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New radio station coming

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If you’re one of the many Mora area residents who misses listening to local radio, fear not: there’s something new on the horizon.

After working for the past seven years, a local group known as the Lakes Media Foundation is finally reaching the home stretch in building their new FM station. Located near Mora, the station will provide service to those in and around Mora, Ogilvie, and Braham, along with fringe coverage in places like Pine City and Cambridge. Live online streaming will also be available.

The station will carry lots of live, local programming; and will feature a variety of experienced local personalities – among them longtime KBEK midday host “Rockin’ Robin” Riley.

Still, listeners shouldn’t expect a KBEK sound-alike. Foundation representatives stress that, while there may be a few similarities, this new station’s sound will be much different from the recently silenced Mora station.

As a nonprofit operation, the station won’t take advertising. Instead, they’ll air two to three minutes of “sponsor recognition messages” per hour. Much like public radio and TV stations, these messages will identify and thank the station’s sponsors (many of which are anticipated to be local businesses), and let listeners know pertinent information about the sponsor, such as what they offer and how to reach them.

To ensure a superior listening experience, countless hours have been spent in creating a top-notch facility and format for this new station. Construction on both the studios and transmitter site are currently underway. If all goes according to plan, the station should be able to sign on sometime this August.

Thanks to the generosity of other broadcasters and several local donors, the station has received a significant amount of its equipment free of charge. Much of the remainder has been financed by a no-interest loan provided by one of the Foundation’s directors. Local contractors have also been supporting the project by providing their services at reduced cost (or free, in some cases).

Of course, one big question remains unanswered: what will the format be? According to the Foundation, “it’s a surprise” – and it won’t be revealed until the station launches. Until then, the only official details offered claim that “it will be a mass-appeal music format, presented by local personalities and having a strong emphasis on responsiveness to the local area.”

A number of community leaders, including the mayor of Mora, the superintendent of Mora Public Schools, and the director of the Mora Area Chamber of Commerce, have formally expressed their support for this new station. You can show your support – and keep up with its progress – by “liking” the project on Facebook. More information is also available at the Lakes Media Foundation website.

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