Community radio full steam ahead
Two Harbors Community Radio may not be on the air yet, but it has already produced some exclusive content and secured its call letters.
Board members of the nonprofit radio station say they hope to be on-air before the end of the year, and that they already know what DJs and program hosts will be calling out over the airwaves to identify the station – KTWH.
“This was one that no one else had claimed,” said Fran Kaliher, chair of the community radio board.
The process of getting call letters was no small feat. It included research to determine whether the letters had already been claimed by another station and conforming to FCC guidelines. The series of four letters had to start with K, and if the letters were already in use by another station, THCR had to seek permission to use them. Kaliher said it was a trial-and-error process, but the board is happy with the final result.
Another big leap forward came in the form of a functioning website, www.ktwh.org. It’s already a trove of content, including original podcasts.
“(The website) is getting attention. I think that will help,” Kaliher said.
Intergenerational interviews have been the first big project for the fledgling station. There are three series of conversations already available for listeners, each featuring young Two Harbors students interviewing older residents.
Board member Michelle Ronning applied for grant funding for the project’s recording equipment and members Jackie Rennwald and Michelle Miller trained the young broadcast journalists. Both women have experience in radio and the Lake County Historical Society provided some documents with tips for recording historical content.
Rennwald said they taught the rookie correspondents the basics of interviewing and the kids got to choose their subjects. Her son Henry, 10, chose family friends Don and Judy Ness. The conversation covered Judy’s first experience with the telephone and Don’s work on the railroad, among other topics.
“There are so many stories in Two Harbors,” Rennwald said. “I hope (this) is something that we could do quarterly.”
The THCR board is now focusing on its own fundraising efforts. Thus far, 20 percent of the $25,000 start- up cost has been raised. Kaliher said that most of April was spent applying for grants and that some money has already come from Cooperative Light and Power. The board is awaiting word from other potential grantors.
With community support essential to the future of the radio station, the THCR board will be contacting those who’ve expressed enthusiasm for THCR and encouraging new members to get involved. Donations of time and money are always welcome. Interested donors may contact the station by visiting its website, www.ktwh.org
KTWH is also accepting creative interpretations of its call letters, which can be submitted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on their Facebook page.
“It’s really going be radio about us and by us,” Kaliher said.