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Music Tampa Bay was established with the creation of the Internet domain on July 2, 2003 and became operational with streaming original music by local artists on March 6, 2005. The name Music Tampa Bay was registered as doing business in Florida on October 21, 2010 and became incorporated as a non-profit organization on May 10, 2013. The Music Tampa Bay name, logo, audio jingles and certain featurs in the audio stream and website are the property of Music Tampa Bay, Inc, PO Box 11874, St Petersburg FL 33733. The corporation filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a low power FM station in St Petersburg on December 13, 2013 naming a high-rise building in the downtown area under authority of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as the site of the transmitting and antenna equipment. The FCC granted a construction permit for the station on February 10, 2014. A Board of Directors was formed to govern the corporation and radio station and held its first functional meeting on June 12, 2014. Construction of the station was delayed during the remainder of that year and up to and including the final week of 2015 while extensive negotiations were conducted with HUD. When that process was complete, further negotiations to satisfy insurance requirements with building management at the transmitter site were conducted until February 25, 2016, at which time actual construction was finally allowed to begin. The antenna mast for the new FM was hoisted up to the roof of the building at the designated transmitter site on March 10th and mounted into position the following day, as pictured elsewhere on this webpage. Test broadasts began March 24th and and are expected to continue indefinitely, with intermittent downtime for equipment modifications and maintenance, until normal broadcast operations can be initiated. Further updates will be posted here as events occur.
All songs, including melodies, lyrics, compositions, arraqngements, performances and recordings are owned exclusively by the artists or their designated representatives who have made them available to be heard in the music stream, and on the air on the new FM station. Any other depictions, illustrations or images on this site or any subsequnt publications or displays representing other entities are the property of those organizations or individuals and are used by expressed or implied consent.
New 96.7 Local FM Station now on air testing in St Pete
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Update, July 1, 2016
On-air testing of the new 96.7 FM in St Pete is now continuing on a more or less continous basis pending completion of all systems installations and configurations. As previously posted, intermittant downtime can still be expected from time to time while these tests are are being conducted. Programming heard on air is for test purposes only and is separate from that which is heard in the music stream on this website. Eventually on-line and on-air programming will be duplicate each other, though latency characteristics inherent with Internet streaming can be expected to result in delays of a few seconds to a minute or more.
One of the key test operations under study involves signal degradation and interference with other stations on the same frequency. Initial observations indicate good reception over most of the core area in the city, as depicted in the inner circle in the map below. Listeners outside of the core area, but within the lager circle may also be able to obtain a good signal, though various degrees of interference may be experienced as described below. Occasional reception may also be experienced outside both areas shown. Use of an outside antenna is recommended outside the core area..
Moderate interference - primarily from Tampa AM station 970 WFLA - begins to disrupt Music Tampa Bay programming mostly outside, but in some instances inside the circle. WFLA is operated by iHeart Radio, fomerly known as Clear Channel Broadcasting, the largest radio and TV corporation in the United States. It began broadcasting on 96.7 FM in early 2015, approximately a full year after the FCC issued a permit for the development of the new local FM station in St Pete. Their station operates at more than 3 times the power, and from an antenna more than 10 times as high as the MTB transmitting facilities, resulting in a talk radio signal that covers most of Pinellas county, effectively duplicating the programming heard on the AM station over the same geographic area. Most interference from this competing station affects areas directly north of downtown St Pete, but also causes problems in virtually all fringe areas outside the core area displayed above. Listeners who experience this problem are encouraged to contact MTB at 727-455-8848 or email@example.com.
The first series of on-air tests began at 2:45pm, March 24th. The first song heard on-air was Happy Til You Go by Michael J. Weiss. Testing was suspended April 1st pending more adjustments, then resumed April 18th and has continued more or less uninterrupted since then.
Construction of the new local FM began in early March.
Pictured is a work crew and a couple of volunteers helping to hoist the new FM antenna mast into postion. A day after the mast was permanently mounted, the FM antenna was installed. Finally work was completed on the transmitter to enable the initial round of test broadcasts.
More than $25,000 has been spent, with more yet to be paid out in the purchase of equipment and materials, contractors, engineers and government fees. So far, no known source of revenue has been established to satisfy debts already incurred and future operating expenses. Donations and contributions are welcome, and tax deductible under IRS rules. Anyone interested in helping to support this effort or becoming a part of the radio station in any capactiy is welcome to contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 727-455-8848. A launch party is planned that is explected to include live performances by some of Tampa Bay's best local talent. Artists who would like to be a part of this event and are willing to donate their talents are also encouraged to express their interest
WMTB 96.7 FM and MusicTampaBay.com have been and continue to be a labor of love in support of the local music community. This effort is the culmination of a life-long broadcast career dating back to the mid-60s in the Tampa Bay area at a station known then as WLCY, "Fun Radio on Great Tampa Bay". When the new FM station signs on in St Pete for the first time, a new era in "fun radio" will begin.
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