Church to set up FM radio station |

Church to set up FM radio station

A Grass Valley church wants to launch a low-power FM radio station here, although early plans call for it to broadcast programming from a satellite church network.

The application by the Calvary Chapel requests the 95.1 frequency to operate at least 12 hours a day with at least eight hours of local programming as a non-profit, educational organization.

However, Tony Logan, assistant pastor of the south-county church at Highway 49 and Wolf Road, said the south-county church is planning to use CSN, Calvary Satellite Network, a Christian broadcasting corporation based in Costa Mesa, Calif.

“We will use their programming help to set up this station,” Logan said. “We’re not sure how the programming that originates out of our community works.”

The station would be connected to CSN through the Internet, Logan said.

CSN has 28 full-power manned stations, including one in Temecula, and 350 unmanned translators, of which 59 are in California.

The church filed for an original construction permit in October with the Federal Communications Commission.

The church first filed for a permit in 2000. “Now we have to go through the process of getting a tower approved,” said Logan. “We have an 18-month window to do it.”

The FCC authorizes low-power FM stations for non-commercial educational broadcasting only to operate at a maximum of 100 watts over a radius of 3.5 miles. FM translator stations are often 250 watts.

Current broadcast licensees with interests in other media (broadcast or newspapers) are not eligible to obtain LPFM stations.

A 28-foot-tall tower described in the FCC application is to be located approximately two to three miles north of the Auburn airport and a half-mile west, almost along Highway 49 toward Lake of the Pines, said Arnie Adicoff, a licensed amateur pilot who charts locations by longitude and latitude.

Jerry Lux, director of client relations for CSN in Costa Mesa, said, “There’s a possibility of getting 80 more full-power stations in the next two years.”

Lux said of the proposed Grass Valley station, “They have to follow the rules of the FCC. We’re really not involved in low power stations.”

Several other Calvary churches – in Yuba City, Banning, Arcata, Yucca Valley, Shasta Lake, Fallbrook and Ventura – have applied in recent months for low-power FM station permits.

“We’re looking forward of it,” said Logan.

The application must go through an approval process.

Petitions opposing the station must be on file with the FCC by March 17.

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