The growth of local community radio

Franki Trujillo Dalbey, KYAQ board president, is pictured in the KYAQ studio. KYAQ’s third annual fundraising dinner will be held on Sunday, Dec. 2, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Café Mundo in Newport. (Courtesy photo)

Fundraiser set for Dec. 2

KYAQ FM, 91.7 on the radio dial, is about to celebrate five years of local broadcasting in Lincoln County.

The station went on the air in January of 2014, offering non-locally produced programming almost exclusively. Over the past five years, KYAQ FM has expanded local shows and now covers locally produced programs on topics as diverse as classical music, the environment, LGBTQ concerns, health issues, history of the blues, interviews with local community leaders, book discussions, Latino community issues, spirituality, and local/state/federal politics. In addition, KYAQ continues to carry national programming, such as Democracy Now, with Amy Goodman, and Alternative Radio, with David Barsamian.

KYAQ broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and streams content via the website,

KYAQ FM is staffed by volunteers, including all of the producers of local programming. Funding, which has always been a challenge, comes from fundraising events, sustaining memberships, in-kind donations, local underwriting and grants. Unlike public broadcasting such as KLCC FM in Eugene, KYAQ is independent, receiving no federal funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The station’s financial survival is almost entirely due to the generosity of listeners in Lincoln County, although the station has received some limited support from individuals outside of Lincoln County due to the ability to listen to KYAQ through online streaming.

As part of that fundraising effort, KYAQ FM is hosting its third annual fundraising dinner on Sunday, Dec. 2, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at Café Mundo in Newport. The event will be catered by Becca Ottensmann, with music provided by two local groups: Lucky Gap and Professor Gib & Friends.

Station Manager Bill Dalbey said, “KYAQ continues to work on expanding our technical capabilities through acquiring new equipment in 2018 and installing a new server in 2019.” Dalbey also hopes to secure funding for equipment that will allow KYAQ to carry live remote broadcasts, to purchase a state of the art broadcast console and create a digital music library. These improvements will allow more local programming to make it to the airwaves, whether as a live music show such as Chip Russell’s new show, Bluegrass by the Sea, or Rhonda Jantzen’s interviews with individuals in the LGBTQ community.

Additional information on programming, how to volunteer and future plans for the station will be presented at the fundraiser. Franki Trujillo Dalbey, KYAQ board president, describes the event as “an opportunity to come together to share a delicious meal with friends, listen to fabulous music and to update the community on what is being planned for 2019.”

There is a suggested minimum donation for the dinner of $25 at the door. For more information, contact KYAQ FM by calling 541 635-0034 or emailing [email protected].

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