A newcomer to the Homer airwaves, KMJG has quietly been playing a steady stream of commercial-free top 40 oldies during the day and volunteer programs ranging from hip-hop to Celtic in the evenings and on weekends for more than a year now.
The radio signal, found on 88.9 of the FM dial, originates from Kasilof, where KWJG has been broadcasting since the fall of 1998. General manager Bill Glynn said the station will be increasing the strength of its Homer signal as soon as the snow melts, and hopes to have a Homer studio soon to better serve the community.
"There's a lot of interest in Homer for access" to radio airwaves, Glynn said. "We want to be a vehicle for the community, a way for the community to express themselves. It appears that there is a large pool of talent down there, and we'd be happy to give them an outlet."
The station is run by the Kasilof Public Broadcasting Corp., a nonprofit group of which Glynn is also the president. Glynn said the station receives no federal or state funding and is completely dependent on support from the community. Glynn had hoped that last week's fund drive would raise the $20,000 needed to keep the station running. Anything above and beyond would help the station expand its services to possibly include a news program and eventually build a studio in Homer.
"We didn't reach our goal, but we did better than last year," Glynn said. "During the drive, we had somewhere around $6,800 pledged. A number of people have also expressed interest in underwriting."
He said although the drive is over, the need for money still exists. People are still making donations, and Glynn said every little bit helps.
"We don't have a final tally because people are still coming in making pledges," he said. "So far, we've been able to do as much if not more than others in the market with far less money. (But) we're still going to need more money to continue to operate for another year."
In addition to funding, the station is searching for a donation of a small building in the Homer area to call home.
"It doesn't have to be big," Glynn said. "We just need a room that's fairly quiet."
Glynn said the signal for KMJG, heard in some of the Homer area, will increase in quality soon. Right now, the station's music is not in stereo, but new equipment will be installed in the coming months that will increase the signal strength significantly and put it in stereo.
Glynn said the station covers a broader base of music than commercial stations, with children's programming at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays and an expanding song list. As a local station, KMJG also offers volunteer opportunities and a local voice on the air.
"Our basic philosophy is that we think the radio needs to be a window on the community," he said. "All these stations that are satellite-fed, some of (the programming) is interesting and informative, but it's not really a window on our community."
Carey James is a reporter for the Homer News. Peninsula Clarion reporter Marcus K. Garner contributed to this story.
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