Stay Tuned as Fairfield’s New Community Radio Station Towers Up

KRUU, Fairfield’s new 100-watt low power FM non-profit community public radio station, has raised its tower, thanks to the efforts of Dwight Harris and a volunteer crew, and continues to gear up for its fall broadcast launch. Located at 405 N. 2nd Street and 100.1 on your FM dial, the station will give voice to Fairfield with a mix of talk, music, entertainment and news.

“We are excited about being able to create opportunities for people to express themselves, and for all the different voices in the community to be heard,” says Steve Cooperman, who has been working with Roland Wells, Stephen Fry and James Moore to bring the station onto the air waves. A wide range of music programs, Spanish-speaking shows, youth programming, eco-topics, political commentary, movie reviews, comedy, live remotes, interview programs, call-in shows have been suggested so far—and this is just the beginning. If you have ideas for programming you’d like to host or hear, go to www.kruufm.com, or call 233-1617.

On Governor Vilsack’s visit to the site of the new civic center last month he said when he thinks of Fairfield, he thinks of creative energy. On a recent trip to Texas, he talked about eco-village and its innovative approach to the use of sustainable energy. He also praised Mayor Ed Malloy’s savvy in growing the community. After his talk, Wells and Moore presented the governor with a brand new “Join the KRUU” t-shirt explaining the station would have a “throw” of about five miles but the plan was to do internet streaming as well so that programming would be available on the worldwide web.

Because the FCC only offers public radio licenses for a week every 10 years or so, this is a rare opportunity for the community. The construction permit was attained a few years back when Wells was running the Beat Box. Eight out of nine such licenses were turned down in the state. “I heard about it with just three days to go and stayed up two nights to get the application done,” said Wells, who ran the youth center for five years. Though expired, the FCC granted a six-month extension till October 16th for KRUU to get up and running.

At present a community board of advisors is being selected. The initial leg of a fundraising campaign kicked off on July 20th when Lonnie Gamble presented a check to KRUU on behalf of the Coalition for Sustainable Living and Roger Gipple for $2000 that was doubled to $4000 with matching funds. It was presented as part of a story the Fairfield Ledger was doing on the station. Those interested in contributing may contact the website, or call 233-1617.

There is $12,000 in a pool for matching funds. All tax-deductible donations will be doubled up to that amount. A number of people have committed to become $10 to $15 a month automatic withdrawal patrons which is what listener-sponsored radio is all about. Businesses will also be able to sponsor programming in a number of different categories. Grants are being applied for as well.

“This is a dream come true,” says Moore. “The sky’s the limit on what we can accomplish here with all the talent and creativity in this community. Every day another person approaches us with a great idea. Plus there are some great community radio stations around the country we are beginning to sister up with that offer a wealth of programming possibilities--and hopefully we’ll have our own to offer them soon enough.”

The mission of KRUU is to give Fairfield a voice and strengthen the community by encouraging creativity, dialogue and community involvement. KRUU is an open, inclusive, diverse forum for music, creative expression, information, and entertainment. It is a non-commercial, non-profit, community-supported low-power radio station with a strong emphasis on locally created and produced programming.

Next weekend Moore plans to attend the 11th Annual National Grassroots Radio Conference hosted by WORT in Madison, Wisconsin, his hometown. This clearinghouse for all things grassroots radio offers workshops, the latest breakthroughs in community radio, and networking opportunities with some of the most progressive stations in the country.

“We’ve already recorded an address for broadcast by Lewis Lapham, editor of Harper’s magazine, who was recently in Des Moines,” added Moore. “Lapham said he would love to do an interview with KRUU sometime, maybe even visit the radio station.”

After a recent public town hall meeting, Lee Gobble said, “With the energy your group has, I hope you get accomplished what you’re setting out to do.”

Stay tuned! A fundraising concert/event is in the works for early September. A sampler CD of local entertainment will soon be offered as part of a thank you package for listener sponsorship.

The mission of KRUU-LP is to

The mission of KRUU-LP is to give Fairfield, Iowa, a voice and strengthen the community by encouraging creativity, dialogue and community involvement. KRUU is an inclusive, diverse forum for music, creative expression, information, and entertainment. It is a non-commercial, non-profit, 646-588 community-supported low-power radio station with a strong emphasis on locally created and produced programming.

The social impact of this project is to channel the creativity of a diverse collection of area farmers, educators, entrepreneurs, teenagers and international college students into a foundation upon which the future of this community can be built. KRUU aims to build bridges of communication and understanding throughout the community.