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Licence to groove all day

COMMUNITY radio station Groove 101.7FM has been granted a permanent, full-time licence.

The 18-week-old youth station currently operates from 3pm to 3am, sharing its frequency with senior’s station Capital Community Radio.

Groove founder and station manager Rafael Niesten hopes the full-time community licence will become active by the end of the year.

However, the lack of remaining frequency spectrum in WA could mean that Capital will be forced to cease broadcasting.

Mr Niesten said he came up with the idea of Groove Radio after winning a scholarship to study in Canada and gaining some airtime on a community broadcaster there.

“I’ve had a long interest in radio after doing work experience with one of the commercial stations in Perth. When I came back from Canada there was no outlet for me,” he said.

Mr Niesten took the step of setting up the station through Curtin Radio because of the uncertainty of any new radio station’s future.

He said it allowed him to get his station on the airwaves without a large capital expenditure.

“I’ve been so amazed by the support we’ve received from the community,” Mr Niesten said.

“Since we started in July we’ve had more than 2,500 phone calls, 6,000 emails, 15,000 short messaging service messages and 5,500 surveys completed, both on the Internet and in person.

“The only promotion we’ve done was a small stall at the Royal Show.”

Mr Niesten said the station was run by youth for youth, and was trying to offer a youth variety format.

Much of the station’s programming is done by listeners, who send SMS messages to the DJs, telling them what they want to listen to.

Mr Niesten said there was the possibility of extending the stations programming to include talkback on youth issues.

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