NORWAY – A local radio station owner was a little puzzled when a group announced recently it was interested in forming a community radio station in the Oxford Hills area.

Gleason Media Services owner Dick Gleason wonders why anybody would want to start a community radio station, saying that one of the five stations he owns has been fulfilling that role for years.

“You already have a community radio station,” Gleason said Monday. “Use us more, talk to us, contact us.” He owns WOXO, 92.7 and 100.7 FM and points to some of his programming and the civic services it provides.

He said Country Corner has open phone lines everyday from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

“It’s open to buy, sell, trade or wish someone a happy birthday or anniversary,” Gleason said. “That’s community radio at its finest. No other station I know of in New England does a daily, half-hour swap show.”

He said the station, although known mostly for its country music format, has always been open to local music, although he winces at the thought of playing hard rock ‘n’ roll.


He said the station’s feature “Focus” will interview anybody about anything and most often with new artists, will play a cut from the compact disc and do an interview.

Gleason said the station’s “Here’s What’s Happening” promotes upcoming events of community organizations, twice an hour, 24 hours a day.

“I would estimate the value of that alone to be around $175,000 a year that we donate in kind to the community on WOXO alone,” Gleason said. “When we do it on all five stations it is $876,000.”

He noted that there are not other radio stations south of Augusta in Western Maine that still carry high school sports, another note of being community radio.

“We’re also involved with the community behind the scenes,” Gleason said.

He said it would be difficult to start another radio station in this area because the Federal Communications Commission has no more licenses available. He also said there are tremendous start-up costs.


Gleason had advice for anyone wanting to promote themselves. He said the first thing to do is talk to WOXO, as the station would be happy to work with them.

He also recommended taking advantage of public access television, which always seems to need programming.

He also suggested using the Internet.

“The Internet is the most exciting opportunity in the world for anyone who wants to communicate,” Gleason said.

Vic Hodgkins, station manager at WOXO, said his station is ready, anxious and willing to talk to anybody.

“We’re not a country station; we’re a community station,” he said.

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