New Morro Bay radio station is throwing a party

San Luis Obispo - The TribuneMarch 23, 2014 

Morro Bay’s Jeff Eckles pursues possibilities. 

Two years ago, when he heard about a possible community-based radio station, he stepped forward. The founder of Eckles Wealth Management, he hosts “Beyond Business,” a weekly financial information program at Estero Bay Community Radio 97.3 FM The Rock. 

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, www.esterobayradio.com streamed programs on art, health, relationships, fitness, business and music on the Web while it waited for a license from the Federal Communications Commission.

From 1 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, the public is invited to a “flip the switch” celebration and tour of the studio housed at Morro Bay’s Chamber of Commerce, 695 Harbor Blvd. Sample the 24-hour programming schedule and meet Estero Bay Community Radio board members, including Chairwoman Sherry Sim; operations manager Hal Abrams; and on-air talent Ruth Ann Angus, Cyndee Edwards, Greg Finch, Youssef Alaoui, Jim Davis, Michael Shaffran, Bryce Davis and Eckles. 

The Christine Rogers Trio, Ray Taratino & Band, and The Monroe will provide live entertainment. 

“This will be huge,” Eckles said. “Community radio is an on-air town hall. There are so many possibilities. We don’t know what it will become, but we know we can make it what we want it to be. It’s only limited by the number of volunteers who want to share their interests and expertise.”

Eckles was a seasoned seminar presenter but had never interviewed or hosted radio before Dave Congalton invited him to appear on KVEC 920 AM’s “The Dave Congalton Show.”  

“I learned everything I know about radio from Dave,” he said. “When the financial crisis hit, I’m grateful he gave me a chance to do what I think I do best … take a complex economic issue and break it down to its simplest parts — uncomplicate it for the general public.”

For those interested in hosting a show on 97.3 The Rock, Eckles advised, “Talk about what you know — what you’re passionate about. Topics need to be researched and interesting for a broad group of listeners. But community radio is not to sell your business. Listeners see right through the sales pitch and will turn you off. Endless possibilities for programming are still available.” 

Eckles continued, “Listeners want you to share your passions. Most don’t know why a financial guy serves on the Morro Bay Harbor Advisory Board. Maritime is in my blood. I was a U.S. Merchant Mariner at sea for two years. I need to live and work by the sea. It’s why I resigned a Smith Barney vice presidency to start my company in Morro Bay near the sea and near my 

9-year-old twins, Aiden and Sophie.”

“Go for it. Submit an idea. It may move you out of your comfort zone, but that’s how we grow,” Eckles encouraged. 

Judy Salamacha’s column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at judysalamacha@gmail.com or 801-1422.

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