WCOM is a community radio station with a studio in downtown Carrboro and an antenna at Scroggs Elementary School in Southern Village. WCOM is the first low-power FM community radio station in the area to be set up under a program established by the Federal Communications Commission in 2000. Low-power FM is grassroots radio — an effort to counterbalance the increasing concentration of radio ownership by a few large corporations.
In June 2004, WCOM began broadcasting a test signal — a 30-minute loop in English and Spanish explaining the goals of the station. Since the technology was not yet in place to link the studio to the transmitter, that test signal came from a CD cabinet at the base of the transmitter at Scroggs.
Meanwhile, our intrepid engineering committee toiled away to build the studio and establish the studio-to-transmitter link. Finally, at 11:27 PM on Wednesday, September 29, 2004, they flipped the last switch and we began broadcasting from our beautiful new studio in downtown Carrboro!
From September to November 2004, we played a specially selected mix of music 24-7. The real excitement started in November, when WCOM's first DJs hit the airwaves. Today our program schedule includes close to 50 locally produced music and talk shows and new programs are still being added. We also carry some of the most incisive news shows on the air, Democracy Now, Counter Spin, and Making Contact
WCOM is a different kind of radio. When you tune in to WCOM you will hear our community—our people, environment, events, music, and attitude. These are the stars of WCOM programs. WCOM is a place where people gather to listen to good music or to find out about local news. It's a place to learn about the world, laugh, meet good neighbors, and share ideas.
A scout troop visits WCOM Community volunteers add depth and sparkle to WCOM. The voices you hear on the air belong to real people making radio that is live, immediate, and interactive. WCOM's volunteers love the medium of radio and care about the people who live here.
WCOM's mission is to build community through programming and linkages with the people of Carrboro and Chapel Hill. WCOM is radio that operates outside the box ... radio that believes conventional wisdom can only achieve predictable results. It is creative, frugal, and responsive. In many ways it is closer to old-time radio than its modern cousins. We are proud of WCOM and think the radio produced in this small corner of the world will be some of the best to be heard anywhere.