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Do you hear what I hear?: 97.3 The Rock brings community radio to the coast 

click to enlarge LISTEN CLOSELY:  Morro Bay’s got a new volunteer-run radio station, and it’s seriously cool. - PHOTO BY HENRY BRUINGTON
  • LISTEN CLOSELY: Morro Bay’s got a new volunteer-run radio station, and it’s seriously cool.

What if there was a radio station you could listen to in your car and didn’t have to hear the same song three times in an hour? And what if this radio station played not just eclectic music, but had small talk shows with dozens of local people from the community discussing the things that you, as a listener, want to hear? Although Miley Cyrus’ hospitalization due to a “severe allergic reaction” was obviously very relevant to the people of SLO County, residents do want more in a radio station than celebrities in rehab and the same stupid song on repeat.

Morro Bay’s new radio station, 97.3 The Rock, is a non-profit station ranging from Cambria to Montaña de Oro and Cuesta run solely by the influence of the community. One among 95 other radio stations of its kind to get licensed, The Rock hit the air on March 19.

“I’m really hoping to unite a community, especially with it being so divided right now,” founder Hal Abrams said. Abrams, who began the show two and a half years ago online, rounded up some of his friends to provide a voice for every person in Estero Bay and eliminate the gaps in local political tension.

“I really thought it was a long shot,” Abrams said.

Unpaid volunteers, who cover a broad variety of show topics, ranging from local politics and police affairs to nutrition and dog training, provide air talent. The station takes suggestions from the listeners and molds its programs to incorporate segments that residents care about.

It began with 12 board members with varying professions who “built it piece by piece.” What is unique about this community-run radio station is that most of the talent brought onto the team has little to no experience in radio. Abrams prides the station on being a forum for people to find their niche.

“They get a chance to show off what they do,” Abrams said.

This adless station was made possible by a few “very generous donations” as well as donations of time from members of the community. Listeners who would like to become involved with the station and are unable to provide monetary contributions are welcome to help out with everyday studio maintenance or provide some sort of expertise in a potential show topic.

Abrams encourages everyone to be involved in their community and create a balance of power and understanding among residents of the Estero Bay area. He encourages lighthearted topics, as well.

“We have fun here, too,” Abrams said.

To find out how you can get involved with 97.3 The Rock, or to find out more information, email [email protected] or call 772-2037.

Visit their website at


Fast fact

The San Luis Obispo County Democratic Party and Service Employees International Union is hosting a viewing of Robert Reich’s award winning documentary, Inequality for All at the Elks Lodge in San Luis Obispo on April 30. The show starts at 6:30 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m. The Sundance Festival award winning film is free of charge; however, they will be taking donations to support the Boys and Girls Club of San Luis Obispo County. The Elks Lodge is located at 222 Elks Lane in SLO. For more information, contact Pat Harris at [email protected].


Intern Tally Meyers compiled this week’s Strokes & Plugs. Send your business and nonprofit news to [email protected].   

Readers Poll

Do you think the SLO County Board of Supervisors should have gone against their policy that states funding for independent special districts should not result in a net fiscal loss to the county?

  • A. Yes, the housing and job opportunity the Dana Reserve is bringing is important
  • B. No, it's giving special privileges to the Nipomo Community Services District
  • C. I trust them, they know what's best for the county
  • D. What's going on?

View Results

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