JANESVILLE — A community radio club wants to buy the building where it is producing Internet shows, a move its president said would put it one step closer to an FM launch next year.
If the Janesville Community Radio Podcasters Club is successful in its transition from renter to landlord, it does not plan to change the business model of the building at 321 E. Milwaukee St.
Last July, Scott Story opened the downtown Janesville office building as a community business and meeting center to help small businesses get off the ground.
The radio club is renting space in the basement.
Story renovated the building and opened My Office-Jvl to appeal to home-based businesses, employers and out-of-town lawyers conducting off-site interviews, students looking for a quiet place to study or work and small groups needing a spot to meet.
Story, however, appears to have left the business. He could not be reached for comment Thursday or Friday.
Story’s LinkedIn account indicates he left the business in April and started a job in May as an Iowa-based sales representative.
“We plan to keep the concept, because we think it’s a really good one,” said Yuri Rashkin, president of the radio club’s board. “It will also help us finance the purchase of the building.”
Rashkin said Story was buying the building on a land contract with Edgerton attorney Jeff Roethe, who formerly had an office in the building.
“We are in the process of looking at our options and trying to buy the building, whether it’s an extension of the land contract, a mortgage or something else,” Rashkin said.
With help from the United Arts Alliance, the club secured a license to operate a low-power FM broadcasting station.
The FCC created low-power FM radio service in 2000. It is authorized for noncommercial educational broadcasting only and carries an effective service range of about 3.5 miles.
Rashkin said the application required a nonprofit organization, and the arts alliance signed on in support.
The license requires low-power stations to broadcast at least eight hours a day on weekdays.
That’s why the club is working now to establish its content and technological procedures, Rashkin said.
The station is now dubbed WJCR, with the JCR representing Janesville Community Radio. When it launches, it will be at 103.5 on the FM dial.
It will need a broadcast tower that Rashkin said likely would be about 30-feet tall in the back of the building.
He said the club is generating some advertising revenue from its Internet broadcasting, website and social media services. It also plans to raise money through grants and creative community events, he said.
“The real key for us to make this a long-term success for the community is to control our costs and keep it volunteer-based,” he said. “The board believes that buying the building would help us with revenue and allow us to control our own destiny.”
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