• NEW ORLEANS: WWNO ADDING NEW 24/7 CLASSICAL STATION
WWNO has acquired a primo FM translator in New Orleans and plans on making it a 24/7 Classical music station. Key factors for FM translators are the transmissions location and height above terrain. K285FF FM 104.9 covers NOLA from downtown on a 735’ perch.
On the flatlands of coastal Louisiana, 99-watts is all you need to reach lots of people. Projected coverage area is shown on the map of the right.
According to GM Paul Maassen, the new translator is a considerable investment for WWNO, but the cost is far less than a full-time FM license:
“Our past attempts to launch an all-classical FM station were thwarted by the high cost of a full-service FM license—a likely $3 million or more. But this new opportunity will allow WWNO to return classical music to FM radio with a capital investment of just $225,000 and a projected initial operating cost of about $50,000 per year.”
104.9 will repeat the 24/7 schedule of Classical programming currently available on WWNO’s HD2 signal. Since few people ever listen to HD channels, Classical fans are eagerly anticipating the new 104.9 FM.
Plans call for 104.9 to begin broadcasting early in 2017.
• INDIANA: WBAA-AM ADDS NEW FM SIGNAL
Thanks to the FCC’s plan to revitalize AM broadcasting by adding FM repeaters, WBAA-AM has announced the acquisition of a translator at 105.9 FM to simulcast WBAA-AM 24/7. Because of WBAA-AM’s restricted nighttime coverage, 105.9 FM will expand listening options for NPR News listeners in the Lafayette, Indiana area.
WBAA purchased the construction permit (CP) for the translator from another Lafayette area broadcaster for $45,000. The CP was days from expiring. Mike Savage, general manager of WBAA AM/FM got the folks at Purdue University to more quickly to complete the purchase. In a press release from Purdue [link], Savage, general manager of WBAA AM/FM, talked about the need for 105.9 FM:
"We heard the requests from our listeners to put the WBAA News format on FM. This is the first time our listeners will be able to hear AM920 programming on FM."
According to Savage, the new 105.9 FM cover a 15 to 20 mile radius from WBAA’s tower site, exceeding expectations. WBAA-FM will continue to air Morning Edition and All Things Considered on mainly Classical 101.3 FM.
• HAWAII: NEW NPR NEWS STATION TO SERVE “THE BIG ISLAND”
|Life is good in Hilo, Hawaii|
Late last week the FCC approved Hawaii Public Radio’s (HPR) application for a new full-power FM station to serve folks in the Hilo area. HPR operates two statewide program streams, one specializing in NPR News and the other providing Classical music. The new station will broadcast HPR’s news network.
HPR’s President and General Manager Jose Fajardo said the new station will be on the air soon: “[We] will go live in Hilo within days.”
|Preparation continues for the new Hilo station|
The frequency for the new NPR News station was not announced last week. The new station most likely KAHU 91.7 FM, a construction permit owned by HPR. HPR’s Classical programming is current heard in Hilo on KANO 91.1 FM. KAHU will transmit from KANO’s tower site. According to Fajardo, funds for the new station came from HPR supporters on the Big Island.
There was more good news from HPR last week. The just-completed Fall 2016 Pledge Drive, brought in $872,000 and HPR added a record 922 new members.