It's a chilly morning in downtown Burlington but "The Radiator" is heating up. DJ Lee Anderson says, "Our focus will be on promoting Vermont music."
The new radio station is low-power, just 100 Watts, broadcasting primarily to Burlington and the surrounding Chittenden County communities on 105.9, WOMM-LP.
"The Radiator" is community radio, a partnership between the local music promoters at Big Heavy World and downtown coffee shop/performance venue Radio Bean.
105.9 plays primarily Vermont music, ranging from emerging rock bands to Presbyterian choirs. Donors helped launch the non-profit station, and underwriters will keep it going, as DJs volunteer their time.
They'll talk about area public events, between songs that showcase the diversity of the music scene here. Lee Anderson said, "My hope is people will tune in and that they find their neighbors aren't that different than they are. And if they are, they figure out how they're different."
"The Radiator" is not alone. There's another new radio station dedicated to playing Vermont music, and it broadcasts to the entire world. WBKM is "Burlington's Kinda Music." It sends the tunes out over the internet.
DJ Eric Koval chuckles, "We had mail from Alaska, folks listening in Slovakia."
About one-third of this start-up's playlist is from Vermont musicians, meaning you'll hear Trey Anastasio or Grace Potter, right after Neil Young or Joni Mitchell.
Koval explains, "We like to say we're the global station because we're broadcasting globally but we're broadcasting the local vibe of our area."
That vibe even goes back decades, to bands that rocked Burlington like Pinhead and The Decentz. WBKM is attracting advertisers, and will pay royalties to musicians. That is a system web radio has worked for years to figure out.
Eric Koval beams, "I love coming to work!"
He'll keep working, to grow this new venture. His is one of two new stations with similar missions: widening the audience for local entertainers.
Both new radio stations want to hear from area musicians who would like to hear their work on-air. Just visit the websites of "The Radiator" and WBKM.