It may not be with the same station but a Vernon radio legend will get a chance to celebrate 50 years in broadcasting.
The Vernon Community Radio Society (VCRS) has reached an agreement in principle to have popular broadcaster Frank Martina return to the airwaves in Greater Vernon. Community station 97.9 Valley FM, which hopes to launch in the fall of 2021, will showcase Martina’s popular Classics show on Saturdays between 1 and 4 p.m.
Martina’s popular show had been a fixture Saturday afternoon on CJIB-FM (Beach Radio), but the show and Martina were dropped in December 2020, months before Martina would have celebrated 50 years broadcasting with the same station.
While some details remain to be worked out, VCRS President Gord Leighton is very excited to re-purpose Martina’s talent and re-engage his passion for radio, music and the community.
“Frank is a radio icon who totally understands the magic that makes community radio special,” said Leighton.
Said Martina: “With the erosion of live on-air talent and the homogenized narrow playlists and lack of community interaction, having local community input is nothing but a win-win situation. Bringing back an oldies show is a passion of mine.”
The Vernon Community Radio Society is embarking on a fundraising campaign, with a target of $200,000 to launch a new community-based FM radio station to serve Greater Vernon. Vernon Community Radio is incorporated as a not-for-profit society and received a license for the new community station from the CRTC last September.
“Our team is embarking on a fundraising campaign with a target date of Oct. 1, 2021 for the launch of 97.9 Valley FM,”said Leighton.