Starting late last month, Smile FM introduced internet audio streaming for the first time since the merger of Joy FM and The Light last year. They now have a 64K stream as where pre-Smile FM, the stream was merely 32K. However, if you happen to live outside the listening area or are a casual listener of Smile FM, it may not be so easy to find the link as it is not found on the main page. You can click here to access Smile FM internet streaming. You will need to setup a free account if you do not already have an E-Wards account and/or contribute to the Music Task Force. (Personal note: The audio feed actually comes from the WHYT/WTAC cluster instead of the flagship station WLGH.)
Earlier this month, Smile FM held a FunDrive to raise money for completing upgrades to WLGH 88.1 Lansing and to purchase a remote studio for the broadcaster. They needed to gather the remaining $45,000 of the $150,000 for the signal increase for WLGH. The construction permit for WLGH is to increase the signal from 2.5 kW to 10 kW and nearly double the transmission height. Unfortunately, they fell about $20,000 short of the goal and this permit expires in September 2005. They are hoping for last minute contributions, good ol' ingeniuty and divine intervention.
Speaking of signal expansion, with recent upgrades to the Smile FM network, I've noticed a few interesting CP's concerning Smile FM. Recently, the signal of WTLI was increased to 17kW - providing better coverage to areas in Northern Michigan, including Gaylord. Interestingly enough, Radio Assist Ministries currently holds a CP (W221CA 92.1) to provide Gaylord with a feed from WTLI as well. I asked about this and was told that permission was given to Radio Assist Ministries/Edgewater Broadcasting to rebroadcast the Smile FM signal. But in the end, with Smile FM is doing a good job on their own expanding their signal and the R.A.M./Edgewater translator trafficking issue under scrutiny, this may be fun to watch it play out.
And to wrap up this update, I've noticed that the top-of-the-hour ID's for WTAC/WHYT now include WCZE 103.7 Harbor Beach. I've been told that WCZE is still waiting final electrical work to be wrapped up and the station is still in the testing phase. As of yet, WCZE is still not 'officially' on the air.