“The internet radio station is strictly not-for-profit.”
The Novel Blend bookstore located in historic downtown Kingsville opened for business in June of 2019, hosting poetry readings, weekly open-mic nights, wine and painting sessions, and author events. Enter COVID-19. Upon reopening after a two-month quarantine, owners Tom and Jill DiFrancesca found themselves operating a small business with fewer customers and no longer able to host in-store events.
“We had to think of something that would help draw customers back to the store and for us to stay connected to them,” Tom DiFrancesca told the Alice Echo News Journal. “We also wanted to continue to help local musicians be heard and since we could no longer host our popular weekly open-mic nights, it just seemed like building an Internet radio station was the answer.”
The Kingsville Community Radio studio is located inside The Novel Blend bookstore at 311 E. Kleberg Avenue. The audio stream is hosted remotely through Live365.com. The station did a soft launch in late June. The Novel Blend covers the cost of stream hosting and music royalty payments.
“Over the past few months, we’ve started including about a dozen local musicians and bands in our daily programming and then every evening we feature them in the Coastal Bend Music Showcase where they receive an additional opportunity to be heard,” DiFrancesca said. “We’ve got artists from Kingsville, Corpus Christi, Portland, Rockport, Sinton, and Victoria.”
Kingsville Community Radio started airing free advertising spots for locally owned small businesses and plans to expand that mission to local non-profit organizations and sites of interest in the Kingsville area.
“We just want to help this community thrive any way we can, we’ll never charge for advertising if it’s a locally owned small business, and there’s no charge to the musicians either,” DiFrancesca said. “The internet radio station is strictly not-for-profit.”