Low Power to the People
WGOT 94.7 Low Power FM is on the air
Barry Sawicki
January 2008

The Civic Media Center’s radio station is now on the air. It is called WGOT, and it airs an average of eight hours a day. With a broadcast radius that covers all of Gainesville and beyond, WGOT finally has a community radio station broadcasting Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now, Pacifica Radio affiliate station programming, and locally produced content. Due to FCC and congressional requirements, it shares the signal with two other local church groups, which is why familiarity with the schedule is so important. http://www.wgot.org/calendar/

The schedule breaks down as follows. We broadcast from 1 to 4pm everyday so that NPR listeners can have something to tune in to after their noontime program and before the evening news. We also have nights beginning at 7pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and our Saturday afternoon programming extends to 8pm.

We have chosen to make Democracy Now our flagship program and air it twice a day, from 1 to 2pm and 7 to 8pm on weekdays. We believe that this is the best program on radio due to its clear and direct perspective, the depth and breadth of its content, the range of guests, and Amy Goodman’s compelling interviews. It is the only program that looks behind the curtain of American democracy, foreign policy, and international affairs.

We also air great programs from the Pacifica Network. In joining Pacifica we have access to all the programs made by all other network affiliates, which means we get shows like Building Bridges—a program about Human Rights and Labor issues—and Sierra Club Radio.

Most importantly, we air locally made programs by the citizens of Gainesville. Long-running alternative literary magazine Counter Poise has a program at 2pm on Monday and Saturday and 8pm on Wednesdays. Our program director, Fred, has a news talk show called Stripped at 8pm on Mondays. On the weekends there are public affairs shows like Controversy, Sweetwater Presents and No Gods No Monsters. We also have music programs featuring genres and styles you will not hear on your regular Gainesville FM dial, such as Musical Mosaic and Backseat Vinyl Uncomfortable from 10 to midnight on Monday. We also have contemporary Hip-hop and R&B on the Crates with Kamau from 10 to midnight on Wednesday and real, honest indie rock on Licks from the Orange from 10 to midnight on Friday. This is just to name a few of our exciting new shows.

Eight years after the FCC bowed to the pressure of citizens opposed to media deregulation and allowed the creation of Low Power FM stations, WGOT, the first station of its kind, goes on the air. The Civic Media Center is a member of the first community group to successfully comply with the overwhelmingly restrictive rules erected by the congress and the FCC to impede Low Power FM. Out of thousands of applicants, the Civic Media Center is part of the first shared Low Power FM station, the first new community station in an urban area to go on the air in decades. We are breaking new ground.

This has been a very complex technical and regulatory struggle, and there are many people to thank. Bill Bryson, Sheila Bishop, Joe Courter, Charles Willett, Joan Froede, Barry MacGrill, Nick Schroeder, and Peter Tredish all made serious commitments of time and skills at various times throughout the project. Fred Sowder, Ed Porras, Adam Reinhart, Steve Schell, and Kyle MacGrill have been involved for years now and found really creative ways of completing the technical and organization issues that confronted us in the final stages over the last few months.

Now that those pressures have taken a back seat, it is time for you to get involved. First of all we need your financial support. We started this project because of an overwhelming demand from the community to have real radio that responds to the citizens. We have done our part. You can do yours by sending checks made out to WGOT to the Civic Media Center’s address 1021 W. University Ave. in Gainesville, 32601. Also, look for upcoming events to benefit WGOT by listening to the station and by visiting our website WGOT.org.

Also, we need programs. We have a dedicated crew of programmers turning out great programs every week. We are aware though that we have not yet heard from many of you, and we want to hear your voice on the radio just as much as we like to hear our own. We will give you the airwaves, and we will even train you to make the programming you want to make. If you’d like to get involved you can contact us at

Get involved any way that you can; this is your radio station. Low Power to the People!

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