Fresh Air FM - Radio Gets Fresh

Submitted by edg on Fri, 21 Jul '00 8.07am

It's only on the air waves for a month at a time, but local Edinburgh radio station Fresh Air FM has found a ready market for its funky laid-back programming that reaches beyond the university. asked Fresh Air what makes it tick and when will we be hearing it on the web.

EG: Who owns and runs Fresh Air FM?
FAFM: Fresh Air is partly owned by Mike Thornton, who built the high tech studio from scratch, and is run by income from advertising as an independent audio station. It is run by the students under a station manager, who is always a student at the University of Edinburgh. The station Manager is currently Greta Desforges-Hodgson.

EG: Can anyone become involved?
: Yes.

EG: Why is Fresh Air FM only run for short periods of time and then goes off the air?
FAFM: As a student radio station, in order to broadcast on FM, Fresh Air FM has to apply for Restricted Service Licenses from the radio Authority, which cost �10, 000 to run, including all costs. We're happy with this arrangement as it allows us time to train up new students on how to use the equipment before we go on air. Quality, rather than quantity.

EG: There are hundreds of "pirate" radio stations springing up on the web. Have you thought about putting Fresh Air FM live all the year round online?
FAFM: Yes, its something which all student radio stations are getting together and discussing in national conferences at the moment, we're just waiting to see how we're gonna go about it. There are many web sites that are interested in helping us set up, and covering the running costs. We'll see which deal suits us best.

EG: What's the hardest thing about running the station?
FAFM: Trying to get the pounds together to finance the broadcasts.

EG: Have there ever been any minor disasters?
FAFM: Naturally, quite a few. Once we got a complaint about some swearing on a rap show, which, if the radio Authority decides to fine, could cost us up to �4000, and take us off air immediately. In order to cover yourself against complaints each show has to be recorded. We had this one on tape, and sent it to the Radio Authority who came to the conclusion that the swearing was in context, THANKFULLY.

EG: What's the most satisfying aspect of being part of Fresh Air FM?
FAFM: Being part of an alternative radio station which won an award for best Scottish station last year at the Lee Radio 1 awards. It's so good to go to national Student Radio Association conferences where there are hundreds of radio stations who don't sound as good as your own, all wanting tips and advice. Fresh Air links the student population to the music scene in Edinburgh, and its good to be part of it.

Fresh Air FM airs at 87.7FM.