On May 31, 2000, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church applied to the FCC for a Low Power FM broadcast station license. Events progressed slowly, but we received our FCC Construction Permit and call sign in December 2003 and went on the air in July 2004, broadcasting from our Parish Hall with 100 watts on 102.1 MHz. Reflecting our desire to restore community radio to Calvert County, we operate as WMJS, using the “traditional” local call letters. Go to http://wmjs.org/.
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Why did we apply for an LPFM license in the first place?
- Shortly before the FCC announced the creation of LPFM, our county “lost” its only local radio station when WMJS FM 92.7 was purchased by Mega Communications, Inc. of Washington DC.
- The 92.7 MHz transmitter was moved by Mega from Barstow to Sunderland and converted to a remote transmitter of Spanish language programming into Washington DC and its immediate suburbs with a new call sign (WBZS-FM) and their studios in Silver Spring. A few years later Mega Communications sold the WBZS license to Dan Snyder and that Sunderland transmitter now broadcasts as Redskins Radio on 92.7 MHz.
- We felt that “restoring” local radio to Prince Frederick and Calvert County would provide a needed community service, allow us to better publicize all non-profit organizations’ coming events as part of a Community Bulletin Board feature, and (as a side benefit) perhaps attract additional new families to our parish. The FCC’s creation of Low Lower FM stations gave us that opportunity.
What type of programming do we broadcast?
- Very similar to the old pre-2000 WMJS, but with a wider mix of music than just “oldies”. Our music is a mix of Top 40 Hits, Adult Contemporary, Oldies, and Pop with a little Modern Country thrown in.
- We want to be a station that everyone in the county WANTS to listen to. Accordingly, we operate as a community radio station, NOT as a sectarian “religious broadcaster”.
- Community bulletin board announcements are an important feature of our programming.
- We are 100% local programming — programming of interest to the wider community in which we live.
Who operates the station?
- We are on the air 24 hours a day, seven days a week, staffed only by volunteers, as available.
- We have restored Marty Madden’s live “Morning Show” that had such a loyal following for years on the old WMJS.
- Our volunteer staff puts together the music playlists from our music library of over 14,000 song titles, creating a varied mix of music genres designed to appeal to everyone.
- Professional Broadcast (iMediaTouch) software running on networked PCs keeps us on the air serving our community even when our volunteer staff is not physically at the station.
How do we pay for it?
- As a non-commercial/educational station we fall under the same underwriting rules as PBS and National Public Radio.
- We accept donations for our equipment costs, music royalties and continuing operating costs from local industries and businesses and also from individuals.
- As a non-commercial, educational station, we cannot “sell” advertising per se, but the Congress and the FCC do allow us to gratefully acknowledge donations from local businesses…just like PBS and NPR do…with a published schedule correlating amount given with frequency and duration of our expressions of thanks. This is how we pay our limited operating costs. Our all-volunteer staff works for free.
- Unlike PBS and NPR, we receive NO government funding.
- For donations from businesses and industries we broadcast “Enhanced Underwriting Announcements” which follow FCC rules and guidlines.
All donations are 100% tax deductible.
- WMJS, as a volunteer staffed community service operation of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, falls under our 501(c)3 exemption with the IRS and we provide donation receipts as required by the tax laws.
- WMJS began serving Calvert County on the 4th of July, 2004. Your continued support is needed to make this return of community radio a success as we approach our ten year anniversary.