By Joe Mahoney
---- — A year ago, John Kosmer of Fly Creek embarked on a personal project he kept as a closely guarded secret — but is now anything but a secret.
His Internet radio station — a project he only told his wife, daughter and a couple of friends about — went live this month. And it can be accessed by anyone with a connection to the Internet — from anywhere in the world.
“You ever run into people who talk a good game and don’t deliver?” he asked. “Well, I never wanted to be confused with one of those people.”
A freshman member of the Otsego County Board of Representatives and a Democratic activist in the local anti-fracking movement, Kosmer calls the station Glimmerglass Radio.
He said last Monday the website — www.glimmerglassradio.com — gives him the framework for adding or subtracting from the initial programming and making any other changes he sees fit after sounding out those who listen to it.
One direction he plans to avoid, he noted, is splicing music into the programming. There are too many “byzantine” obligations and financial consequences for playing music that is protected by copyright laws, he said.
There are no such responsibilities, Kosmer said, for offering programing featuring people talking. “Talk is guaranteed by the Constitution,” he said.
Kosmer said he also wanted to avoid the rigmarole brought on by traditional broadcast radio across the airwaves, which requires winning a license from the Federal Communications Commission.
For part of the content, Kosmer acquired permission from several progressive radio producers to use the programming of Democracy Now and Alternative News Radio. There are also shows about sustainable living, horticulture and culinary arts.
He also cobbled together a number of vintage radio programs now in the public domain — such as “Abbott and Costello,” “Burns & Allen,” “Dragnet” and “Hopalong Cassidy.” “As a listener, I know I don’t want to hear sustainable living and healthy stuff 24/7,” he said.
He said he has no plans to sell or accept advertising, though has not ruled out accepting contributions from those who want to help the online station advance.
“The less money I expend, the happier I am,” he said. “The idea is to do this in an affordable manner, to get it up there and keep it running.”
The website for the station is already asking listeners to contribute ideas or topics for future productions, and also inquires as to whether those listeners want to participate in producing content.
Kosmer said he would like the station to develop a close bond with the local community. One idea for a program, he suggested, would be to stream audio from a school spelling bee.
He said he sees the station as an alternative way to communicate with people who now exchange information through “wordy” emails.
“This is another medium,” he said. “We wanted something else that goes past that. It’s a great experiment. That’s the way I look at it.”