by Richard Riosa
The Lance – Sports Editor
CJAM 99.1FM is making alternative radio available to the masses.
CJAM’s signal has been boosted from 496 watts to 2084 watts, going into full effect Aug. 21, with the official launch taking place Sept. 12.
Although the new signal strength is still weak when compared to some of the bigger local stations, such as AM800’s 50,000 watts, CJAM station manager Vernon Smith said “the larger stations are going to know we’re there.”
Smith said CJAM is not trying to compete with the other local radio stations, however the increased signal strength will definitely give listeners more options to choose from.
“The bottom line is that it (the signal boost) means our 125 voices are going to carry further and it allows us to bolster our foothold on everything that is alternative that mainstream radio doesn’t cover,” said Smith.
The signal boost translates to roughly double the strength of the old signal according to Smith and allows them to reach new markets, while providing less interference within Windsor.
“We’re going further into Grosse Pointe, further into Detroit, further into Inkster and further into the county as well,” said Smith. “We’re being heard all the way to the end of Belle River, all the way at the end of Essex and basically throughout the county we’ve gained a lot of real estate as well.”
Although CJAM is a non-profit radio station, Smith said they will be looking to capitalize on the increased signal strength both culturally and financially. Smith said the increase in listenership will give them an opportunity to sell some advertising to help cover operating costs. As a non-profit, CJAM is required to have no more than four minutes of ad time per hour.
Smith said his main concern is for CJAM to remain a radio station “for the people, by the people.”
“We’re very focused on providing higher quality campus community radio and campus community radio that actually serves the listening community as opposed to panders to them,” said Smith. “We’re hoping that the result (of the signal boost) is that our listening community grows.”