Longview 'pirate' radio station shifts to online venue

2012-10-31T19:55:00Z 2012-11-02T15:25:13Z Longview 'pirate' radio station shifts to online venueBy Tom Paulu / The Daily News Longview Daily News
October 31, 2012 7:55 pm  • 

KRAP radio has been flushed away, though its manager hopes to get the station’s hard-rock music flowing again.

Two years ago, David Tedder of Longview started the low-power “pirate” station, which broadcast on 107.9 FM.

He decided to turn the station off Monday after getting a visit from Binh Nguyen, the Federal Communications Commission agent in the Portland office, who reminded him he couldn’t operate without a license.

Tedder, 33, whose radio name is Mr. E, said he started KRAP to fill the void left when Portland hard-rock station KUFO switched formats.

“I do all the programming,” Tedder said earlier this month while he was still on the air. He mixed local and national bands, something no other radio station was doing. “Local bands like to hear their stuff next to Metallica,” he said. “I just play a lttle bit harder music than mainstream.”

Tedder said he had cleaned up his on-air language, though some of the local bands’ lyrics might push FCC limits.

“We play unedited music,” Tedder said. “It’s uncensored. But metal singers don’t cuss as bad as rap, and if they do you can’t understand it.”

Nguyen said the language of KRAP songs wasn’t the issue, but the station’s lack of an FCC license violated federal law.

KRAP, also known as “Radioactive Rock,” was broadcasting with the relatively low power of 15 watts, Tedder said. (By comparison, KRQT broadcasts with 800 watts and KLYK has 3,000 watts.)

However, the maximum power an unlicensed station can have is way less than one watt, Nguyen said.

Nguyen said his signal-seeking equipment led him right to KRAP’s antenna, which is on Mount Solo.

The main reason the FCC requires radio stations to be licensed is so that they don’t interfere with the signals of other stations on the same or nearby frequencies.

Tedder said his signal was so weak that it didn’t carry into buildings, so most of his listeners heard him on car radios. The signal went as far as Kalama and Castle Rock, he said. He operated the station out of his Longview home.

The nearest station with the same frequency, Hope 107.9, is a Christian broadcaster in Albany, Ore.,

Nguyen said the FCC received a complaint about KRAP, though the agency can’t reveal who it was as long as the case is open.

KRAP’s website also attracted the attention of FCC investigators, Nguyen said. “We know that there are many types of these stations but they go underground. But this guy has a website.”

Pirate radio stations aren’t uncommon. “I’ve been with the commission 23 years,” Nguyen said. “I’ve done about 1,000 cases.”

Tedder said he could have passed KRAP off to someone else and kept the FCC searching for the new pirate operator, but “I don’t want to go that route.”

Instead, he plans to apply for an FCC low-power license “as soon as the community will allow me,” thanks to donations. He estimated the cost at $10,000.

Such a license would allow him to broadcast with up to 100 watts if a frequency is available, Nguyen said.

Meanwhile, Tedder plans to keep the music coming online at KRAP1079FM.com.

Copyright 2016 Longview Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) Comments

  1. Grazzlesticks
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    Grazzlesticks - November 01, 2012 10:02 pm
    hmm, Let me think about it... illegally broadcasting semi-vulgar music and now our support is needed to make it legal all because you got caught?.......no thanks
  2. MrEnigma
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    MrEnigma - November 02, 2012 3:28 pm
    I see some one does not like there freedom of speech much. Thats ok Mr. or Ms. Prude...its not the support of the old way thinkers im wanting, Its your children and grandchildren that I want. After all they are in their late 50's to mid 20's and out number you 8-1.remember this. We also like rock and roll...and I remember quite a few bands/songs from "the old'n days" that cursed more than you think. KRQT plays AC/DC Highway to heck ..nasareth Hair of the dog-. and more!
  3. MrEnigma
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    MrEnigma - November 02, 2012 3:33 pm
    and its not that "I got caught", I did this out in the open with everyone knowing where i was and what i was doing. did you know there is no hard rock from so cal all the way to seatac! I filled that void while at the same time playing local artists. does anyone else even try to do that? I gave away ad time for businesses that needed the help. toy drives. food drives. coat drives. the last thing you drove was you car. whos the bad guy. ask the kids.
  4. MrEnigma
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    MrEnigma - November 02, 2012 4:07 pm
    ok delete my comments...
  5. ladyspitfirerokoutradio
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    ladyspitfirerokoutradio - November 02, 2012 6:03 pm
    First of all, I think that this is completely bs. there is no avenue for local music. the guy is a great person. Grazzlesticks. Shut up what do you know about anything? nothing. i am supporting MrEnigma. There is nothing wrong with what he was doing. the fact that whomever complained had nothing better to do with themselves will always happen. So just take it to the internet get commerically licensed. Case closed.

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