KLBP 99.1 FM, the second radio station to be based in Long Beach, held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new studio in downtown Long Beach Friday, Feb. 28.
The studio is located below street level, underneath Shannon’s On Pine Irish Pub & Sports Bar.
The only other radio station to be based in Long Beach is run by Cal State Long Beach’s college news organization, 22 West Media.
When the radio station first began it was difficult for its board of directors to find the funding needed. A grant from the Long Beach Community Foundation eventually helped KLBP afford the antenna equipment necessary for broadcasting.
“This is a very historical day for all of us because as we look out into the news landscape, as we look at news information that’s available, it’s really what moves the city. It’s what encourages people to be engaged in what’s going on,” Long Beach Community Foundation President and CEO Marcelle Epley said. “But what’s really different about the radio station is that there’s a two way dialogue, so we can start to have a conversation about issues that are going on and and start to work towards solutions interactively.”
KLBP’s radio tower is located at the Port of Long Beach, after Dana Buchanan, a member of the station’s Advisory Council, reached out to the port’s Communications Division for help finding a location.
The station is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization staffed entirely by volunteers. At the ribbon cutting ceremony, KLBP President Ashley Aguirre told the story of how Rose Lozon became the station’s current programing director, to illustrate the importance of volunteers at the organization. Lozon began volunteering at the radio station in an effort to stay active after a traumatic brain injury left her unable to work full time.
“When we were building this platform,” Aguirre told the crowd, “this […] was for Rose and all the people in our community who will get to benefit from this platform whether it is through healing [or] whether it’s through learning a new skill–– it’s here for you. This station is for you. That’s the biggest thing, that it isn’t a license that’s owned by a big commercial entity. It is entrusted into the public good through our nonprofit.”
To learn more about volunteering at KLBP, or to submit an idea for a radio show visit the station’s website.