I realise that this is a forum devoted to the discussion of television, however I hope that somebody might be able to answer my question. I am curious to know a rough estimation of the costs of setting up an FM or AM radio station. I was informed that setting up an AM station is much cheaper than setting up an FM one, however I do not have any information or experience of setting up either an FM or AM station.
As such, I would appreciate any advice/information anyone can provide in respect of this question.
From someone who's on the management team and done just that (rather succesfully) in Cambridge, I can tell you even if you want to do things 'on the cheap' its still expensive.
Firstly you have to apply for a community FM licence when Ofcom advertise CR licence applications for certain areas. If you're doing things properly and not just operating a playout system in a cupboard, you have to factor in engineering/equipment costs (studio and transmission), premesis, PRS/PPL/MCPS licences and electricity etc.
Then there's the costs of employing someone to do sales and a station manager.
That's just a starting point.
AM is pretty much dying out, its in mono, not ideal for music and is very awkward when it comes to finding a suitable transmission site.
Although we're on FM, we also launched on the local small-scale split-site DAB trial in Cambridge, so maybe there's the option to go on small scale DAB (although a little expensive) these options are now starting to become available.
I met with a community group in the East of England recently who wanted to launch their own FM community radio station. When I asked them if they'd actually carried out any surveys or research into whether their town wanted a community radio station, the reaction I got was 'well, we think this is what the town wants'. Golden rule, engage with your audience from the start and don't fly blind. Maybe start by running an RSL?
Last edited by Worzel on 3 August 2016 12:57am