How to start a shortwave radio station

Written by jennifer brister
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How to start a shortwave radio station
A short wave radio station is a great way to get your foot in the door of the radio industry. (tower in clouds image by Derek Abbott from

Short wave radio broadcasts provided an outlet for individuals wishing to have their own radio shows long before the podcast was ever invented. These radio programs broadcast within the 3,000 to 30,000 kilohertz frequency range. Though the technology is a little outdated, you can still start your own short wave radio station and get your voice on the air.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Visit the Federal Communications Commission website and apply for a broadcasting license. The FCC handles all the paperwork associated with starting a radio station. You will need to fill out all necessary paperwork and find investors to help fund your station. When the FCC approves your application, you will receive a short wave radio frequency at which you can broadcast.

  2. 2

    Set up your short wave radio equipment. You can purchase all the equipment you need in a short wave radio set-up kit at most radio stores or online. Follow all directions exactly as stated in your kit. If you choose to build your own short wave receiver and antenna, you will need a good understanding of radios and electronics.

  3. 3

    Create a business plan for your short wave radio station. If you will be broadcasting music, you will need to choose a genre of music to play. You will also have to purchase licensing to legally play music on the air. If you will be broadcasting talk radio, decide how much of the on air content you will create yourself and how much will be outsourced to others. If you plan on using advertising as a medium to make money and fund your station, create a plan and begin to look for advertisers in your area.

  4. 4

    Hire any staff that you may need. You may want to hire a professional DJ for your station or you may wish to take on that job yourself. One way to assure that your station has adequate funding is to hire a sales team to find local advertisers. Begin to advertise your station in local newspaper to get the word out. Also, create a website or blog for your radio station where local listeners can go to find out more information.

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