Seaside FM started out quietly, with Wayne Harrett and a few friends whispering into the Eastern Passage air on a one-watt radio. Last year, the community station cranked up the volume and broadcast its message across HRM at 1,000 watts.
Well, “cranked” probably isn’t the right word for a station beloved for rolling out easy-listening classics. It’s also known as the go-to spot for missing-pet information.
“It started as a little hobby,” says Harrett, the general manager who had previously spent six years on Halifax’s only other community station, Dalhousie University’s CKDU. “People started hearing it and it took off. A hobby turned into a business.”
Seaside FM (105.9) is run “99 per cent” by volunteers, including on-air talent such as former CBC broadcasters Frank Cameron and Paul Kennedy and former MLA Wayne Adams. It’s been nominated four years in a row as east-coast radio station of the year, says Harrett.
“We have veteran broadcasters who have been in the radio industry for years. When they retire, they come to us,” he says. “We also have community members who just come in to do radio.”
Seaside now broadcasts 24 hours a day, year-round. Live talent is on the air from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. It can be heard throughout HRM, plus via the internet and digital television.
“We have very loyal station members,” says Harrett. “They love what they’re doing and the listeners love them.”