence MAIN-FM as soon as Nov. 1.

On Thursday evening, the MAIN Board of Directors voted unanimously to consider shutting down its low-power FM radio station in order to preserve the nonprofit’s core  revenue-generating operations — MAIN’s wireless broadband, dial-up, and Web-hosting services.

“These are tough economic times for many nonprofits and small businesses, and we’ve been aware of of this possibility for some time,” said MAIN executive director Wally Bowen.

“The good news is that the board is giving our listeners some lead time to see if there is sufficient support in the community to cover the shortfall and to keep MAIN-FM on the air,” he said.

Bowen cited programming such as Democracy Now!, the Tom Hartmann Show, the Peoples Pharmacy, “and the most diverse menu of  independent music on local radio” which would cease to be heard in the Asheville area if MAIN-FM goes silent.

Donations to keep MAIN-FM on the air can be made securely online.  MAIN’s Board of Directors mandated that all donations to keep the radio station on the air will be held in escrow and returned if the station does cease broadcasting Nov. 1.

Likewise, monthly recurring donations will be held in escrow and refunded on a prorated basis if the station stops broadcasting sometime after the Nov. 1 deadline.

The possible closing of MAIN-FM will be discussed today on the weekly show, “Media Reform and MAIN” at 4:30 p.m. EDT.

Sept. 23: An historic day for rural America

September 21, 2010 by Wally Bowen

Dear Friends – This Thursday, Sept. 23 is an historic day for America’s rural communities.

On this day, the Federal Communications Commission will vote on the final rules for the “white spaces,” the vacant TV channels that will give MAIN – and other ISPs – access to far superior spectrum for the delivery of wireless broadband in heavily-forested mountain regions like Western North Carolina.

As many of you recall, we began the struggle to gain unlicensed use of the white spaces in 2007, and with your help, in November 2008 we won an historic 5-0 vote at the FCC on these unused portions of our public airwaves, despite fierce opposition from TV broadcasters.

Since then, however, we have been very frustrated at the lack of progress in finalizing rules for the use of this spectrum so that manufacturers can bring the white spaces technologies to market.

The fault is not entirely the FCC’s. With a new chairman appointed by a new administration – requiring Senate approval – the FCC was in transition for much of 2009. Then Congress ordered the FCC to draft a new National Broadband Plan, which was published this past March. One of the plan’s recommendations was the fast-tracking of the final white-spaces rules. That moment has arrived!

However, last week our public-interest allies in DC learned of an 11th-hour attempt by a group of wireless companies – claiming to represent rural America – to set aside a portion of the white spaces for licensed use. If approved, this proposal would allow these companies to lock-down many of the white-spaces frequencies, forcing ISPs like MAIN to pay rents to use the spectrum. The proposal is supported by Commissioners Robert McDowell and Meredith Attwell Baker.

In response, MAIN and its allies filed emergency arguments with the FCC opposing this self-serving “spectrum grab” by handful of politically-connected companies. Attached is a copy of our filing. We feel confident that Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn will join Chairman Julius Genachowski in voting down this blatant attempt to privatize this crucial portion of our electromagnetic “commons,” our public airwaves.

Assuming that final rules are approved this Thursday, it is unclear how soon this new technology will be available for purchase and deployment. Please continue to monitor the MAIN home page for updates.

As always, we appreciate your support in this long and ongoing struggle to level the Internet playing field for our rural communities. And please continue to support MAIN by letting us host your websites, or by making a secure tax-deductible contribution to this important work.

Wally Bowen
Executive Director
Mountain Area Information Network
MAIN-FM 103.5
34 Wall Street, Suite 407
Asheville, N.C. 28801

Noise Radius This Week – Modo

September 21, 2010 by Arieh.Samson

This week on Noise Radius, Asheville’s modo stop by for an in studio session.  They play The Grey Eagle this Friday with Do It To Julia & Nashville’s Heypenny.

New music from The Walkmen & Drink Up Buttercup.  Also, a few secretly obtained live tracks from The Pixies Asheville performance last Sunday at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium.

Noise Radius, every Tuesday 7pm – 10pm on MAIN-FM Asheville.