For most of my life, I have had a passion for radio, and have long desired to have a station of my own.
Recently, our market lost its only classic country station, which was locally owned and programmed. The format was changed to talk.
I have an opportunity to establish a low power FM (LPFM) radio station in an upcoming FCC filing window (the only time you can start
a new station.)
I was forced to retire on disability in 2004 and spent the past several years helping to raise two grandsons.
Now the time has come that I need something to do. So I'm asking for help to make my life long dream a reality.
I hate asking for help. But I can't do this one alone.
I'm also sharing my full story with you.
It is estimated that the LPFM can be built for $5000 to $8000.
I'm going to try to raise the minimum amount, at least for now.
Thank you for reading my story, and for your kind consideration.
Alan McCall of Tallahassee has had almost
> lifelong loves of two interests - country music and radio.
> Now 54, McCall has been legally blind since birth from cataracts.
> Several childhood surgeries improved his sight somewhat, but it
> remains 20/400 to the present day. He was supposed to end up at the
> Florida School for the Deaf and Blind - but he never spent a single
> day there.
> "This boy has really surprised us," remarked the late Dr. Harold
> Ward, one of the surgeons. "He has a fierce determination that I can't
> quite explain."
> At age 12, he won a prize (an Elvis Presley 45-rpm record called
> "When You Talk in Your Sleep") from the then-country WMEN radio
> station. He was fascinated with the station's control room, which he
> was able to observe while picking up the prize (which he still has,
> His love of country music grew, and McCall remembers listening
> almost exclusively to country radio while he was in high school. At
> the time, he often listened to small town AM country stations during
> family vacations.
> He began collecting country music in 1971, and has never stopped.
> "My wife, Marianne, could have her own sewing and craft room if
> there weren't so many records and CDs stored in our house," he laughs.
> McCall studied journalism and English and worked for Tallahassee
> Community College's student newspaper, The Talon, from 1977 to 1979.
> He broke into the radio business during the fall of 1979, after
> relentlessly applying for jobs, sometimes multiple times. It took him
> six attempts before being hired at WTAL in Tallahassee, a soft AC and
> oldies station, working overnights at first, and later evenings and
> long Sunday shifts.
> He went on to attend Florida State University, where he
> graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in communications in 1984.
> He also landed another radio job, at Christian-formatted
> WCVC-AM. He began as a weekend announcer, but later worked stints
> there in programming, sales and promotions, and one as a local station
> manager. Interestingly enough, WCVC was the once-country WMEN
> mentioned earlier.
> That job ended in 2004, and McCall found himself "on the
> beach" - radio jargon for "out of work."
> He spent the next several years devoted primarily to his
> family - homeschooling two young step-grandsons, Benjamin and Daniel,
> now ages eight and seven. The boys are now homeschooled by their
> mother, Rose, McCall's stepdaughter.
> After having the boys full-time for four years, McCall found
> himself feeling lost.
> "Suddenly, I felt as if I had no real purpose in like," he
> says. "I began taking a course in grant writing, and am planning to do
> that on a part-time basis. But I had two other passions - radio and
> country music."
> In 2010, he began the transition of turning what once was a
> hobby - his Internet station on * Live365.com *
> <http://www.msplinks.com/MDFodHRwOi8vTGl2ZTM2NS5jb20=> - into
> something more. He tweaked the format, which had been a hybrid of
> country and oldies, into a solid country station. The music includes a
> healthy dose of classic country, along with the current Top 40 country
> His station, now branded as "Big D Country," is attempting
> what few webcasters have - live and local Internet radio. Big D
> Country is targeted specifically to Tallahassee and the North Florida
> and South Georgia area. McCall hosts a weekday mid-day show complete
> with weather, community calendar events, and other elements you might
> expect to hear on an over-the-air station.
> All of Big D Country's programming is done by McCall. He is
> constantly on the lookout for country music.
> "I have a lot of music, but invariably I'll get a request for
> something we don't have," he says. He would still like to buy the TM
> Century Traditional Country library, but says it's a bit too expensive
> for the station to afford right now. The station is owned by Delta
> Star Radio of Florida, Inc., which McCall founded in 2001. His wife
> and parents are the other directors of the corporation, which is a
> registered Florida non-profit, but is not a 501(c)3.
> Delta Star Radio has recently purchased an office trailer, so
> Marianne McCall may get her craft and sewing room after all. The
> company has also purchased some updated equipment, including a new
> control board and CD burner for production.
> "I absolutely love the full service country format," McCall
> says. "I'm putting a lot of thought and time into developing it."
> With the possibility of low power FM (LPFM) radio stations
> being made available later this year, McCall is hoping to raise enough
> support to win one of the LPFM licenses. LPFM stations are restricted
> in the coverage area they can legally cover. His family owns property at
Buckhorn and Sopchoppy, and his brother lives near the city park. He says he'd
love the opportunity to move to Wakulla to operate the station in the Sopchppy area.
Translators could be used as a possibility of increasing the station's coverage area.
> The only full power FM near the market with a classic country
> format was recently sold and the format switched to talk.
> "Being able to operate a local country radio station is my
> lifelong dream," says McCall. "I am saying a lot of extra prayers and
> sharing the dream with people all around the US." He hopes to be able
> to build the station for under $10k. His only income is Social
> Security, less than $700 per month.
> He also hopes to one day be able to visit Nashville - the
> only place he says he hasn't seen but would really like to.
> "Mostly, I'm not too keen on traveling," says McCall. "I'm a
> homebody for the most part."
> While he hopes the station can ultimately provide an income,
> he realizes it will be a difficult and slow path.
> His wife, Marianne McCall, works for Leon County Schools, but
> has had her hours cut and benefits slashed.
> "We're having a hard time making it," she sighs. "Our roof
> leaks despite numerous attempts of repairing it and now the kitchen
> floor is starting to cave in, in places."
> She really would like to be able to work along with her
> husband with the radio station, she says. But for now, "we have to
> eat," so she continues working with the schools. She has been looking
> for better paying positions recently.
> McCall does feel the strain and is preparing a media kit to
> aid with sales. They will offer low-cost packages to area businesses,
> and time availabilities for churches on Sunday. Southern Gospel is
> also a part of Sunday programming.
> Despite their current situation, McCall is hopeful that
> pursuing the country radio station will ultimately pay off for them.
> "If we can just pay our bills and get out of debt, I'll
> consider this venture successful," he says.
> # # #
> The station's website is * http://www.bigdcountry.com *
> an McCall can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
> Contact information:
> Alan McCall
> Delta Star Radio of Florida, Inc.
> 2625 Doll Place
> Tallahassee, FL 32311