A new LGBTQA+ radio station will take to the local airwaves next month.
Gorgeous FM, a not-for-profit company, will broadcast across Birmingham, the Black Country and Shropshire on DAB, with local people very much the focus of its output.
Shaun Keasey, one of the founding directors of Gorgeous FM, is excited about the project: “Radio plays a part in most people’s lives, whether in the car as part of your journey or in the background at home for a bit of company.
“There are many radio stations available but very few now broadcast from our area and none, as far as I’m aware, focus on our LGBTQA+ community.
“Gorgeous FM hopes to change that.
“Not only will we be local - our new studios are in the heart of Wolverhampton, only a couple of minutes walk from the train, bus and metro stations - we’ll also be providing a platform for previously under-represented parts of our community to be heard via broadcast radio.
“I’m delighted that Gorgeous FM will be partnering with Midlands Zone magazine, so that as well as mainstream and local news we will be presenting the latest LGBTQA+ headlines and features, both on air and via our website and social-media platforms.
“We will also be making airtime available to local support groups, to enable them to reach out to those who otherwise may not know about or be able to access their services.
“We are currently seeking presenters for both general daytime and more specific evening shows. There is no requirement to be ‘on site live’ either, as our playout software allows someone to ‘voicetrack’ from the comfort of their own home, as long as they have a microphone connected to their computer and the internet!
“We want Gorgeous FM to represent every facet of our community - gay, lesbian & bi, trans & BAME, allies, lovers of camp classics, disco divas, serious clubbers - everyone!”
Already signed up to present the breakfast and drivetime shows are James Levett and Adam Willis, who can’t wait for the journey to begin...
“I’ve always loved radio,” says James, “and have been sad to see so many of our local stations lose their personality and broadcast from London or Manchester.
“I can’t wait for the sound and ethos of Gorgeous FM to commence broadcasting. It’s going to be happy and uplifting but also, hopefully, informative and groundbreaking.
“If we can reach out and make even one person feel less lonely or part of a community, it will be ‘mission accomplished’.”
Adam is so excited, he’s worried he’ll end up dancing round the studio!
“Our music policy is amazing,” he says. “It just makes me smile.
“We want people to tune in and be able to connect with the sound. I’m very proud that LGBTQ+ artists will be included and highlighted in the playlist.”
Publisher and Editor of Midlands Zone magazine, Martin Monahan, commented: "Gorgeous FM could be a valuable asset for the Midlands LGBTQA+ community, and I hope the whole community take ownership of it and feel like it represents them."
As already stated, Gorgeous FM is a not-for-profit organisation and is looking for support to ensure it remains on the airwaves.
Director Ricki Wellman is hoping people will understand the value of the new radio station: “It will cost over £50,000 a year to keep the station on air, and whilst we build up a portfolio of advertising revenue and seek out support grants, we’re hoping that members of our communities will generously help with support by making a one-off or recurring donation via our website at www.gorgeousfm.com.
“Gorgeous FM will provide a huge opportunity to open up the lives and experiences of our community that otherwise wouldn’t be available, but the finance and income to ensure its continuity are key.”
Gorgeous FM will start broadcasting at 7am on Monday 14 September.
For more information and to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org, send a Facebook message via www.facebook.com/wearegorgeousfm, visit the website www.gorgeousfm.com, or write to Gorgeous FM, Blossoms Fold, Wolverhampton, WV1 4HJ.
If you would like to donate to its JustGiving crowdfunding page, click here:
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