July 18th, 2006 5:33 pm | by MARK BAUMGARTEN Music | Posted In: Columns, News

Portland Radio Authority Reveals New Logo, Plan

PRA LogoThe Portland Radio Authority got bucked by the Federal Communication Commission for illegally broadcasting on Portland airwaves last March. But the scrappy radio station is back, with a new logo (pretty ain't it) and a new plan. New station manager Jeff Simmons says that the former pirate station is going to focus on legally streaming around the clock. So why, then, does that new logo have a broadcast tower on it? Simmons?

The new logo hopefully bridges the gap for people who still can't understand that web radio/podcasting IS radio. The means of broadcasting is simply different. We have MANY fans of the pirate broadcasts ... who REALLY miss what we did. We want them to know WE NEVER STOPPED TRANSMITTING, and we are the same PRA they know and love.

Whoa there with the caps buddy. We get it. You're excited. This is good news for the 56 DJs whose weekly two-hour shows have lost a large listenership with the loss of the broadcast signal, an event that many at the station's volunteers and listeners blame on the alleged dishonesty of one of The Oregonian's nightlife reporters, Lee Williams.

Simmons was kind enough to lay out the station's plan for Local Cut. The plan starts with the launch of the station's podcasting capabilities with an Aug. 4 show at the Towne Lounge (lineup yet to be determined). Next, the station manager will be filing for non-profit status by this fall. The station will simultaneously start working on establishing a national following and "using new income to widen our listening audience."

Before that all starts the station will be broadcasting live, for the third year in a row, from the PDX Pop Now! festival, July 28-30 at Loveland. This year, though, PRA will be legally broadcasting the all-local all-ages festival, piggybacking on Portland State University's signal at 98.3 FM. Unfortunately that signal barely reaches outside of PSU's downtown campus. Fortunately for all you mouse potatoes out there who can't drag your sorry ass out away from your computer to see a real live show with other real living people and for those of you who have to work, the broadcast will still be available on PRA's web site.

What else does Simmons have to say?

We are looking @ returning to the FM airwaves LEGALLY.

Ahhh. This is the point where I encourage all of you readers to support ideas, like Simmons', that appear to be absolutely absurd. They are not. It might be naive for Simmons to think he can reclaim even the smallest slice of space from the corporate radio industry and give it back to the public. But, to think otherwise would be to give up hope. And that's just foolish.

A nave with a vision can change the world, but a fool without hope can only change channels.

To read about PRA's scrape with the FCC and The Oregonian go here.

Portland Radio Authority: praradio.com
KPSU: kpsu.org
PDX Pop Now!: pdxpopnow.com
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