WCRS-LP FM -- Columbus's community-powered radio station! -- needs to move our 98.3 transmitter tower in order to keep our 98.3 signal on the air ... so we can keep providing people-powered radio to communities in downtown, West, South, & parts of East Columbus! For the last decade+, we've been bringing you all of the weird, eclectic goodness of people-powered local radio programming: from talk to music to reportage to everything in between. Please help keep us on the air, & preserve our coverage across most of the greater Columbus area!
Why a tower move? Well, if you haven't noticed: Columbus is changing fast, as demand for land for luxury housing rises in formerly industrial neighborhoods -- & those changing land uses have resulted in a sale of the long-time home of our 98.3 transmitter tower. As a result, we've had to scramble to find a new home for our 98.3 transmitter, which provides WCRS broadcasting to the following Central & West Columbus neighborhoods, including large swathes of the campus area & downtown:
- Grandview & Marble Cliff
- Upper Arlington
- Old Towne East
The kicker? We only have until the end of January to get our tower moved.
A look at our current & potential future broadcast coverage in North Columbus, via WCRS LP-FM's 98.3 transmitter tower -- pictured in green (current 98.3 range) & pink (potential future range). We're fundraising to move our tower to a new nearby location (Linden) to help keep WCRS on the airwaves for our Central & West Columbus communities! Note: The black circle is our current 92.7 broadcast range: that's not changing!)
We're very grateful to have found a potential lease on a new home for our transmitter in Linden, on a property that already has an existing radio tower. That's a big win! Our new location will allow us to provide coverage to most of our old 98.3 tower broadcast area, while significantly strengthening our reception in the campus area, & while expanding coverage into Linden. While we will, regrettably, potentially lose some southern & western fringes of our terrestrial listening reach, this tower move provides our best chance of maintaining a similar coverage pattern to what listeners are used to, while bringing aboard some communities who haven't been able to tune in before.
That said, that arrangement will involve some significant infrastructural expenditures for this lil' old grassroots community radio station: namely, getting our old tower dismantled & safely put in storage for the future; & retrofitting the existing tower for our particular broadcast needs, & to reach as close to the same broadcast coverage that we had before as the new location allows. Additionally, while our old tower location was generously offered by the owner for free, we'll have to pay monthly rent at our new location. While the rent is very reasonable, these are new ongoing costs that our current budget can't comfortably absorb without additional fundraising.
In total, the estimated infrastructural, engineering, & labor costs for the tower move, plus monthly rent & maintenance on the new tower for the next year, total about $10,000.
Anticipated WCRS 98.3 Tower Move costs include:
- engineering services for the tower move
- dismantling & storage of our old 98.3 tower
- infrastructure to make our new tower work for radio: including new coaxial cable, & a directional antennae -- recommended by our engineer, given the new location, to ensure a similar broadcast area to our old coverage pattern
- tower-climbing to assess & fit our equipment on the new Linden-area tower
- ongoing rent & maintenance to our new tower location
We're asking for your help in keeping 98.3 on the air, so that we can get our new tower up & running without interruption to our Central & West Columbus service area! While we have until the end of January, engineering services and radio tower infrastructural materials are in high demand right now; so we want to get a head start on the process, so we can be up & running at our new tower location before February!
WCRS LP-FM is a rare gem in the Central Ohio media landscape: a truly people-powered, diverse, & community-based radio station, bringing you the voices of our city, 24/7, on the web & most importantly, on the terrestrial dial. Unlike other stations, we don't have paid staff or big grants to keep us afloat: we run on a shoestring, mostly fueled by the small donations of DJs & listeners. We'd deeply appreciate any contributions you could make to our campaign to keep 98.3 on the air, & to get our tower moved safe & sound!
Note: "The Neighborhood Network" is the official name of the 501(c)(3) community radio non-profit that holds the license to WCRS LP-FM. So, don't worry: all donations to the Neighborhood Network directly support WCRS ... & may be tax-deductible, through PayPal's Giving Fund!