For Immediate Release
Fr. Jeff Lorig
ST. LUDGER CATHOLIC CHURCH GRANTED LOW POWER FM RADIO STATION CONSTRUCTION PERMIT
Parish Wants to Establish a Community Radio Station that Serves the Community
March 3, 2014 (CREIGHTON, NE) – The FCC recently opened a window of opportunity for small towns like Creighton, NE, population 1,132, to have its own voice heard over the airwaves. In November the FCC began taking applications from non-profit organizations to establish Low Power FM (LPFM) radio stations. St. Ludger Church jumped at the chance to serve their community of Creighton through the power of radio. “Our only real motive is to be a good neighbor and serve our community through effective communication,” said Fr. Jeff Lorig, pastor of the parish.
An LPFM signal is only allowed to broadcast at 100 watts, which should reach between a 5-7 mile radius, but with some estimates going as far as 10 miles. Nearly 3000 LPFM applications were made from all over the United States and so far over 2000 permits have been granted with new ones being granted every week. Thirty-two applications were from Nebraska alone.
Starting up a full power, commercial radio station can sometimes cost hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. The initial cost for the equipment of an LPFM will range from $15,000 to $20,000. St. Ludger’s plans to do some initial fundraising at the end of May and will rely on ongoing community support to sustain it. “The success and sustainability of a radio station in our town will completely depend on the support and generosity of the community,” Fr. Lorig said.
Lorig hopes the radio station can build unity within the community and be a place where ideas can be shared to promote the growth of the town. “It’s no secret that many rural communities are struggling to stay vital. There’s tons of potential in this little town, but we need to pull together to turn things around,” he said.
The church plans to establish a board made up of parishioners and others from the community. The board’s primary tasks will involve encouraging community involvement and making decisions about programming. Lorig sees numerous possibilities for programming such as high school sports and activities, nursing home news, Chamber of Commerce activities, city council discussions, and agriculture issues. “Not only would I love to see a variety of groups involved such as the different churches from our town, but I especially want to see our young people find their voice and make their own contribution,” Lorig said.