How To Start Radio Station In Nigeria

One of the mostly accessed means of information
is a radio due to its wide reach to large number of
people and the cost of getting a radio station is
very cheap, even most mobile phones being
produced nowadays are preinstalled with a FM
Radio is a very important tool of getting
information, enlightment, education,
announcement, entertainment and other
information dissemination. Radio station is even
taking over other means of communication like
Television due to the epileptic power supply in the
country. Most companies or organizations prefer to
advertise their product, services or announcement
via radio station due to its wide accessibility
that those in the rural areas can listen to it via their
transistor radios.
With this it is safe to say investing in Radio station
is a profitable business to engage in, but in
star6ting a radio station there are some procedures
and steps which needs to be followed, sit back and
relax while you see them below.
Feasibility Study
You need to know the reason why you want too
establish a Radio station, the preferred location
where you want it to be located, who will be your
listeners and the capital you are willing to invest,
the type and class of equipments you want to use,
the number of employees you will have, how to get
license, how to source for advertisers etc.
Get A Good Location To Site Your Office
It is very important for you to get a good and
spacious place to site your office as this will be one
of the criterias to be in place before the licensing
agency (Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation) gives
you license to operate your Radio station. Because
they will need to inspect some facilities in place
and if they are not up to the required standard, the
license may not be granted.
A good location as implied above means it must
have accessible road, neat environment, spacious
compound and good water supply.
Find A Suitable Name For Your Radio Station
It is very good to find a trendy, catchy and easy to
memorize name that listeners will be able to
remember and easier to pronounce.
Open A Corporate Bank Account
Operate Bank Account is essential because
financial transactions involving corporate
institutions are majorly electronic and requires
dealing with large amount of money, so it is
advisable to do so as it will be used in transacting
business in the name of the company as a legal
You can go to any bank to open a corporate account
and follow the requirements needed, the name
used will be the name of your Radio station and will
be used in getting the license.

Step 1: Decide On A Broadcast Format
A radio format or programming format (not to be confused with broadcast programming) describes the overall content broadcast on a radio station. It refers to what the radio station will focus her broadcasts on. Some radios focus on music, others on sports, others on business, others on news, etc.

Radio formats are frequently employed as a marketing tool, and are subject to frequent change. Having a general concept for the content you are going to broadcast is not only important for sanity’s sake. Knowing whether you will be broadcasting voice or music can have a bearing on how you develop your studio.

If your plan is to run a music-heavy show then, you are probably going to want to broadcast in stereo and on the FM band. If your plan on the other hand is to start a talk radio, you will be able to get by on AM transmissions. However, you are going to want to pay special attention to properly equalizing your equipment for voice.

Note. Does the notion of a live microphone and listeners make you nervous? You might want to consider recording your broadcast ahead of time to avoid some of the headaches of live broadcasts. This may prove a boon if you are new to mixing and audio production. You will therefore have to perfect little mixing tricks like smoothly fading between songs.

Step 2: Get Enough Space
While it is possible to operate a radio station in just a single room that can carry all your equipment, it is not wise to do so and jeopardize the quality of your services and status of your business.

SEE ALSO: Factors To Consider When Designing A Radio Program

An ideal situation is to have:

A broadcasting studio which should be spacious and airy enough with two or three chairs, walls fitted with acoustics to prevent noise, and microphones
A transmitter room with all the equipment that are used for transmission
An editing/recording room with computers and recorders as well as microphones
One or two offices, equipped enough to perform the necessary administrative duties
A comfortable seating room for guests
Step 3: Get Your Equipment
The next step is to get the right equipment for your studio. If you are technically inclined, you will want to go the distance with a do-it-yourself kit, but if you are a novice, you should go to amateur publications and websites to find the right gear.

Although there’s lots of room for customization, the outcome is basically the same – you’re looking to chain together components that filter, convert, and broadcast your audio signal with good quality. Your gear will breakdown into three categories:

[a] Audio Sources: These are the 8-tracks, tape decks, turntables, microphones, CD Players, and MP3 players, etc. Almost anything people used to play music in the last 35 years should work, as long you are able to plug it into a mixer. However, aim for best quality as much as you can. In terms of size, programming playlists, and capacity, the MP3 player is an ideal starting point.

