How would you like to run your own TV or radio station? Well, one Houston man has figured out how to do both.
I first wrote about Joe Donalson a few years ago when he opened up a 93Q Top 40 era tribute site. Well, now he has decided to build his own radio station from the ground up.
It started with www.JoeFM.net. Donalson then wanted to get on real radio with a low power FM (LPFM) radio station. That didn't work out so he started leasing a TV channel. You read right...a sub-channel on one of the many new low powered TV stations popping up in the Houston area.
So now you can find "JoeFM" on channel 38.9 KZHO-LD.
"While the FM band is crowded and it costs an ungodly amount of money to lease or buy an existing radio station, the over-the-air TV band has a lot of empty channels with colored bars and/or channel for lease notices," Donalson told mikemcguff.com. "So here I am, an individual using my own limited resources, who now has a TV channel. No overhead to pay a staff or rent a building for fancy studios. Thanks to modern technology, I control what goes out from any location that my laptop has Wi/Fi."
The format is classic hits from over five decades - the 60s all the way to the 2000s. Former Top 40 93Q era voice over guy Mark Landis is even lending his voice to the project.
"While Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio all have radio stations playing classic hits, we don't have one here," Donalson told me. "And despite all our bemoaning, its clear that the corporate giants are not going to give us one because the demographics of the Houston market apparently they will not have many listeners."
UPDATE: Donalson says this is too technically difficult to do every morning.
So far, the station is commercial free audio-wise, but since there are images on a TV channel, Donalson is experimenting with graphical ads.
"I intend to keep it commercial-free as long as my personal finances can sustain it," he added.
In the near future, Donalson wants to move the station to a new Houston television station he says is hitting the airwaves, channel 4.