We have arrived at point where radio has lost its intended meaning. For decades, Radio was the connecting point for thousands of local communities and cities. Since the 1996 Telecomm Act, radio has turned into a corporate entity that identifies with stock holders instead of listeners. Gone are the days of independent music and information. The creation of Detroit’s Motown, Seattle and Sub Pop indie record label that opened the door for grunge and Nirvana have been long gone. The hip hop battles of East vs West and North and South have been replaced with one sterilized list, Tupac and Biggie would still be alive because radio’s voice has been muted. While corporate America has done a poor job with answering the void of delivering the music and information the local community they all are licensed too remarkably a glimmer of hope still exist.

WUVS in Muskegon, Michigan a LPFM that understands the license of serving the community. Low Power FM’s is a program started years ago by the FCC, that allowed new stations to surface and serve since the price of full powered stations sky rocketed pricing individual owners of of local markets.

Paul Billings better known as “PA” is the owner, GM, PD and on air personality that is proving a local station can thrive and serve their audience. The Beat 103.7 for me is the best radio station in the country. With a mix of music, news and information for all age demographics the rating prove that paying attention and informing your audience works. With a mere 100 watts, 103.7 The Beat is always in the top 5 in audience in a market full of big budget corporations featuring Tom Joyner on signals up to 100,000 watts.

The Mayor of Muskegon, recently called The Beat ” the heartbeat of the county”. With extensive election coverage, WUVS was the only radio station in West Michigan to stop the music for election day coverage. Amazingly station programming includes, The Judge Show with a local African American Judge, an educational show with a local school superintendent. PA has included outreach programs, that includes a Community Choir, (YES Choir) which stands for Young, Excited & Saved. The Student Mentorship Program, Scared Straight Program, Anti-Gang Message Program & Cultural Enrichment Program. The station recently launched Imara Entertainment, Imara, Swahili for Power, Persitence & Endurance, is an outreach an d anti gang initiative of WUVS 103.7 The Beat.

While most major market stations have syndication, voice tracking and little to no local news WUVS is live, local and most of all concerned.

The lesson learned in the case of WUVS, is when you take care of the audience you are license to serve good things happen. Hopefully the FCC and the corporate suits will start listening and follow the lead of “PA” on a model that truly works.

Listen here:

103.7 The Beat