BRUNSWICK — WCME radio, which bills itself as the Mid-Coast’s only local radio station, has expanded its audience by adding an FM frequency.
The station previously broadcast music, news, weather and sports only on 900 AM, but is now broadcasting the same offerings on 99.5 FM.
Station President Jim Bleikamp said the addition, effective July 24, was possible thanks to a new Federal Communications Commission policy designed to “help small AM broadcasters expand their reach and their operations.”
“A fairly large number of stations have done this and (now) we’re doing it,” he said.
He added that in addition to expanding the radio station’s reach, adding an FM channel will allow WCME to deliver a “cleaner, static-free” listening experience.
In general, he said, FM is the “dominant band” of radio, with the majority of listeners choosing it over AM, so WCME should automatically reach a wider audience with the new option.
He added, however, the “so-called decline” of AM radio is also over-hyped, since the frequency is still the dominant band many listeners look to for news, information and sports, which remains a large chunk of WCME’s content.
Listeners can also stream WCME online at Tunein.com or on the station’s website.
WCME first operated from 1955-1972, before going through a series of name, programming and ownership changes. Bleikamp bought the unused 900 AM frequency in 2009, and reinstated the WCME call letters.
He relaunched the station in October 2012, about a year after the town approved construction of a transmission tower.
Jim Bleikamp, president of WCME, at the Brunswick radio station July 27. It recently began broadcasting on 99.5 FM in addition to 900 AM.