A new radio station managed by Encinal Jr. & Sr. High School (EJSHS) students will go live for the first time Monday, March 6, at 7 am. The station, KJTZ FM-LP 96.1, will feature a live interview with Superintendent Sean McPhetridge at 7:45 am and a ribbon cutting with the superintendent and Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer at 8 am.
The station is part of EJSH’s new Career Technical Education program in media. Beginning Monday, students in the program’s Radio Broadcast Journalism class will feature news, interviews, music, and Central Avenue traffic reports weekdays 7 am – 11 am.
A Community Partnership
The launch on Monday marks the final step in a long journey that Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) began six years ago when the district partnered with Alameda Community Radio (ACR) to apply for FCC licenses to jointly use 96.1 FM for low-powered FM stations (along with a third partner, Poor Magazine). Under the agreement, AUSD provided the studios and ACR provided the transmitter and antenna, which just last month were erected on top of the Masonic Temple in downtown Alameda with generous grants from Alameda Rotary and the Alameda Community Fund.
"AUSD is very grateful for the community partnership and staff leadership that envisioned and built this new Career Technical Education pathway,” McPhetridge says. “It will not only benefit Encinal Junior and Senior High School but also the Alameda community writ large. We are excited that more AUSD students and the public will be having hands-on broadcast journalism and media engineering opportunities to prepare them for college and career while simultaneously improving media access to the local community."
State-of-the-art radio studios, funded with Career Technical Education grants, have been built at the school, and “the students are raring to go,” says Encinal teacher Kevin Gorham, a radio broadcast veteran with a 20-year career in the industry who is overseeing the program. “They’ve learned how to use the technology and how to develop programming. The next step is going live.”
A Local Opportunity
Members of Alameda Community Radio (ACR) will use the studios to operate KACR-LP (also 96.1 FM) when KJTZ FM-LP is not on the air. Notes Peter Franck, a long-time radio activist and chair of the ACR Board of Directors, “ACR is proud of its partnership with AUSD and is excited to be bringing local radio back to Alameda. And we’re excited to invite Alameda residents to get involved with this new station.”
For more information about KJTZ, contact Kevin Gorham at email@example.com or 510-387-5406. For more information about Alameda Community Radio, contact Peter Franck at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-788-1009.
Photo Credits: Eric Fonstein and Felicia Vargas