WINO may try to hit the airwaves again, legally

RegisterStaff Writer

NAPA Bolstered by a show of community support. Vince Alcouloumre will try to convince the Federal Communications Commission to let WINO, Napa's pirate radio station, back on the air.

Some 70 people turned out Thursday night to help Alcouloumre brainstorm on how to revive the freeform music and community service station.

Alouloumre, who had been broadcasting out of his car repair shop on River Street since May, shut down last week after two FCC agents came calling.

Alcouloumre said it was heartening to see the crowd at his 'Where's WINO?" meeting.

"From suits and ties and county people to leather jackets, we had basicslly the entire spectrum of Napa," he said. "I found out there are other people who care about this thing beside me."

Using tips received at the meeting, Alcouloumre hopes to get legal advice on how to best approach the FCC, which currently doesn't allow low-powered stations such as his 20-watt operation that had a reach of several miles.

People volunteered to help WINO become a nonprofit station, which might make the FCC more receptive to hearing his case, Alcouloumre said.

Anticipating an FCC application, more volunteers will be circulating a petition of support. Letters can be sent to WINO, 1325 Imola Ave., Suite 528, Napa 94559 or by e-mail to

Some supporters encouraged him to ignore the FCC's warning to shut down and resume broadcasting, but Alcouloumre said he was trying a conciliatory approach.

He also rejected suggestions that he wage a local fight against KVON-KVYN radio stations which filed a complaint with the FCC early this month.

"We need to make friends somehow and have an open dialogue with those people if we want to exist together," Alcouloumre said in an interview. KVON-KVYN had known of the station for months, but didn't file a complaint until the WINO signal at 90.5 FM began to interfere with KVYN's at 99.3 FM, station management reported.

His goal is to get back on the air as soon as possible, said Alcouloumre, noting that currently his station reaches only an audience of one.

"I still listen to it. I'm still playing the music, only I don't have the transmitter turned on," he said.

[Back to the WINO news Page]