BEDFORD — Joe Biedrzycki, who has more than 40 years of broadcast experience, is spearheading a plan to apply to the Federal Communications Commission for a license to operate a low-power radio station in town.
Biedrzycki and a focus group are exploring whether a low-power FM radio station could be a solution to emergency management communication, as well as an entertainment and information asset for the community.
“The residents of Bedford have a new opportunity to do something unique in a community that prides itself in being a leader and innovator in civic, cultural and educational programs,” said Biedrzycki. “An LP radio station, that could be called Bedford Community Radio, would complement existing programs in town and be a vibrant volunteer-based town effort.”
Bedford Community Radio is in the planning stages but needs the community’s support.
The FCC will open a window in October to accept applications for localized, low-power radio stations.
Biedrzycki and the focus group are seeking members of the Bedford community to join the effort. Anyone with broadcasting, technical communications, music industry or business management experience or interest, either professional or amateur, is invited to participate.
“Programming would be an eclectic, free-form blend of music styles, commentary and information, with a contemporary, and progressive, attitude, Biedrzycki said.
Residents interested in joining may email Biedrzycki at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 582-8757. The group is also seeking residents interested in hosting their own free-form radio show, if the plan is successful.
Biedrzycki said Bedford Community Radio would also be a vital tool in the event of an emergency such as the ice storm of December 2008, when the town and other communities were unable to communicate emergency information to residents. That event sparked several concerned residents to initiate a discussion into how to prevent a similar situation in the future.
“The proposed station would be, much like what BCTV has become, a full-service, non-commercial operation which, if the application is approved, would require many additional volunteers to create and present the program content to fill the airwaves 24/7, 365 days a week,” he said.
Bedford Community Radio could be beneficial to the town, the school district, emergency response personnel and would enhance community education in radio production. The FM broadcast station would reach a 10-mile radius which, based on tower placement, could effectively cover the entire Bedford community, he said.“Like with Public Access Television, the door is wide open to ideas and contributions from the general public of all ages in Bedford,” he said.