Station Governance

A clear governance structure is the key to running a successful radio station. That way everyone will know who gets to make decisions and how, who to call when your transmitter breaks, who will keep track of those thousands of donations that are pouiring in,  and how to involve new volunteers in. Some stations have a paid general manager who coordinates the most important issues at the station and other stations have decentralized committees where all people share decision making responsibiilites. You will have to figure out what is the best structure for the people involved with your station.

Educational materials

  • Organizing Your Station: Building a Station Structure: Creating a community-based low power radio station takes more than engineering expertise. It takes grassroots and political organizing. Prometheus alumni Amanda Huron gives some helpful tips on organizing your station, and getting community support for your effort.
  • WSLR Guide to Station Governance (pdf): We collaborated with the folks at WSLR-LP to produce a guide featuring descriptions of the varieties of types of station governance structures and the key elements a station needs to have.
  • LPFM Operating Budgets (pdf): Prometheus asked friends who lead four unique community radio stations around the country about the timeline for their budget planning, who is involved, and typical funding levels. This is how the pros do it.
  • Broadcasting Democracy: A set of tools for facilitators and educators who want to organize a democratically run community radio station. It is structured as an online presentation with an accompanying printable version. The tools in Broadcasting Democracy are intended to help you facilitate your group in deciding on, designing, and instituting democratic governance structures for your community radio station.

Sample resources from real community radio stations

  • Documentation from WORT-FM: WORT-FM is a great community radio station in Madison Wisconsin that broadcasts "radio programming with a human perspective -- respecting all peoples and their environments." They have a developed horizontal structure composed of different staff members and committees which you can learn about by reading their station governance guide.