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Community Radio Aims To Take Lexington's Pulse

Mick Jeffries

Lexingtonians flipping the radio dial might notice a new station in the mix. A new low-power FM community station hit the airwaves Saturday.

The first of two such stations set to go live, the 100-watt WLXL-FM 95.7 aims to entertain and inform with what founder and former Urban County Council member Debra Hensley calls “ultra-local” programming.

"We are invited the public to present their own podcasts and their own programming they might want to have that we'll look at and put on the air, so eventually we'll be 24/7. And we have also automated some material that has already come to us. We have 85 to 100 deejays in training right now," she says.

The station, which could reach around 92,000 potential listeners, kicked off as hosts doled out on-air clues in a radio scavenger hunt. Programs will run the gamut from music and food to public safety, all with a focus on reaching underserved populations.  The idea, Hensley says, is to get a street-level view of what's going on in Lexington.

While WLXL will operate with a volunteer staff, the nonprofit will require about $160,000 a year. A second station, WLXU-93.9, is set to debut in early 2016.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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