Come Thursday, May 12, not-for-profit KRFC radio based in Fort Collins will blast its programming over a new 50,000 watt-or 50kW-signal, leaving behind its 3,000 watt radio signal.
The expanded signal will mean that the radio programming offered by Public Radio for the Front Range will reach much of the northern Front Range, from Wyoming down to north Denver, an area that includes more than 1 million people.
The expansion comes as a result of private and public donations that enabled KRFC 88.9 FM to buy and install its own $ 400,000 radio tower and more-powerful signal.
KRFC is known for its all-volunteer on-air talent and for cultivating the careers of local musicians.
“By reaching new audiences in new markets, KRFC aims to broaden its listenership and expand its services and impact to help connect Colorado listeners with the music, artists and information they care about most,” the station wrote in a press statement about the expansion. “It is rare for an independent station to own and operate its own broadcast tower of this size, a development that will allow KRFC to lease bandwidth to other broadcasters and commercial organizations needing a tower for their signal.”
‘We are beyond excited and eternally grateful to the many donors who stepped up and helped make this long-standing dream a reality,’ Jen Parker, KRFC executive director, said in the statement. “It is extremely rare to have this level of public interest and support for community radio, and it speaks to Northern Colorado’s love of live and local music and regional community affairs as well as the many deep connections we have forged across our communities over the past 19 years. ”
Donors include Paul and Amy Hach of the Paul and Amy Hach Charitable Foundation, who provided the lead donation in launching the campaign.
“It has been our pleasure to support KRFC’s growth over the years as a force for music, connection, and collaboration in the region,” said the philanthropists. “Powering the new tower and 50kW signal has been a dream for more than 25 years, and now that it’s a reality, we are honored to be a part of making this happen.”
The station will officially switch over to its new signal at 1 pm on May 12.
KRFC 88.9 FM began broadcasting March 1, 2003. Public Radio for the Front Range was created when Colorado State University decided to make the campus station, KCSU FM, solely run by students, according to KRFC’s website. Former KCSU DJs created the new entity and worked several years to secure the frequency. The station operates from The Music District of Fort Collins, where 180 volunteers deliver the programming.
“Community radio is a critical resource in so many ways,” said Colorado recording artists Cary Morin and Celeste Di lorio. “KRFC 88.9 FM plays an invaluable role for us as artists, promoting and supporting the music and performances we create and bringing them to our musical community. This, in turn, helps us to grow our engagement and contribute to our overall success. With its new tower and increased signal, KRFC will be able to increase its reach and benefit to artists and community members manyfold, reaching larger audiences in Northern Colorado and around the globe via its streaming. ”
Parker said the station’s mission has been to provide “an authentic Colorado experience. That includes not only great local, national and global music but also community news and informed opinion. We also serve a variety of community organizations by providing a platform for them to expand awareness about their vital resources for the region. We are ecstatic that our new tower and expanded signal will bring that powerful mix to so many more Colorado community members. It is a great moment in our history, building upon an incredible foundation of volunteerism and service. ”
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