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Green 1640 AM Set to Launch in Decatur

By Jonathan Springston, Senior Staff Writer, The Atlanta Progressive News (June 07, 2008)

(APN) DECATUR -- If all goes according to plan, a new progressive radio station, Green 1640 AM, is set to launch in Decatur, Georgia, just outside Atlanta, on July 01, 2008.

Green 1640 will offer community-oriented news with a progressive point of view, Jeremy Brasseal, 35, told Atlanta Progressive News.

The station will start modestly, reaching only a three or four mile radius in Decatur. Through an arrangement with the FCC, Brasseal said his station will broadcast through two transmitters that will have a maximum one milliwatt of power per transmitter.

With the help of a couple of friends, Brasseal will run the operation in the basement of his Doraville home from 6 a.m. to midnight seven days a week.

"It’s a move to have a voice heard in Metro Atlanta that you don’t hear often," Brasseal said. "The waves are overbalanced with Conservative talk radio, especially in Atlanta. I want to give a different point of view to people who listen to the radio a lot but know there is a different option out there."

Ever since he was a young teenager growing up in Alabama, Jeremy Brasseal had a passion for radio.

While he has made his everyday living working in business management, Brasseal has always worked in some aspect of radio, from advertising to programming to even some on-air work, on the side.

Brasseal’s first radio experience came as 16-year old working at a small country music station outside of Birmingham, Alabama, in the early 1980s.

Brasseal came to understand the power of radio through the owner of the station, a kindly man who worked tirelessly to raise money for local charities and school athletics, he said.

"To be able to see how small time radio could have such a big impact drove me to get into a career [in radio]," Brasseal told Atlanta Progressive News.

“We will run on a sponsorship and advertiser base,” Brasseal said. "We will be able to lease some airtime on nights and weekends to anyone who wants to lease that time as long as it fits the format. [We’ll] use that money to further build [the station] and cover a larger area."

Brasseal said he is still in negotiations to secure some syndicated programming for times when the station is not broadcasting local news or talk. This could include Air America programming, Brasseal wrote in an email to APN.

Brasseal's limited liability company, Zypradio, was incorporated on May 30, 2008, according to the Georgia Secretary of State's website.

Currently, progressive radio in Metro Atlanta is limited to 89.3 FM WRFG. Radio Free Georgia is an independent station which carries some Pacifica Radio content. WRFG recently expanded its antenna to reach the Greater Metro Atlanta area, as previously reported by APN.

About two years ago, a local Air America Station closed down after a brief stint, disappointing many local activists. Erstwhile Air America station, WWAA-AM 1690, was purchased by J.W. Broadcasting and its format changed in 2006.

Activist Harold Buehl set up an online petition at www.atlantaprogressivetalk.com in 2006, to re-establish another progressive talk option in Atlanta, but it is unclear what became of his effort.

Air America nearly escaped bankruptcy in 2007, but despite being purchased by new owners, Atlanta did not re-establish a local affiliate because right-wing Clear Channel Communications owns most of the market, Sander Bellman, East Cobb County activist and a colleague of Sinton's wrote in a 2007 email obtained by Atlanta Progressive News.

Atlanta-based Jon Sinton and Steve Sinton, were co-creators of the national radio syndicate, Air America. Steve Sinton challenged US Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) for Congress in 2006.

Brasseal told APN that he wants to use his radio know-how to encourage a different debate on the issues.

"I’ve been disappointed with the way radio, especially Atlanta, goes," he said.

Always an advocate for voting, the 2000 election really provided the spark Brasseal needed to get more into the political process, he said.

"That pretty much sews it up in a nutshell," Brasseal said, laughing. "I’m not exactly happy about where the country is right now."

A self-described progressive Democrat, Brasseal said he is fed up with the drone coming from Conservative talk radio and wants to put a fresh voice into the mix.

"You hear [Sean] Hannity and [Rush] Limbaugh and some of the big talkers and [Atlanta commentator Neal] Boortz…and I meet so many people in the real world everyday that only believe what they hear from these people. It’s one of those things that gets me stirred up to speak."

Brasseal’s goal is to have a place where the community can voice their concerns and have honest and open discussions about important issues.

"In a dream world…I would love two people who are running for the same office to come in and debate on the issues," he told APN. "I would encourage that with this station as we build it."

"We chose to go into the Decatur area because looking into the demographics for progressive talk, it seemed to be the best location," Brasseal said. "We can expand as we need to [but we] had to start small."

Some members of the DeKalb County Democratic Party have already expressed interest to Brasseal about helping in some way with the station.

Brasseal also has two more transmitters on back order that he wants to place in Little Five Points or the Virginia Highlands area in order to expand the station’s reach, he said.

"I don’t think initially it’s going to be a profit maker," Brasseal said. "[But] as we’re able to add more transmitters on, we can expand our ad revenues. We’ll be able to grow."

For now, Brasseal is just happy to provide an alternative voice to the right-wing talk format that dominates the AM band.

"There is a large enough group in Atlanta of intelligent people that want to hear what they don’t get on box radio stations," Brasseal said. "I want it to be something where people can share their points of view as well."

This article contains additional reporting by Matthew Cardinale, News Editor

About the author:

Jonathan Springston is a Senior Staff Writer for The Atlanta Progressive News and may be reached at jonathan@atlantaprogressivenews.com

Revised syndication policy:

Our syndicaton policy was updated June 2007. For more information on how to syndicate Atlanta Progressive News content, please visit: http://www.atlantaprogressivenews.com/extras/syndicate.html

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