Radio St. Pete is finally on the air.
Internet audio fans are already familiar with Radio St. Pete, which has been streaming a mix of local music, local news, event coverage and local and national podcasts across the web since 2013.
On Monday afternoon, the Federal Communications Commission officially transferred the broadcasting license for 96.7 FM to Radio St. Pete.
Most internet radio stations started out as broadcast entities, bringing the online element into being as computers, smartphones, and other devices became dominant in our lives.
Radio St. Pete founder Joe Bourdow did the opposite.
“According to research, well over 90 percent of people in this country are still listening to FM radio during the week at some point,” said former president of Valpak, who is currently managing partner of Premier Franchise Advisors. LLC. “The only question, really, is what is the actual track length for the live broadcast.”
In other words, how long will FM – even hyper-local stations like Radio St. Pete – last?
“In my opinion,” said Bourdow, “until Internet streaming is easy and straightforward to enjoy in your car, I think live radio will continue, and it can continue even after that. “
Radio St. Pete is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization with a 10-member board of directors and fully volunteer staff. Its FCC license is non-commercial and educational, which means it has subscribers rather than advertisers, and a certain percentage of the programming must be public affairs type.
The station has a huge catalog of podcasts available, of all kinds, including Saint-Pierre X, The catalyst sessions and others from Catalyst archives. It broadcasts the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association Monday night jazz hour, and five-hour blocks of jazz every weekday morning.
The station also connected to the PRX, the Public Radio Exchange, with its subscribed radio programs. Acoustic Cafe, Folk Alley, WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour and others.
“What we are, essentially, is a local audio streaming platform, with three streams and a podcast distribution platform. And, now, an FM radio station.
“I think our platform presents listeners with podcasts that they might not have heard or experienced otherwise. And then they start to download it. The value proposition for podcasters, to be a part of it, is that while you can download their podcast directly, you need to know about it and be introduced to it first.
Bourdow, who said he got the broadcasting bug as a student in Virginia and never really lost it, started the Internet version of Radio St. Pete as a hobby. eight years ago.
“One morning I literally woke up and said ‘You know what we need? We need a St. Pete radio. And I will do it.
“There was no business plan. I just figured out how to turn it on, and it has evolved since.
Its goals include sustainability, both operational and financial. “We will try to raise funds,” he explained. “And we will try to become more and more visible and more and more relevant in the community. “
Bourdow said his model is similar to that of WUSF, the Bay Area public radio station. And there are, of course, elements of the Tampa-based community station WMNF.
Although he doesn’t intend to copy either.
“We are St. Petersburg, Pinellas County and the beaches, with a focus on downtown St. Petersburg,” he said. “So after Covid our focus will still be live event and festival coverage – we’ll be there live as we were before. But we won’t be going to Tampa very often.
Radio St. Pete’s weekly schedule