Encinal High Joins Radio Station Effort

Dennis Evanosky  Encinal High School students gather in their brand-new radio studio. They plan to begin broadcasting a live news program and other content in November.

Encinal High Joins Radio Station Effort


Alameda Community Radio (ACR) and Encinal High School are teaming up to produce a new radio station in Alameda. KACR-LP, a low power radio station for Alameda listeners, will be on 96.1 FM starting later this fall. 

The two entities have agreed to share studio space and a local transmitter. The new radio station has been in the development stages for many years, according to Kevin Gorham, who heads Encinal’s broadcast training program and has been working with Alameda Community Radio to set up the new radio station. Gorham said he has envisioned bringing a radio station to Encinal since he began teaching at Encinal five years ago.

“I spent 20 years doing morning radio,” said Gorham. “It has always been my dream to teach radio production to young people.”

The shared radio station will be housed on the Encinal campus, according to Gorham. 

“It is a full radio and film production studio. There are two studios, one for live radio production and the other for recorded content. There is also a classroom, television production space and a green screen at the facility.”

Encinal’s portion of the programing will be created by students in the Encinal broadcast training program, with adults there just to supervise. “There are 49 students in the program,” said Gorham. “The students will be fully responsible for the programming on the air.”

Encinal and ACR will create similar content, but Encinal will involve more youth-based programming. ACR said its programing will include music, community news and issues, interviews, poetry, literature, the visual arts, local sports and local history. Though Encinal’s programming details are not set, Gorham said the students have talked about doing sports, local news and possibly a show about important issues discussed on the Encinal campus. 

Encinal will produce five hours of content a day from 6 to 11 a.m. Encinal will produce a live news program from 7 to 9 a.m. that will include local and national news, traffic updates, weather forecasts and newsworthy topics on campus. The other three hours of programming will be recorded content, according to Gorham.

Encinal and ACR came together to better their chances at obtaining a local radio license to create the station. Congress passed the Local Community Radio Act (LCRA) in 2010, which President Obama signed, after years of effort by media activists. It opened a one-time historic application window for nonprofits and community organizations to request low-power radio licenses. ACR, an internet-based radio station at the time, and Encinal applied for separate bids to obtain the 96.1 frequency. They were also competing with four other radio entities, according to radiosavior.com. Part of ARC’s mission statement goals is to provide a forum for students and faculty of schools so the partnership made sense for both sides. After working together the two sides obtained the license for the 96.1 frequency in 2014.  

Gorham said the station should be up and running sometime in November. Because this is a low-power radio station, it will only be heard in Alameda. The Alameda Unified School District will finance Encinal’s portion of the radio station. KACR, by contrast, is solely dependent on contributions from the Alameda community. To donate or for more information on KARC, visit http://alamedacommunityradio.org.