A Historic Opportunity to Start a Radio Station


The airwaves are opening for one week on November 1, 2023!

This is a rare opportunity to grab a slice of the FM dial for communities of color, workers, women, immigrants, LGBTQ, and progressive voices.

Nonprofit groups will have a chance to apply for free FM radio licenses, especially in places which are not near big cities. Prometheus Radio Project is supporting groups to apply for licenses and get on the air.

Resources to get on the air and learn more

Email Updates - This email list is the primary way we connect with applicant groups, allies, and supporters.

Group Profile - If you want Prometheus to support your group to apply, make sure that you complete the Group Profile throroughly and asap!

Channel Availability Want to build a station in your town? What if we had a progressive community radio station in every town? You can use RFree to check your spot.

Support - Check out the comprehensive list of services that Prometheus provides, including webinars and trainings.

Station Profiles - Learn about low power FM stations that already exist from Hawaii to Maine, and how they impact their communities.

The Power of Community Radio

Low power FM community radio stations are locally owned and operated. They've proven to be powerful organizing tools for exposing government corruption, cleaning up toxic waste, winning better working conditions, and promoting local arts and culture. Community radio provides a platform for youth voices and leadership development. These stations can be streamed online and integrated with new technologies to have a global reach. In a time of deep cuts for local news departments and public spaces, community radio can fill many important needs. Read station profiles of groups we've helped get on the air.

90% of Americans listen to radio regularly. The licenses becoming available could reach millions of listeners, with a single station in an urban area possibly reaching over a hundred thousand people. In larger cities the application process for these licenses will be highly competetive, whereas rural areas will have widespread availability. What if every state capitol had a progressive radio station? What if your city had stations broadcasting in multiple languages to reach diverse communities? How about if students from your local high school had a station nearby where they could host a regular youth show to address issues facing young people, and also share their poetry?

The future of radio depends on what kinds of groups apply for these licenses. We believe that community radio is a powerful tool for social justice, progressive, and multi-lingual organizing, as well as amplifying great local artists. This is a chance for those who have been excluded from the mainstream media - and those who have been historically demonized by the media - to own the airwaves.

Media Consolidation

Most of the media we see and hear, including television, radio, books, billboards, and magazines are owned and controlled by a handful of corporations, like Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which owns Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and Twentieth Century Fox. When it comes to radio, Clear Channel is by far the biggest owner of radio stations in the U.S. They own over 850 stations nationwide, plus billboards, entertainment venues, and more! Maybe that's why you hear the same songs, artists, and commercials over and over? It's no wonder Rush Limbaugh has the most listened to talk radio show, a mouthpiece for conservative ideas. Radio has long been a valuable strategic tool of corporations and the conservative right to build popular support for repressive policies, like anti-union, anti-choice, and anti-immigrant laws sweeping the U.S. It's no coincidence that Clear Channel is owned by Mitt Romney's Bain Capital.

Now, as our communities face deep economic and social challenges, this unprecedented expansion of community radio offers a powerful tool for the grassroots to communicate and organize. Prometheus is supporting hundreds of social justice groups and historically marginalized communities to build a new wave of people-powered multimedia radio stations.

Prometheus offers free support, including:

  • Regular updates on the steps to apply
  • Support filing the application
  • Connections to other groups in your area
  • Connecting with existing stations to get answers
  • Referrals for engineers and lawyers as needed
  • Tools to start making media now