Is this just a radio station?
Not at all. Our independent media project has always used a variety of methods to fulfill our mission. Because we have a rare opportunity for legal FCC-licensed FM radio signals in Syracuse, we will be primarily focusing on that in 2016. However, we will continue to stream online during that process, expand our podcasting and social media capabilities and start video production. The goal is to use all these platforms together to reach the largest and most diverse possible audience in our community.
Why is it called “Spark!”?
We wanted something that could easily and quickly convey our goals and mission. We want to spark discussion of local music, art and issues between neighbors, friends, co-workers and fellow citizens. Our goal is to inject energy and enthusiasm into the local media environment. And we also like the idea that a small spark can lead to bigger things. We chose WSPJ as our radio station call letters because more obvious choices like WSPK and WSPQ weren’t available.
When will I be able to hear the 93.5 + 103.3 FM signals?
Once we get our FCC-approved construction permits built and operational, our FM radio signals will be heard at 93.5 FM in the City of Syracuse and immediate suburbs and on 103.3 FM in the northern Onondaga County suburbs. Our goal will be to have these signals up sometime in 2016, subject to working out numerous technical details.
What will the format be?
This is freeform variety programming that will be mostly “alternative music” with locally-focused news and informational shows. The overwhelming emphasis is on Syracuse content in all programs, including music, produced by local volunteers passionate about what they share. We endeavor to primarily play music and air viewpoints you may not otherwise hear, but maybe should.
How do you choose which people and programs get on the air?
We have a programming committee that reviews all program proposals submitted via www.sparksyracuse.org/proposals/ and seeks clarification when they have questions. Live Syracuse-based content will always be favored, as will non-traditional backgrounds. Past experience is irrelevant, since we do our own training. Our goal is to educate our audience with content they might otherwise never experience and your interest in that is key, as is broader community involvement.
Where is your studio located?
Our primary studio is located at the Westcott Community Center at 826 Euclid Ave (corner of Westcott St) within walking distance of Syracuse University. We will also be doing broadcasts from other locations, as we expand our capacities.
What will be the radio broadcast signal and range?
We will be broadcasting with 250 watts on 93.5 FM from downtown Syracuse and with 100 watts on 103.3 FM from Liverpool. We expect to be heard over all of the City of Syracuse and to reach about 75% of the population of Onondaga County overall.
Can people listen besides tuning in to the FM signal?
We have a long-running webcast that is on 24/7 now, though it doesn’t reflect the breadth and diversity of the programming we will have soon. Once our FM signal goes live, listeners will be able to access a live stream of it on this website. Some programming will be archived here as well.
Where can I send music to Spark!?
For the time being, local music can be dropped off or mailed to: Spark! 93.5 + 103.3 FM, 826 Euclid Ave, Syracuse NY 13210. Non-local music should ordinarily be sent as digital files via email to: music [at] sparksyracuse.org — thanks!
Will there be the potential for live performances on the air?
Yes! While we currently have very limited studio space best suited to acoustic music, in the past we have found ways to incorporate a wider range of live music and intend to continue that into the future. We also will be covering live performances and events around town as we broaden our capacity.
Who is behind this project?
Spark! 93.5 + 103.3 FM is owned and operated by Syracuse Community Radio, Inc., which is a local 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization under the authority of the Board of Regents of the Department of Education of New York State. Our mission has always been educational and non-profit.
How are you funded?
We raise funds through a combination of donations, fund raising events and grants, mostly. We also intend to use underwriting in the future, though not heavily. Our intention is to keep our overhead low so we can keep our creative freedom high.
What if I have a question not addressed here?
Feel free to contact us at: info [at] sparksyracuse.org — thanks!