Westport’s new community radio station, West Coast FM, is set to extend from the internet onto the national airwaves from October 1 next when it will be given its own slot on the FM radio band. This will mean that local people will soon be able to listen on their radios to news, sport, entertainment, music and chat taking place in the West Coast FM studios at the Courtyard in James Street, and tune in to what’s going on where and who’s doing what in the town.
To date, West Coast FM has garnered a following of over 3,000 listeners via the internet. However, it is expected to make a real impact on the community once it goes ‘live’ from October, when it will be so much easier for everyone to tune in.
At the moment, West Coast FM broadcasts over the weekends offering a range of programmes including a one -hour news show, a one-hour sports show, two hours of ‘Covey’ chat, two-hours of girlie chat, as well as jazz, blues, popular and chart music.
With the new Autumn schedule it is planned to introduce additional shows on business, politics, the Arts and more, and suggestions from the public are now invited while volunteers wishing to present their own shows are asked to make contact with the station.
Prior to the official launch of Westport community radio on the FM frequency next month, the voluntary team behind the project is tasked with raising €1,500 in order to get its licence from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. West Coast FM is extremely grateful to the public for the support it has received to date, particularly in relation to its most recent bucket-collection at Tesco, but must now make a fresh appeal to the Westport community to help raise the necessary funds for the licence.
The community radio station is also appealing directly to individuals and business people in the town, who may like to get involved in the station by sponsoring programmes in the schedule.
“We are offering excellent rates to all sponsors, whose names and businesses will be mentioned at the top of the sponsored programme each week,” said chief organiser Stephen O’Brien, who has led a team volunteers a number of years to take the project so far.
“It would be a shame after so much endeavour and voluntary effort to see Westport’s first ever community radio station fall by the wayside due to a funding shortage.”
West Coast FM acknowledges the €10,000 gratefully received from Westport Town Council which has helped keep the station afloat to date and looks forward to the fulfilment of funding commitments from Leader through the South West Development Board.
West Coast FM is an equal rights organisation and opportunities are open to all in the community interested in working in radio or radio presenting.
Stephen O’Brien, who is also the Manager of West Coast FM is the point of contact at the radio station and works from the studio on a full-time, voluntary basis. Please feel free to call in to Stephen at West Coast FM and take a tour of the lovely new studio, situated in the Courtyard at the lower end of the James Street car-park. Alternatively call 098 24000 or log on to westcoastfm.com.