MARS — A brand new radio station could also be coming to Butler County quickly, in keeping with Mayor Gregg Hartung.
At a borough council assembly Monday night, Dec. 4, Hartung introduced that he had not too long ago been in preliminary talks over a possible Low Energy FM station within the borough. The talks had been between Hartung and Phil Lenz, a retired former broadcast engineer for Pittsburgh radio stations who contacted the mayor’s workplace.
“(Phil) mentioned there is a frequency obtainable in Mars for 107.1 FM, low energy, that could possibly be used on a neighborhood foundation,” Hartung mentioned. “The FCC solely makes them obtainable on a rotation foundation in sure areas the place there may be a frequency open.”
The Low Energy FM license was launched by the Federal Communications Fee in 2000 and permits for noncommercial instructional broadcasting from stations with a most efficient radiated energy of 100 watts.
In contrast, WWSW-FM — the top-rated radio station within the Pittsburgh market as of November in keeping with Nielsen scores — has an efficient radiated energy of fifty,000 watts and might simply be heard in most of Butler County.
Hartung mentioned Lenz has put collectively “two or three” neighborhood Low Energy FM stations prior to now.
If it does materialize, the station would almost definitely not be listenable far exterior the borough by way of a conventional radio. Hartung mentioned that the station’s estimated vary could be 12 to 17 miles from its antenna web site.
Nevertheless, Hartung mentioned that the hypothetical station could be accessible worldwide because of Web streaming.
Websites floated as doable places for the station’s antenna included St. John Lutheran Church, because of favorable topography.
Since a Low Energy FM station license could be held solely by a noncommercial entity, Hartung has reached out to native nonprofits to see whether or not they would have an interest within the concept, together with St. John’s and the Mars Robotics Affiliation.
If the station is to materialize, any nonprofit should submit a license utility to the FCC by Dec. 13.
Based on the FCC web site, any potential utility must efficiently show that the station wouldn’t trigger interference to WAOB-FM in Beaver Falls, which is at 106.7 FM.