By Roger Ball
What was once a dream is now a reality.
Five years ago the Recreation Centers of Sun City West chartered a new organization: The Broadcast Club.
In August, the club will commemorate its first full year of providing 24-hour programming simultaneously both on the air (103.1) and online (www.suncitywestradio.com). Now the club is looking forward to the next phase: videos.
Fund raising chairman Mark Johnson said that the format would be limited at first. The plan would be to air some limited programming on Cox Channel 11, which is currently being used exclusively by the City of Surprise.
The station’s official name from the Federal Communications Commission is KSCW-LP. The “LP” designation means it operates at a much lower power than regular broadcast stations. Its current over the air coverage area includes Sun City West, Corte Bella, Sun City Grand, Sun City, and parts of Surprise, Peoria and El Mirage.
Mr. Johnson also said the club actively solicits financial support from viewers and businesses, but it is operated entirely by volunteers and has no commercial announcements.
The programming is geared for the retirement communities it serves. Most of the weekdays the music is “Golden Oldies” with “Classic Rock” in the evenings.
KSCW-LP also produces many of its own shows ranging from golf to community discussions to Sinatra music to humorous discussions to cowboy music to health.
Many people have contributed to the station to help keep it going. Often those contributions have programming suggestions or comments. Duane Treiber of Sun City Grand said, “Gold oldies is good, hard rock not so good,” along with his contribution.
A few of the volunteers running the station have a background in broadcasting, but many, like Linda Marek, got involved serendipitously.
“I just wanted to see what was there one day, and someone said to me, ‘you have a great radio voice’, and then I started writing and recording, and I love it,” Ms. Marek said.
She produces a weekly radio show called “Tributes,” which features different musical genres each Sunday and Wednesday. The third week of each month she profiles an old-time radio show.
Ms. Marek is also the club historian.
Club members enjoy listening to the station online while they travel. Member Larry Anderson report-ed he listened while visiting Moscow, Russia, and Mr. Johnson listened while vacationing in Hawaii.
KSCW-LP officials estimate the station reaches 100,000 local and winter visitor residents on air and through the internet.