Unsatisfied with local radio, former Florida A&M University student Lonnie Copeland launched his own Internet station, Off Glass Radio, in January. The station is geared toward improving the quality of radio, providing a forum for blacks and giving listeners a break from mainstream radio.
The 31-year-old Tallahassee native said he wanted to take the airwaves back from corporate America.
“We are not shadowed by corporate America or corporate sponsors just trying to make a buck,” Copeland said of his radio station.
He said he hoped the freedom of Off Glass Radio would lead to an on-air openness that is not found in conventional radio.
Off Glass Radio features both mainstream and underground music.
“We play rap, funk, reggae, rhythm and blues, and neo-soul,” Copeland said.
The station primarily features local disc jockeys, but Copeland is working to bring in acts from as far away as Atlanta in the future.
“I think that (Off Glass Radio) would be a great opportunity for underground and local artists to get their music heard,” said Shay “Ms. Dynasti” Egerton, 22, a senior public relations student from Jacksonville and WANM 90.5 radio personality.
But Copeland said the focus of the radio station goes far beyond music.
“The music is the bait to get people listening,” he said. “Then we can get them interested in the issues.”
Copeland’s goal is to use radio to educate listeners and improve the community without sacrificing the entertainment value of music.
“We have good intentions on really making a difference, and we have many special programs to help listeners get worthy rewards that will help them with their lives,” he added.
As the station grows, Copeland plans to feature prizes to help students, especially at FAMU.
“We will constantly be giving away gifts that will assist with books, meal plans and even tuition,” he said.
In an attempt to give radio back to the community, Off Glass Radio maintains both political and social awareness.
“One of the events is the ‘Increase the Peace Rally,’ which targets violence in our community,” Copeland said.
The station also plans to invite political leaders from the community and around the world to speak on the air.
Some students on campus like the fact that Copeland is reaching out to political leaders and discussing issues within the black community.
“Majority of the radio stations in the South don’t take the time out to discuss issues that affect blacks,” said Edwin Siler, 23, a senior economics student from Enterprise, Ala. “It’s good to see a [station] that’s doing something different.”
Copeland has big plans for the station. He wants Off Glass Radio to become one of the largest Internet radio stations in the country. To tune in to the station or to submit music, visit http://www.offglassradio.com.