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About CHIRP Radio

CHIRP is a volunteer-driven, online community radio station that focuses on music, arts, and culture. We are live and local every day of the year from 6am-midnight from our studios in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood, and the city we live in is a key part of everything we do. CHIRP Radio plays a wide mix of local, independent, lesser-heard, and just generally good music from a variety of genres and eras. CHIRP DJs are true music fans who love to share their discoveries, new and old, with listeners. The station also features conversations with artists, activists, and other people doing interesting work, and our features department produces pieces highlighting Chicago’s diverse voices and stories.

CHIRP also has worked hard to encourage the federal government to remove existing barriers to the granting of low power FM (LPFM) radio licenses in urban areas, including Chicago. The Federal Communications Commission is currently considering more than 2800 LPFM applications that resulted from its fall 2013 license application window, its first in thirteen years. CHIRP submitted a broadcast license application during that window, and is awaiting the results.

CHIRP is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization funded primarily through individual giving, special event revenues, and grant support.

CHIRP Staffing

CHIRP is staffed by a part-time General Manager, a part-time Development Director and a volunteer group of roughly 240. CHIRP volunteers head up all station departments, handle DJ and reporter duties, manage the technical aspects of the station, plan events and raise funds, create marketing campaigns and build partnerships, and take part in everything else required to run the station. No prior radio experience is required to be a part of CHIRP. New volunteer orientations are held three times each year.

You can find out more about what you can do to help on our Volunteers Website.

You can find a list of CHIRP staff and members of the organization's Board of Directors here.

Our History

The Chicago Independent Radio Project, or CHIRP, was formed in the summer of 2007 to bring a truly independent music- and arts-focused community radio station to Chicago.

At a time when corporate-owned radio grows ever more bland, repetitious, and commercialized, community radio is more important than ever. The volunteers and staff at CHIRP are true believers in radio that is diverse, exciting, live, and locally-based. Community radio is non-commercial, and is created by regular people from all walks of life, not just broadcast professionals. It is committed to playing music the big stations won’t touch, and to focusing on the vibrant culture of a community that often flies under the radar.

CHIRP launched its station online at CHIRPradio.org in January of 2010. From the time the organization was founded, its members also worked to convince Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to allow new LPFM stations in big cities. CHIRP volunteers and supporters have called their legislators and filed public comments with the FCC. In 2010, the bill CHIRP had worked to support, the Local Community Radio Act, was signed into law by President Obama and handed to the Federal Communications Commission to implement.

In October 2013, the FCC opened its first low-power FM application window in thirteen years, and for the first time made room for urban applicants. CHIRP submitted its broadcast license application in November 2013, and is awaiting the FCC's decision.