WQRZ-LP
CityBay Saint Louis, Mississippi
Broadcast areaBay St. Louis, Mississippi
Frequency103.5 MHz
Programming
FormatVariety / Public Radio
Ownership
OwnerHancock County Amateur Radio Association, Inc.
History
Call sign meaning
Amateur radio Q Code: "Who is calling me?"
Technical information
Facility ID126435
ClassL1
ERP100 watts
HAAT27.8 meters (91 ft)
Transmitter coordinates
30°18′40″N 89°24′14″W / 30.31111°N 89.40389°W / 30.31111; -89.40389Coordinates: 30°18′40″N 89°24′14″W / 30.31111°N 89.40389°W / 30.31111; -89.40389
Repeater(s)WQRG 96.3 Diamondhead
Links
WebsiteWQRZ Community Radio

WQRZ-LP (103.5 FM) is non-commercial low-power FM community radio station licensed to Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, United States. The station is currently owned by the Hancock County Amateur Radio Association.[1][2]

History

On August 14, 2001 Brice Phillips (KB5MPW), President of the Hancock County Amateur Radio Association, was granted a construction permit to build the first solar powered LPFM Broadcast Station, which combined Broadcasting with Amateur radio. WQRZ-LP signed on the air January 29, 2003.

Hurricane Katrina

Brice Phillips of WQRZ-LP in his home studio in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, February 2006 (FEMA photograph).
Brice Phillips of WQRZ-LP in his home studio in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, February 2006 (FEMA photograph).

On August 27, 2005 Brice Phillips moved WQRZ-LP to the Hancock County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in advance of Hurricane Katrina. WQRZ-LP was one of the 4 out of 41 Broadcast Stations that survived Katrina, the only station at Ground Zero.[3] After Katrina the Federal Communications Commission allowed WQRZ to increase their power from 100 watts to 4000 watts under special temporary authority, another first in history. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) distributed 3,500 FM radios so survivors could tune into WQRZ-LP to listen to information directly from the EOC.

WQRZ-LP was the first Broadcast Radio First Responder which earned American Radio Relay League Member Brice Philips the Small Business Administration's Phoenix Award, for "Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery by a Volunteer".[4] In 2007, WQRZ-LP became the host to the first progressive radio show to air regularly on a terrestrial station in Mississippi, which was “Unreported News Radio Show”, hosted by Herbert "Sarge" Phelps.

The future

WQRZ-LP operated out of the Hancock County EOC from August 27, 2005 until November 30, 2007. The future is unclear for WQRZ as they have not received any public assistance from FEMA. WQRZ-LP remains the only local 24-hour Emergency Alert System station in Hancock County.[citation needed]

See also

References

  1. ^ "WQRZ-LP Facility Record". United States Federal Communications Commission, audio division.
  2. ^ "WQRZ-LP Station Information Profile". Arbitron.
  3. ^ Howley, Kevin, ed. (2010). Understanding Community Media. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-4129-5904-9.
  4. ^ Jackson, Bill Minor (September 6, 2007). "This little radio station saved lives". Sun Herald. pp. C2.