What is WBTV-LP?
Burlington's newest low-power radio station!
WBTV-LP is on the air! Burlington's newest community radio station began broadcasting in late 2017 at 99.3 FM on the dial in the greater Burlington area and the station is streaming worldwide at 993wbtv.org.
WBTV-LP is a "low power FM" radio station, broadcasting at an effective radiated power of 100 watts from an antenna located at the Media factory in the south end of Burlington. The station's studio and transmitter are located in the offices of VCAM and RETN.
The mission of WBTV-LP is to connect people in Burlington with community radio that is created and curated locally, dedicated to the free and creative exchange of ideas and culture, and reflective of the diversity of our city. We do this by teaching the art of radio production and illuminating stories that are vital to our community.
WBTV-LP’s programming is a reflection of the mission and vision of the station, informed by the desires of the community and the interests and skills of programmers who train to be on the air. On-air programming is a mix of music, talk, live events, locally pre-recorded shows and podcasts, content from local community television channels, and syndicated shows from beyond the Burlington area that are of interest to the local community.
WBTV-LP has deep commitment to training community members in the art of making radio. This allows for a broad range of people to get on the air, no matter their prior radio experience, age, or technical skills.
The “Community” of Community Radio
Who runs the station?
WBTV-LP is overseen by a Radio Advisory Council (RAC) – a leadership body made up of programmers, listeners, staff/board representatives of RETN and VCAM, and community members with a range of radio and non-profit management skills.
How can I get a show?
WBTV-LP has new programmer application windows twice yearly — in November/December and May/June. You can fill out a programmer application at anytime here.
Is there paid/permanent staff or is it volunteer?
The station is mostly volunteer-run. There is a part time staff person taking care of scheduling and some day to day tasks, but all programmers and members are expected to help pitch in and keep the station going. This work is mainly done by the RAC and station committees (Outreach, Technical, Programming, etc.).
What is the station’s relationship to the VCAM and RETN?
WBTV-LP is a shared program of VCAM and RETN in cooperation with a dedicated group of community volunteers. VCAM holds the license and VCAM and RETN share overhead expenses and own the gear. The RAC is responsible for the mission/vision of the station and oversees programming, educational efforts, station outreach, etc.
What is low power FM? (borrowed from Prometheus Radio Project)
All over the country there are radio stations pumping out high-powered content with the power of a light bulb (100 watts). Low power FM stations (LPFMs) are a forum for nonprofits, schools, churches, community centers, farmworker organizations, unions, environmentalists, and just about anyone else who wants to amplify their message.
The FCC launched the low power FM service in 2000 after grassroots pressure demanded community control of the airwaves. The service is entirely commercial-free, and licenses were only granted to nonprofit organizations. Low power FM stations can operate at a maximum power of 100 watts, which generally provides coverage within three to five miles.