Milford residents, WPLR vets await FCC approval for FM launch

MILFORD — Two Connecticut radio personalities and longtime townspeople are main an effort to launch a brand new FM radio and Web station that might serve southern Connecticut and is an outgrowth of an AM radio station as soon as owned by Quinnipiac College.

Former 99.1-WPLR radio disc jockeys Pam Landry and Brian Smith, the latter previously one-half of WPLR’s well-known “Smith and Barber” radio present, are working with Steve Zion, proprietor of Wallingford’s WOW Toyota automotive dealership, to launch a station on 102.1-FM on the dealership on Route 5 within the coming months.

The hassle, which will likely be audible all through New Haven County and as distant as Stamford and accessible on-line and with an app, awaits closing approval from the Federal Communications Fee. The station already has a transmitter that has been examined, which suggests FCC approval might come at any time, Landry mentioned.

“It is imminent,” Landry mentioned.

Landry is the previous director of operations for the now-defunct business radio station WQUN, which the college owned and operated. The AM radio station went off the air on Might 31, 2019, however was restarted a 12 months later by longtime Connecticut radio man Clark Smidt as WATX-1220 AM to satisfy FCC necessities and retain the license for one more six months. It returned to the air on Might 8, 2021, and continues to be broadcasting with decreased energy, this time with Smith and Landry doing an 11 a.m. to three p.m. present on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Smith mentioned.

The brand new station will primarily be WATX additionally broadcast on FM and on the web and apps, mentioned Zion, a former radio performer at WPLR years in the past who now owns the station. He mentioned Barber and Landry are important to the success of his new effort.

“They have been the muse of WPLR at one level. They constructed this radio station,” Zion mentioned. “Brian and Pam are the very best individuals you may get collectively for an effort like this. They need to serve radio and get again to what it was for the remainder of Connecticut.”

A longtime buddy of Zion, who was often known as Z-Man on WPLR, Smith and Landry mentioned Zion is the form of entrepreneur who could make their neighborhood station work within the turbulent world of American radio, which like most different types of American communications has been bitten by the web and satellite-based efforts and apps like Sirius-XM.

“Steve Zion is de facto into all the pieces, so it is as high-tech as we would like it to be,” Smith mentioned. “If we want him, Steve will get him. He is that form of man.”

The enjoyable of the brand new station will likely be that it is going to be community-based moderately than a company initiative, Smith mentioned.

“We do not have strict tips for the way lengthy our dialog will take. We will get away with it with out having to fret a couple of three-minute restrict,” Smith mentioned.

“If an interview goes properly, it would final a very long time, so whoever talks can promote their enterprise or no matter they’re doing,” Zion mentioned. “We most likely do issues that no different radio station could be occupied with.”

“It is about attending to know the viewers and making our station one thing individuals need to take heed to,” mentioned Smith, who’s a frequent volunteer round Milford and not too long ago hosted the forty sixth annual sand sculpture contest on Walnut Seaside in Milford for the Milford Arts Council. “It is at all times a roll of the cube. The enterprise is stuffed with hits and misses. We’re simply making an attempt to do what we are able to, what we all know learn how to do.”

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