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National Public Radio is coming to Ada.

East Central University will host a translator site for KGOU Radio, which will begin simulcasting KGOU programming Sunday [SEPT. 9] through an agreement with the University of Oklahoma. OU holds the license for the NPR station.

In the Ada area, KGOU will broadcast at 98.1 FM.

"This is big news," said ECU President Richard Rafes. "Not only can we listen to public radio programming, but - and this is exciting - ECU mass communication students will start producing their own programs for KGOU about ECU and the Ada community.

"This partnership will expand KGOU's coverage area and will give ECU students the experience they need to help launch their own careers."

KGOU Radio originates from studios on the OU campus and is a full-service public radio station with a news/talk/jazz format using programs from NPR, Public Radio International and others.

Under the agreement, OU installed and will maintain a 250-watt FM translator station on the ECU campus and will provide six 30-minute program opportunities for ECU student-produced programs each fall and spring semester.

KGOU also will air four station identification announcements each day that identify the translator and additional announcements identifying ECU's role in supporting KGOU. For the first week after the translator begins broadcasting, KGOU will air announcements welcoming Ada and ECU to KGOU's coverage area.

ECU mass communication students of Dr. Donna Gough, associate professor of communication, will produce the local programs which are scheduled to air at 12:30 p.m. on selected Sundays following OU's student-produced program, "Assignment: Radio."

KGOU also will provide one or two internships to ECU broadcasting students during the summer months, providing them with work experience in a public radio station.

"We expect great things from this partnership," Gough said. "We will do mostly feature stories, not straight news, and cover all types of events at ECU and around the Ada community. We really want to get the message out that Ada is a growing, thriving community."

Just moving ECU's Department of Communication into the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center, when it is completed with additional and updated equipment, will double the radio production capacity, Gough said.

"We had received many requests from the Ada area for NPR programming," said Karen Holp, KGOU general manager. "The FCC has given us permission to build a 250-watt translator and ECU readily agreed to let us locate it on their campus. They realized the importance of having NPR programming available to the residents of Ada.

"We are absolutely delighted to finally be able to do this."

The KGOU signal will extend about six miles outside Ada, Holp said.

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