ST. PETERSBURG - Local internet radio station, Music Tampa Bay, has huge plans for their near future which includes switching over to a low power FM broadcast station in order to expand their mission in supporting local Tampa Bay artists.
Music Tampa Bay was originally launched on March 5th, 2005, with their studio operations emanated from a harbor-side home studio in Indian Rocks Beach. In September of 2006, the station relocated to it’s current facilities at the southern end of St Petersburg. Since the stations launch in 2005, Music Tampa Bay has continued to grow tremendously.
What makes Music Tampa Bay uniquely different from all other internet, Fm, and Am stations in the area is that the station only plays music from local artists. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, nothing but music from local artists, both past and present. So far, there are more than 2,500 songs by about 400 local bay area artists in the MTB music library.
Some of the artists you will hear on the station include: Diamond Gray, Deloris Telescope, Charlie Morris Band, Constance, Steve Arvey, Charlie Souza, Cope, Four Star Riot, Rebel Pride, Savii, Funky Seeds, Gary Schutt, Sweet Spot, TC Carr, Woody & The Woodtones, Jennifer Lee, Geri X, Grecian Urns, Lee Pons, Mena Brinno, Molten Mike, Michael McMagic, Mojo Gurus, North 2 South, Rebekah Pulley & The Reluctant Prophets, Sarasota Slim, Saturn Five, Strange Brew, Surfin' Racoons, and many, many more.
“We are constantly reminded that we're only just scratching the surface of the enormous pool of really great local talent in the Tampa Bay Area.” - Rick Crandall, MTB Station Owner.
Rick Crandall, MTB station owner, has devoted a lifelong career to both radio and television programing, including more than a quarter century as an on-air radio programmer. Throughout his career, Crandall has noticed one thing...
“I have observed that with rare exception, local radio simply ignores local talent.... I have found many of my colleagues simply don't grasp the idea of approaching radio in this way.” - Rick Crandall, MTB Station Owner.
Though Crandall is both excited and optimistic about the possibility of changing to FM broadcasting, the switch involves many hurdles that him and his station will have to overcome.
“The biggest hurdle has been to determine a location for a transmitter and antenna. I've entered into a partnership with John Kelly at The Hideaway Café and Recording Studio on Central Avenue in St Pete, where the main studios for the LPFM will be located. We tried very hard to get city permission to erect a modest tower on The Hideaway property, less than 100 feet in height, but the city zoning department is dead set against any new tower permits of any kind.” - Rick Crandall, MTB Station Owner.
Due to this setback, Crandall is now looking for other possible locations within the city that is suitable for erecting an FM broadcast tower.
“The best bet is a high-rise building in the area that already supports cell phone antennas on its roof top. I'm working on several possibilities right now, but so far, nothing definite.” - Rick Crandall, MTB Station Owner.
Another hurdle that Crandall will have to overcome is the FCC application process, and the limited frequency availability.
“A lot of competition is expected for the available frequencies and there is no way of knowing whether any one application will be successful.” - Rick Crandall, MTB Station Owner.
If Music Tampa Bay is successful in switching to an FM broadcast, it will mean several changes for the station in the near future. One of these changes will be the need for local on-air talent to host live, in-studio radio shows. Another change for the station will come in the form of educational programming.
“One of the requirements set by the FCC in this process, and there are many, is to serve an educational function for the local community.” - Rick Crandall, MTB Station Owner.
To meet this demand, Crandall has established relationships with Eckerd College and St. Petersburg College. After the switch, a good portion of MTB’s programming may well originate from the two college campuses, and eventually, may extend to USF, area high schools, and institutions both public and private that serve the interests of students seeking careers in music and broadcasting.
“The future never looked brighter as an internet music streaming platform... And if we are able to also add FM radio to this listening experience, who knows how far that may go.” - Rick Crandall, MTB Station Owner.
For continuous updates regarding Music Tampa Bay’s progress in their efforts to switch to FM broadcasting, visit www.musictampabay.com.
Local artists or bands who would like to submit their songs to be played on Music Tampa Bay may submit their material in one of the following ways:
- Sending an email with an audio file attachment to: email@example.com
- Mail physical media (CDs, tapes, records, etc) to PO Box 11874, St. Petersburg, FL 33733
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