[b] Mixing Equipment & Filters: The secret you may like to know is to how to keep that signal clean. You may appear to love the sound of your own voice but rest assured, it probably does not sound as great over the airwaves. This is where the mixing equipment and filters come in.

The best way to clean up your audio signal is by employing a combination of mixers, filters, limiters, and compressors. The number of accessories in the market may make it a daunting task, but the goal should be two-fold.

1) To clean up your overall sound,
2) To keep your broadcast frequency in check.

Without both of these issues attended to, you are liable to sound like crap, interrupt neighboring frequencies, and attract unwanted attention.

[c] Transmission Equipment: The transmission equipment is like the life wire in the entire process. In fact, the transmitter itself is what ‘modulates’ audio over your chosen frequency, effectively making it fit for broadcasting via an antenna.

Ideally, look for a transmitter equipped with a Variable Frequency Oscillator (VFO). The advantage is that you will be able to move your broadcast to any frequency supported by the transmitter. It might sound unnecessary now, but having the ability to change broadcast frequencies can come in handy if you are prone to moving your studio for some reason.

[d] Support Equipment/Materials: A radio station like any other business will require support equipment/materials in order to run smoothly. You need one or two computers for a start, a number of chairs and desks, stationary and writing materials, up-to-date, newspapers and magazines, notice board, just to name a few.You may also need radio frequency amplifiers, coaxial cable, and antennas, if you want your broadcast heard beyond your neighborhood.

The amateur radio market is flooded with options, so finding equipment that suits your desired range should not be too difficult. To avoid running into problems with the communication regulatory body, the advice is for you to be smart, and if possible, operate discreetly.

Note. Getting all of this equipment to work perfectly on the first try is close to impossible. Your best bet is to do extensive research on the equipment combinations you have chosen, and chain the components together one at a time.

Step 4: Find An Open Frequency
As soon as your studio is set, the next thing to do is to find an open frequency for your station, so you don’t interfere with frequencies of already existing stations. Unfortunately, it is not as easy a task as one may think. The best way to dig up some open frequencies is to hit the web. You may also want to study the local frequencies and see where you can comfortably fit in.

Bear in mind that even though there are tons of traffic flying through the air at any given moment, only a specific range is designated for “regular” radio broadcasts. For AM this spans 540 kHz to 1700 kHz, and for FM, 88.1 MHz to 107.9 MHz. If you pick a frequency outside this range, you are likely to interfere with television, or even air traffic control broadcasts. After you find a few open frequencies within the specified range, be sure to listen in regularly for activity.

Step 5: Get Qualified Personnel
As much as the quality of your programs lie in all the above I have mentioned, it lies more in the quality of personnel you hire. This is because the personnel you have are those to handle all the equipment correctly in order to produce quality sound. Also, they are those who attract the audience with the quality programs they run.

For a start, you will need to hire at least three journalists, an editor, one or two technicians and support staff. However, this depends on what your station will be focusing on. It will not be the same if your station will focus only on entertainment, as it would be if it will go into news broadcasting.

Step 6: Test Out Your Broadcast
Once you have found a couple of broadcasters to work with, it is time to take your broadcast for a test run. While running a test broadcast make sure that all input levels are within a reasonable range, and that you are achieving the desired tone. It is not uncommon for there to be some residual hum, but you should be able to track its source by checking your components one after the other and using deductive reasoning.

Once your test is running smoothly from the helm, you might want to check out your frequency range (and possible interference) by grabbing a radio and doing some traveling around town. If you can hear elements of your broadcast coming through on neighboring stations, then you have got a problem. Otherwise, you should be all set.

Normally, before you arrive at this level, you must have acquired a broadcast permit or full authorization to operate from the authorities that be. In most countries getting your radio station registered is another story that needs to be told.

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