Riverhead teen looks to raise money to buy his own radio station

12/12/2011 10:41 AM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Kyle Kratoville at WRIV 1390 Am last week during his show, "Kyle on the Dial."

At a time when the top concern for many young men is studying for finals and the subsequent celebration when they are over, 18-year-old Kyle Kratoville has set his sights a little higher.

The radio disc jockey from Riverhead and two of his friends are trying to raise $10,000 by Thursday to purchase their own radio station in eastern North Carolina.

“The radio station would be up and running in two weeks,” said Mr. Kratoville, a DJ on both Beach 101.7 FM and the local station WRIV 1390 AM.

The owner of 98.3 FM agreed to sell the station’s license for a $10,000 down payment and then a percentage of the monthly ad revenue, he said. The station would be called NOW 98.3 and would play contemporary hit radio.

“We’ve been looking around for radio stations that are for sale and for lease,” said Mr. Kratoville, a 2011 Riverhead High School student and freshman at Five Towns College in Dix Hills.

Mr. Kratoville said the signal would reach about 175,000 listeners and there are no other top 40 radio stations in the area. There is also a Marine base there, Camp Lejeune, and about half the residents in the area are between the ages of 18 and 34.

He also hopes to play lesser known and more progressive artists on the station.

“We would be exploring not so super mainstream artist, but at the same time we would still be today’s culture,” he said. “We would try to be the radio station that connects with people.”

Mr. Kratoville is the youngest of the trio looking to buy the station. He would be partnering with 23-year-old friend Josh, who asked his last name not be used due to his position with a local radio station and 25-year-old friend Tom Lawler, who is a program director at Great Gold 1410 AM in New Jersey.

For Mr. Kratoville, his love affair with radio has been life-long, after all his father Jack is a long-time New York City area disc jockey.

“When I was 7 he took me to work with him and sat me down in the studio,” Mr. Kratoville said. “From that I was in love with it.”

WRIV president and Dawn Patrol disc jockey Bruce Tria said he wasn’t suprised to learn that of Mr. Kratoville’s ambitions. Mr. Tria noted that for many DJ’s, like himself and Mr. Kratoville, the love of radio comes at a young age.

“He’s a very talented kid, ” Mr. Tria said. “I wouldn’t put him on there air if here weren’t, if he didn’t sound good.”

The group has set up an account on kickstarter.com, which is a funding platform for creative products. The project is not funded unless the group meets their fundraising goal of $10,000. They are still more than $9,000 short of that goal.

Backers get a variety of gifts for their donations including on-air shout outs and the ability to select playlists, depending on the amount of the pledge.

“Our station will not just play music, it will be a lifestyle,” a description of the project reads. “NOW FM understands these people and how they live through media. We will connect on a deeper level through social media, events, clubs, and our personality on the air.”

To make a donation to the project, visit Kyle’s kickstarter.com page.

vchinese@timesreview.com

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