Joseph Lema said the new station was recently granted approval by the Federal Communications Commission to broadcast as a lower-power FM station at the 102.9 frequency.
Lema said he expects the station to go live within the next few weeks, with online streaming followed by actual on-air broadcasting.
“The station will feature everything from classic rock to today’s rock music,” Lema said, adding, “From Foreigner to Five Finger Death Punch.”
According to Lema, the station will be a non-profit entity funded solely by listener donations. The station, along with its small rooftop antenna mast, will be housed at the Tunnelvision Music store at 135 N. Main St. in downtown Moab, he said.
The station is in the process of conducting a fundraising campaign via the crowd-funding website indiegogo.com in order to help purchase final start-up equipment, along with money for royalty fees, Lema said. He said that the current goal is to raise $6,000.
“The fundraiser is solely to help with the final costs to get on the air,” Lema said, adding that additional fundraising activities, such as a radio-thon, are planned for later in the year.
Lema said that supporters are invited to visit the station’s Facebook page along with its website at www.moabrocksradio.com for further information.
Lema first came up with the idea for the new station about three years ago after watching the 2009 film “Pirate Radio.” Inspired by that movie, Lema said he began educating himself about everything he could learn about radio, including equipment, licensing, Internet broadcasting, and news streams.
He then connected with Leo Ashcraft, founder of Nexus Broadcasting, who not only provided a wealth of radio knowledge, but also helped Lema in applying for and obtaining the necessary FCC permits, Lema said.
Joining Lema as a radio host on the station will be Jason Parriott, a fellow music expert who has many years of experience as a disc jockey.
“I am super excited about this project,” Parriott said. “Being a DJ has been a big part of my life, so it all fits this project well. It will give a new twist of music that is not on the air in this area. It has just been a huge dream of mine for a long time.”
According to Lema, he and Parriott are planning to share programming and production duties at the station. Details are still being worked out, but other programming, such as news segments and a local morning show, are also being planned, Lema said. The station also plans to promote and sponsor community music events such as a free summer concert at Old City Park, in addition to offering a music scholarship for a graduating high school student, he said.
Despite of the FCC power limitations, the station’s broadcasting range should be able to reach most if not all areas of the Moab community, Lema said. Moab Rocks will be one of only a few low-power FM stations in the state, Lema said, noting that the station’s initial license permits an output of 100 watts, but they hope to be able to increase that amount later this year. Lema said that tests are being performed in order to determine just how far the station’s broadcast signal will reach.
“Our music selection will cover everything from blues, rock, modern rock, and metal,” Lema said. “We want the bike shops to listen to us, the car repair shops to the contractors – the people working hard here in Moab.”