|FCC Permit, Page 1|
The permit, FCC file number BNPL-20131114ARG, was granted on January 20, 2015. MMF received notification of the approval on the 26th. The permit allows 18 months, until July 20, 2016, to have the station operational. MMF officials have set the goal of being on the air one year from the date of notification, January 26, 2016.
|FCC Permit, Page 2|
They won the permit over evangelical churches and applicants who would have broadcast a Spanish language station. In a mission statement filed with their application, MMF said:
|MMF Press Release|
The low power station will broadcast at 22 watts, 207 feet above the ground. According to a blogger who knows more about these details than I do, a modern car radio should be able to receive the signal twelve miles away. A mapping tool places that as far as I-435, including northeast Johnson County, on the West; Independence and Raytown on the East; Highway 50 on the South; and Highway 152, including Parkville, Gladstone and Zona Rosa, on the North.
|Tower Placement, Page 1|
The Mutual Musician’s Foundation’s weekend overnight jam sessions remain an unreplicated Kansas City treasure. It’s a National Historic Landmark. Along with the Paseo YMCA (where the charter officially creating the Negro baseball leagues was signed) and Harry Truman’s home, the Foundation stands one of this area’s most historic structures. They’re approaching their hundredth anniversary. Local 627, Kansas City’s Black musician union from which MMF evolved, was founded in 1917.
|Tower Placement, Page 2|
They complain of being under recognized, noting highway signs directing visitors to the American Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Museum, but not to the Foundation. But those signs are earned by what an institution has done lately, not by being around for a hundred years. And outside of the jams and their Saturday youth education program, the Foundation has not been known for its successes.
Here’s an example. Last June, the Foundation sponsored a blogger’s summit, including a tour through the area of Kansas City where Black residents could live when jazz flourished. It was fascinating history. But transportation was an old church van with a cracked windshield. Two would-be participants left rather than ride in it. A couple months later, as part of the Parker celebration, the American Jazz Museum sponsored a tour of Kansas City sites associated with Charlie Parker. This tour carried guests aboard a comfortable and sold out trolley.
Professionalism wins highway signs.
The announcement of MMF winning the FCC permit has been greeted by both congratulations and skepticism. One journalist told me he would believe they’re operating a radio station when it’s been on the air for three years. Yet, this is an opportunity that can change perceptions. With the possibility of eventually broadcasting jazz 24 hours a day on the air from Overland Park to Parkville, and worldwide on the Web, the Mutual Musicians Foundation has the chance to build a voice nobody else in Kansas City jazz can match or ignore. But, while a shake-down period is inevitable, by the time of the Foundation’s hundredth anniversary, KOJH-LP cannot be sounding like the equivalent of an old van with a cracked windshield.
The Foundation has taken on a terrific challenge with terrific potential. A good start to building KOJH-LP success might include not putting out any more press releases with the wrong location on the FM dial.