Allan Weiner

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Allan H. Weiner (born June 12, 1953) is an American long-time pirate radio operator and activist. Weiner is currently the owner/operator of WBCQ, a licensed shortwave station broadcasting from Monticello, Maine, and also owns AM radio station WXME and FM radio station WBCQ-FM in Monticello.

The Falling Star Radio Network[edit]

Weiner was born in Yonkers, New York. Becoming fascinated with radio at an early age, he began building radio transmitters as a teenager. Weiner was operating an unlicensed station that he called WKOV, when he was contacted by a fellow teenaged radio pirate, Joseph Paul Ferraro. Ferraro's station shared time with Weiner's, with the two stations alternating back and forth on the channel. The stations were renamed "WFSR", for the Falling Star Radio Network. Later, two FM stations were added to the network: Weiner's WXMN and Ferraro's WSEX. The network was renamed the American Radio Broadcasting System, and was the subject of an article in Rolling Stone. After the network was raided by the FCC twice in 1971, Weiner and Ferraro penned a letter of protest to the FCC.

Ships ahoy[edit]

Weiner and Ferraro continued throughout the 1970s and '80s with various unlicensed stations. Some projects were operated separately from one another, but others saw the duo collaborating as they did on Radio Newyork International, which operated from a ship, the M/V Sarah in international waters off the Long Island coast. Again raided by the FCC, Weiner and Ferraro began purchasing airtime occasionally on licensed shortwave station WWCR.

Another attempted shortwave station operated from a ship at sea, this time from aboard the M/V Fury and operated from off the South Carolina coast, was raided before the ship had left the harbor when the FCC claimed to have monitored test transmissions coming from the ship. The South Carolina operations were to be funded partially by controversial fundamentalist preacher Brother Stair, whose broadcasts would also be carried from the ship. The ties to Stair, whose views stood in sharp contrast to Weiner's, led to accusations that Weiner had "sold out" his long held beliefs in pacifism and agnosticism. Stair frequently clashed with Weiner and especially Weiner's engineer Scott Becker during the abortive project.

License granted[edit]

After the M/V Fury fiasco, Ferraro purchased a small licensed AM station, WHVW in Hyde Park, New York.

In 1998, after a decade of lobbying and another threatened off shore broadcasting effort, Weiner was granted a license for shortwave station WBCQ and AM station WREM in Monticello, Maine.

Programming on WBCQ is an eclectic mix of music, plus brokered religious and political programming. Some former radio pirates produce shows on WBCQ as well. WREM is now known as WXME, simulcasting WSKW Skowhegan, Maine, an oldies formatted station previous formats on WXME include news/talk, simulcasting Caribou-based music Channel X Radio under the call letters WCXH and as WREM rebroadcast the talk programming of Presque Isle's WEGP. Having received a license after years of battling the FCC has brought more criticism from pirate radio enthusiasts. Also criticized has been Weiner's sale of airtime on WBCQ to the incendiary government informant Hal Turner and radio preacher Brother Stair.

WBCQ's first service operated on 7415 kHz, a frequency that was the most popular for shortwave pirates in the early to mid-1990s.

In January 1997, Loompanics Unlimited published Access to the Airwaves: My Fight For Free Radio, Weiner's autobiography ghost-written by Anita McCormick.[1]


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