Vernon community radio station is bringing back one of the longest-running voices on local airwaves

Frank Martina is back

A very familiar voice is returning to the North Okanagan air waves.

Local radio legend Frank Martina will be broadcasting with the new community radio station, Valley FM.

Martina was one of the longest running radio personalities in the Valley, spending close to 50 years on local airwaves.

The Vernon Community Radio Society (VCRS) has reached a deal with Martina to bring back the golden oldies with his popular Classics show Saturdays between 1-4 p.m.

After retiring from full-time broadcasting, Martina had a part-time radio gig at a Vernon station, but it was cut last December.

VCRS President Gord Leighton said that while some details remain to be worked out, he’s excited to re-purpose Martina’s talent and re-engage his passion for radio, music and the community.

“Frank is a radio icon who totally understands the magic that makes community radio special,” said Leighton.

The VCRS is also embarking on a fundraising campaign, with a target of $200,000 to launch a new community based FM radio station to serve Greater Vernon.

The station is incorporated as a not-for profit society and received a license for the new community station from the CRTC last September.

"With the erosion of live, on-air talent and the homogenized narrow playlists and lack of community interaction, having local community input is nothing but a win-win situation. Bringing back an oldies show is a passion of mine,” said Martina, adding he looks forward to being a part of radio that puts community and service ahead of corporate profit.

Leighton said it is hoped 97.9 Valley FM will launch Oct. 1, pending a successful fundraising campaign.

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