Nonprofit radio station coming to Shelby County - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Nonprofit radio station coming to Shelby County

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SHELBY COUNTY - AL -

Shelby County will soon have a new radio station on the dial.  This summer, people will be able to tune into 99.9 FM while good work is being done.  APH Radio will be a nonprofit radio station.  That means there are no advertisers and all the donations are given to local ministries, civic organizations and other nonprofits.

Typically, commercial radio stations receive money from businesses.  They then play an advertisement in response to that payment.  Public radio stations receive listener donations as well as state and federal funding.  However, APH Radio will take donations from listeners and corporate partnerships.  Those businesses will get underwriting announcements on the station.  Then, after the operation costs come out, the rest of the money goes to charity.  

A "giving committee" will decide where the money goes.  This group will be made up of five local business leaders and clergy.  They will take in and assess the needs and the dole out the donations.  Some of the areas that could get donations include the Shelby County Arts Council, foster care organizations and local city schools.

The new station will sound like most other radio stations, according to cofounder Gene Rowley.  The main difference is that there won't be typical commercials.  Expect to hear details on local businesses in the format of interviews or PSAs.  The music will be "hits" from different musical genres.  In addition to a morning talk show, there will be coverage of local sporting events and Sunday worship music shows.

"I feel like I'm pushing a giant snowball off a cliff and everybody is helping me.  So we're right there on the edge," said Rowley.  "We just need a couple more sponsors and we're ordering all our equipment.  We have engineers waiting to go up the tower and put our antennae on it."

Once four more top tier partnerships are made, the station could be running in a few weeks.  Right now, the tentative launch date is July 1.

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