UPDATE on WRLR 98.3 FM Geo Awards

WRLR 98.3 Announces Two Long-time LPFM Advocate Organizations’s Founders as Recipients of the 2013 Geo Award

WRLR 98.3 FM
WRLR 98.3 FM

The 4th Annual Geo Awards will be held this Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 6 PM at the Round Lake Beach Cultural and Civic Center, located at 2007 Civic Center Way in Round Lake Beach.   Each year WRLR 98.3 holds this event to honor the people and organizations that have contributed their time, effort and financial support to keep the community station operating.

The station announced today that two of the six recipients of this year’s Geo Award are from out of state and are longtime leaders in the advocacy for Low Power FM (LPFM) radio.

Pete Tridish, founder of the Prometheus Radio Project will be recognized this Saturday for his years of work leading ultimately to the Federal government establishing a community radio class license. This is the very type of license WRLR operates under.

Prometheus builds participatory radio as a tool for social justice and community expression. For more than a decade, using Pete Tridish – “petri dish” – as his nom de guerre (formerly Dylan Wrynn), Pete fought to establish a more just media system so that grassroots organizations could build communications infrastructure to strengthen their communities and movements. In 1997, he co-founded Radio Mutiny, a pirate station whose two years on the dial helped bring “low power” to the people. In 2011, largely because of the efforts of Tridish and the organization he created, the FCC granted licenses for up to 3,000 new low-power FM stations nationally. Tridish is a trained radio engineer who also has worked as a carpenter, solar-energy system installer, and a volunteer at a homeless shelter. He helped build stations across the United States, Guatemala, Colombia, Nepal, Tanzania, and Jordan.

This past June Tridish was awarded The Horace Mann Award, which recognizes a contribution by alumni of Antioch College in Philadelphia who have “won some victory for humanity,” following Horace Mann’s advice to the graduating class of 1859.  Nominees are persons, or groups of persons, whose personal or professional activities have had a profound effect on the present or future human condition. Mann was the first president of Antioch College.

His own website sums Pete up: “Radio Engineer. Policy Advocate. Troublemaker…”

Also a 2013 Geo Award winner is Michelle Eyre of the REC Network. Like Tridish, starting in 1999 Eyre and her organization, based in Maryland, started becoming very politically active in the movement to legalize a new broadcast service that would allow community organizations to operate their own FM stations.

REC provided database support that allowed LPFM applicants to communicate with each other in an effort to reduce the number of competing applications. REC also used the power of the pen to help fight off an attempt by a major religious broadcaster from being able to expand satellite fed translators into the commercial FM broadcast band precluding the LPFM stations. Eyre’s deep expertise and understanding of complicated FCC broadcast databases and the tools she developed to provide simplified, intuitive web assessable tools helped countless LPFM applicants in the quest to obtain community radio licenses.

 “Both Tridish, Eyre and their respective organizations provided tremendous support to WRLR, and numerous others, with their free advice, information, and tools that allowed WRLR to research and successfully apply for a radio license,” said station president and founder Bish Krywko. “Without them I do believe we would not be on the air today.”

The station’s top award, the Geo Award, is named after the late Senator Adeline Geo-Karis who was well known in Lake County as “Geo”. She was an early supporter of the station and helped it obtain funding to acquire broadcast equipment.

Additional award categories vary from year to year and have included quality programming produced in a consistent manner, recognition of volunteers who have given consistent service hours and always have the best interests of WRLR at heart, others who go out of their way to promote WRLR in the community.  WRLR also recognizes the generosity of numerous businesses or organizations with the “Outstanding Sponsors” award, for their belief in the station’s mission to serve the communication needs of local residents, and their role in keeping the station on the air another year through either funding or service donations.

WRLR 98.3 FM is a community radio station based in Round Lake Heights, Illinois (approximately 50 miles northwest of Chicago). It has been on the air since 2005 and is run completely by over 60 volunteers. More than 35 different programs are produced locally. The station is Arbitron monitored and reaches a potential listening audience of more than 250,000 people throughout central and western Lake County, and parts of McHenry and Kenosha counties. WRLR 98.3 FM is an IRS recognized 501 (c)3 non-profit organization

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