So You Would Like To Be Heard

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Recently we’ve become aware of the fact that several folks in town do interesting podcasts. That’s delightful! Podcasts are after all the radio of the future.

But have you considered the radio… of the past? Which is to say just plain broadcast radio?

Your local low power FM station – 103.3FM WXOJ Valley Free Radio – has resources for you to use, friendly member of the local community! So what can they do for your podcast? Lots!

Scenario 1: I Want to Start a Podcast… But I Don’t Have Any Good Equipment!

Valley Free Radio is happy to help! You can use their brand new community recording studio! They have mics, they have a computer, they have soundproofing that’s better than your living room.

What are the restrictions?

  • You can only record in the studio when a member of the VFR team is there to actually let you in. For the most part, this should not be an issue. But keep in mind that if a sudden illness hits the staff at VFR, you’ll need to make other plans.
  • You need to add a little stinger to the end of each episode of your podcast noting that this was recorded at the VFR studio.

What are the benefits?

  • You can record audio and then take that audio and do what you want with it, delightful!

Scenario 2: I Have a Podcast, But I Want To Be on the Radio!

Valley Free Radio is looking for new programs, so you’re in luck! You can record at the station or you can do live broadcasts if you’d like! Go to http://valleyfreeradio.org/schedule/new-program-proposal and fill out the online form to get started!

What are the restrictions?

  • No racism/sexism.
  • No swears. Thank the FCC.
  • No promoting products. VFR is a non-profit, and there are rules about this sort of thing!
    • You can probably say “Hi, I’m the creator of the Ice Cream Cone and you can find out more about my invention at icecreamiscool.biz” at the end of your show.
    • You cannot say “Go to Herrell’s and buy an ice cream cone, folks!” or “If ice cream cones sound tasty, go pick one up at your local retailer!”
    • Yes, it’s subjective and a bit thorny at times, but the volunteers at VFR are happy to speak with you about the specific implications for the w
  • You need to go to a training on station practices and equipment usage.
  • You need to sign a contract with the station stating you’ll follow FCC and station guidelines.
  • You need to contribute. Either with some volunteer work at the station or with a flat monthly fee of $20-$30, plus a $30 membership fee.

What are the benefits?

  • Access to the airwaves! VFR, as you can see by the map above, has about a 15-mile radius coverage area centered around Florence.
  • Access to the station! You can record any time day or night in either studio, with the caveat of course that you can’t overlap with another person. You can pre-record your shows at a time that works for you!
  • An audience! VFR already has regular listeners and a bunch of people who listen to the stream online, so you’d be able to start reaching people immediately who might otherwise never hear about your podcast. Some VFR shows have a dedicated international following!
  • A neutral professional space! People aren’t always interested in interviews/guest appearances that take place in a person’s living room. The radio station is a comfortable and convenient place to meet.
  • The ability to have call-in guests easily!
  • The thrill of creating live content!
  • Help from friendly volunteers! The people at VFR are capable radio producers who can help you with any issues that pop up in the process of making, editing, and promoting your show.
  • A specialized @valleyfreeradio.org email address so you can easily communicate with fans of your show!
  • Access to a private Facebook group just for VFR programmers where they talk about the station and answer questions about the work.

So there you have it. Whatever you’d like to do with your podcast, VFR can help you do it. Just talk to the station volunteers! You can get in touch with them here.

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