License approval is expected any day on Access Sacramento’s application to operate a low-power FM radio station from downtown Sacramento.
A 30-day public comment period closed Sunday without any filings being posted on the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) website.
“Getting a license is essentially a done-deal now,” said Shane Carpenter, Access Sacramento’s radio coordinator. “After creating radio programming for more than 25 years on cable television, it’s exciting to think we’ll actually be on over-the-air radio later this year.”
Once a license is granted, Access Sacramento will file for a construction permit with the FCC. This process specifies additional details about where equipment will be placed and how the station will be built.
Access Sacramento’s application predicts placement of the transmitter and antenna in downtown Sacramento, and the building owner has provided a “Letter of Reasonable Assurance” to demonstrate a good-faith intention to allow the new station to be built on the building’s existing tower.
“We already have nearly 60 radio producers and shows being created each week for our Cable TV and internet broadcasting,” said JoAnn Fuller, Chair of the Access Sacramento Board of Directors. “So we know Access would easily be able to provide 12 hours of good original programming every day once we get our license.”
Current programming includes talk and music shows, with a wide variety of approaches including informational programs that focus on politics, health, religious or cultural information.
“Our mission is to help Sacramento County residents to get their information, values and passion out into the community,” said Gary Martin, Access Sacramento Executive Director. “Making a Difference, One Voice at a Time, is our mission statement and we’re honored to being doing that for 28 years.”
Access Sacramento intends to offer existing radio producers the chance to continue their programs on the over-the-air station at the same times they are currently broadcast on Cable TV and the Internet. While some of the programs are live, most of the shows are pre-taped and played back through an automation system.
As the operator of two cable TV channels already, Access Sacramento provides its members low-cost technology training and access to professional equipment for radio and television program production. An annual membership involves attending a free orientation session and paying a $30 fee.
Information about the radio training classes and television workshops is available at the Access Sacramento website.