University of Oklahoma public radio station KGOU is planning to build a primary station in Ada, with the aid of a federal grant program and members of the community. KGOU General Manager Karen Holp and other station staff members will be at a public meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday [FEB. 24] at East Central University to share information about the proposed station. The meeting will be held in the Regents Room in the Memorial Student Union.
KGOU currently operates a lower-powered translator station at 97.9 FM from atop the ECU Administration Building, in partnership with ECU.
"We know that service to the Ada community has not always been optimal, due to the distance between our main transmitter and the Ada translator," said Holp. "Service to Ada would be improved with a primary signal, and we've got a plan for accomplishing that," she said.
The Federal Communications Commission allows radio stations to operate translators as a secondary broadcast outlet to expand their coverage area. Translators operate at a lower power than primary stations, a maximum of 250 watts, and work best when a special radio receiver can get good reception of the primary signal.
"Broadcasting on a primary signal instead of a translator is almost always going to be better -- it's just a matter of finding frequencies that are available and being financially able to construct the station," Holp said.
She said the plan came together when a non-commercial frequency became available, at 91.9 FM, and the FCC subsequently approved KGOU's application to construct a primary, 2-kilowatt station. KGOU also received approval for a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP), which assists in construction of public broadcasting facilities. The grant would cover $127,500 of the estimated $170,000 in construction costs, with the rest to be raised in private donations.
"Ada listeners have really embraced KGOU, and we want them to have the best service possible -- here's an opportunity to accomplish that, with community support," said Holp.
Critical to the project has been the assistance provided by Chickasaw Enterprises through KADA and General Manager Roger Harris, who have offered a long-term lease for space on the KADA tower and inside their transmitter building for this new station.
The new primary station will not change the relationship with ECU, first established when KGOU approached ECU about placing the translator on their campus. For the last two years, ECU broadcasting students' work has been aired on KGOU in five programs per semester titled "Assignment Radio ECU." As the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center is completed, ECU will be able to periodically prepare programs and submit them for broadcast on KGOU.
KGOU broadcasts primarily News/Talk programs during the day, with jazz, blues and world music programs during evenings and weekends. It is a National Public Radio affiliate, airing NPR newscasts along with locally produced KGOU state and local news updates, weather and traffic reports. Weekday programs include NPR's popular news magazines Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
KGOU broadcasts at 106.3 FM in Norman and surrounding Cleveland County, at 105.7 FM (licensed as KROU) serving Oklahoma County, at 103.1 FM (K276ET) in Seminole, at 97.9 FM (K250AU) in Ada, and offers live audio streaming online at http://kgou.org/#stream/0.
As a public radio station, KGOU receives support from listeners to help fund its operation and expansion campaigns. KGOU is a division of OU Outreach -- College of Continuing Education-College of Liberal Studies.
# # #