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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
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, stating in part:
- ...we went about a year ago ... to apply for a license. Our attempt proved quite humorous to your employees, who sent us away with word of "Forget it." Further investigations showed us why our attempt was then so comical. Licenses were so expensive and hard to get that even small stations were being sold for millions. Broadcasting was reserved for power men.
- ...We are not disputing, however, your right to assign channels and set aside bands for the prevention of interference. We certainly, however, are disputing your right to reserve broadcasting for the well-to-do only.
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 was being retrofitted 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. Dr. Scott Becker secured the South Carolina operations funding 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 religious tolerance and eclecticism. Stair frequently clashed with Weiner and especially Weiner's business partner Dr. Scott Becker during the abortive project.
In 1998, after a decade of lobbying and another off shore broadcasting effort, named the M/V Electra being built by Allan Weiner, and his long time friend and business partner Dr. Scott Becker, 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, and is being operated by Becker Broadcast Systems witch now is a Fox News Radio and NASCAR affiliate. 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 7.415 MHz, a frequency that was the most popular for shortwave pirates in the early to mid-1990s.
- "Allan Weiner's early broadcasting. (Includes the complete text of his 1971 letter to the FCC)". Archived from the original on 2013-05-08.
- "Access to the Airwaves".