Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Houston man starts radio station "JoeFM" on TV channel 38.9

Houston broadcasting enthusiast starts his own "JoeFM" radio station on TV at 38.9 KZHO-LD

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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.
With permission from 1070 The Answer, Donalson is also rebroadcasting The Sam Malone Show during the morning hours.

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.


  1. I could not figure out how to automate the Sam Malone show to start and stop at the appropriate times, so I am no longer carrying it on JoeFM.

  2. This is remarkable! I have loved the JoeFM that streams from Belgium. This stateside Joe has similar music and the same logo - what's the connection?

  3. This is remarkable! I love your new station. I've enjoyed the JoeFM that streams from Belgium. This Joe has a similar playlist and the same logo - what's the connection?

  4. I'm bobbing my head while listening to the station and writing this lines. The good looking silhouettes of the dancing girls is what got me to look. Then the music. This is great music to dance with! Nice! Wish you good luck in this enterprise JoeFM!! The girls are gorgeous and their moves are very sexy. Dangerous Disco weekend indeed. WOW!

  5. Love your station. Keep it up. Maybe a Go fund me page? I'd donate.

  6. 4/7/2016, just changing channels and stumbled on this station, I thought it was a commercial break, but it's great music. Love the graphics. Be blessed­čśŐ Deborah Ann..

  7. Love it! We desperately needed another radio station. This is music I grew up with. Some of these songs I haven't heard in a while. Thank you

  8. Damon Downs, I mean Barney Donalson, I mean Joe Donalson, is now broadcasting his JOE FM *illegally* on 87.9 FM.
    Just don't tell him that it's illegal, he will gladly explain how he is the exception to the rules. :)

  9. Genius, Joe. Keep up the good work my Friend. D. R.

  10. I LOVE IT!!!! I just tuned into it on my free over-the-air tv and put it my favs...WTG JOE FM!!! Thanks for the free music!

  11. Muy buena programaci├│n musical,todos son exitos,de cada ├ępoca de nuestras vidas,exitos que nos hacen recordar de nuestra ni├▒os y adolescencia,muchas felicitaciones a Joe,FM.


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