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Pirate Radio adds FM stations

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The Daily Reflector

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Troy Dreyfus said there is a stigma associated with AM radio, and Pirate Radio is trying to shun that, officially beginning today.

Dreyfus and Pirate Radio co-founder Jonathan Ellerbe, who both are East Carolina University graduates, have added FM stations 92.7 and 104.1 to their existing AM outlets 1250 and 930. Dreyfus and Ellerbe are conducting a marketing push to inform listeners and Pirate fans about their now-total of four stations airing their content.

The 92.7-FM signal will join 1250-AM as based in Pitt County. Stations based in Washington are 104.1-FM and 930-AM.

“We have really evolved into a multimedia company with social media and everything we are doing online and the mobile app, but there was still that perception, by a few people, that they are just an AM station,” Dreyfus said. “This kind of takes that off the board now.”

Pirate Media Group LLC was founded in 2003. Its headquarters is on Evans Street, next to University Book Exchange.

The flagship group for East Carolina athletics is with Inner Banks Media, which broadcasts ECU sports content on 107.9 WNCT-FM and 94.3-FM The Game.

Pirate Radio is not officially affiliated with ECU, but tabs itself as “The voice of the Pirate Nation.” The station conducts a 5th quarter call-in show, which is listener-based and popular for fans to provide immediate reaction after every ECU football game, in addition to Dreyfus’ Pirate Radio Live at 5 p.m. show during weekdays preceded by The Sports Bar with Clip Brock from 3-5.

“It is going to solve what we think are some of our issues at night, especially in our core areas, and give people an alternative when they are in their car,” Dreyfus said. “The digital stuff has been great and is worldwide and that is only growing, but there are still a lot of people who listen traditionally on radio. This should be a huge boost for our listeners, and we’ve been working on it for a long time.

“They are brand-new stations and it’s not like they were existing before in this area, so it has taken some time to get them built out and developed and all the paperwork cleared through the Federal Communications Commission to be able to do it.”

Ellerbe and Dreyfus said this process began last year, adding that officially launching in August just before football season could be a plus. In addition to following the Pirates and related news, Pirate Radio has a partnership to broadcast D.H. Conley High School football games.

ECU football games are on 107.9-FM. J.H. Rose High School football games can be heard on 94.3.

Pirate Radio’s FM stations already have been live for a few weeks for testing purposes.

“I think naturally that if you live in Greenville and Winterville and that is where you spend a majority of your driving time, you are going to listen on 92.7,” Ellerbe said. “The same thing in Washington and Beaufort County is to listen on 104.1. ... We are trying to develop to be in as many places as possible, but I think the populated areas where people live and work, they will probably naturally transition to the FM dial.”

Dreyfus hopes that all four of Pirate Media Group’s stations complement each other.

“We are all set in Pitt County and Beaufort County, but there still could be some areas where 1250 and 930 (AM) come in potentially better,” he said. “It just depends on how far out you get. Those stations during the day are still great stations.”

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.


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