Humboldt Hot Air receives a lower-power FM license to be on the radio airwaves

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Ishan Vernallis, a Humboldt Hot Air DJ during their live radio show. | Photo by Karina Ramos Villalobos
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You may recall when Humboldt Hot Air–the internet radio station in Arcata– applied to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to become an FM radio station. They recently received license approval.

Humboldt Hot Air Station Manager, Neroli Devaney with Ishan Vernallis a DJ at the station. | Photo by Karina Ramos Villalobos

“We’re going to be a low-power radio station,” said Neroli Devaney, the Station Manager. “So broadcasting at 100W. Which generally means here in Arcata, it depends on where you are outside of Arcata and if it’s a sunny day or not.”

Last November, Humboldt Hot Air applied to become a licensed radio station for the Arcata community. In February, station management received approval from the FCC to become a low-power FM (LPFM)  radio station. 

Humboldt Hot Air started in 2021 as an internet-based radio station, meaning anyone with a link could listen in. They will continue to provide that service when they become available on the radio airwaves. But, getting on the air might take some time as they are fundraising for necessary radio equipment.   

“Once our fundraiser gets some momentum, we’ll be able to start purchasing things slowly,” Devaney said. “And as we come along, hopefully throughout the summer, we’ll be able to get all the equipment we need.”

The upstart station needs a transmitter and antenna, a broadcast audio board, and an emergency alert system to be able to receive and share emergency news. People can expect music, interviews, news and other types of programming when Humboldt Hot Air is officially on the dial.

“I’ve been wanting there to be another local Arcata-based FM station forever since KHSU went off the air,” said Ishan Vernallis, a Humboldt Hot  Air DJ. “Neroli making this happen is super exciting.”

Humboldt Hot Air hopes to be on the air by this fall. People driving through or in Arcata will be able to turn their dial to 94.7 FM to listen to one out of the 60 volunteer Humboldt Hot Air DJs. They have set up a GoFundMe page if the community would like to support their fundraiser.