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Berea College Radio awarded low-power FM license by the FCC

BEREA, Ky. – Berea College Radio will soon be available on FM 91.7, thanks to a low-power FM license recently awarded by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 

The license will allow Berea College to build an FM radio station by constructing an antenna and connecting it to a transmitter to broadcast. The new antenna will likely be built on top of the Computer Science, Digital Media and Information Technologies building, which will house the radio station as well. 

“The FCC only opens FM application windows every few years or so, and we applied in December of 2023,” said Jacob Dickerson, Berea College professor and supervisor of Berea College Radio. “Before that, the last time the application window was open was 2013, so it’s a pretty rare thing to be able to get these licenses.” 

The FM station will emit around 100 watts, translating to a 10-12 mile broadcast radius—more than enough to reach all of Berea. The new license also allows the Berea Radio team to move from their current model of online-only broadcasts to local FM radio. 

The Berea College Radio team hopes the new license will make them more accessible and easier to find in the community, leading to more community-oriented programming. 

The plan is to begin construction of the station as early as this summer, with a goal of FM broadcasting beginning this fall. 

About Berea College

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College only admits academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 45 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally recognized Work Colleges, where students work at least 10 hours a week to earn money for books, housing, and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character. www.berea.edu.