Frequency for U.P. high school radio station WOAS …


ONTONAGON — Tiny little radio station WOAS was just sitting at its frequency, minding its own business, when a bigger station came along and took away its spot on the dial.

“This guy reluctantly sent me an email last April, basically saying, ‘Oh, by the way, we bought up your frequency and you’re gonna have to find a new frequency,’ ” said Ken Raisanen, the 69-year-old manager of WOAS 88.5-FM, the student-run radio station that’s been broadcasting from the Ontonagon High School building in the western Upper Peninsula since 1978.

WOAS is very small — just 10 watts of broadcasting power, so faint it’ll dissolve into static on a car radio when a driver rounds the hills just outside of town. It’s one of only two radio stations in the village. Funding comes largely from two snack vending machines inside the school. Everyone who works there is a volunteer. And the format is usually whatever that afternoon’s high school DJ or that night’s village resident feels like playing.

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