KU News Release
April 8, 2011
Contact: Phil Wilke, Kansas Public Radio, 785-864-5016
Kansas Public Radio debuts new signal in southeast Kansas
LAWRENCE — Kansas Public Radio is on the air with new signal, based near Chanute, to supply public radio programming to several counties in southeast Kansas.
KANQ 90.3 FM is a 17,000-watt transmitter that will broadcast a KPR signal to Neosho and Wilson counties and parts of Allen, Woodson, Greenwood, Elk, Montgomery, Labette and Crawford counties, including the cities of Chanute, Iola, Fredonia, Yates Center, Neodesha, Independence and Parsons. Broadcasting began April 6.
The area will hear KPR2, a high-definition signal normally received only on a special radio; in southeast Kansas, listeners can hear the 90.3 FM signal on a standard FM radio. KPR2 is a news/talk station featuring shows from NPR and the BBC, including “Morning Edition,” “All Things Considered,” “Talk of the Nation,” “BBC World News” and “Marketplace.” It also features comedy and variety shows on the weekend, including “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me,” “Car Talk” and “This American Life.”
“It’s very rare that an opportunity comes along to purchase a construction permit for an FM frequency,” said Janet Campbell, KPR’s general manager. “Spectrum space is finite and we couldn’t pass up this opportunity to provide public radio to this part of Kansas.”
A large part of the area is not currently served by public radio. On the eastern edge of KPR’s new service area, some listeners also can receive KRPS, a public radio station in Pittsburg. KRPS has a format similar to KPR — NPR news and classical music — so KPR choose to air the KPR2 news/talk format so as to not duplicate programs.
The new transmitter will also help broadcast the Kansas Audio-Reader Network to the area. Audio-Reader is a reading and information service for blind, visually impaired and print disabled individuals. It reads daily newspapers, magazines and books on the air and on the Internet, 24 hours a day, and offers newspaper readings by telephone. Services are offered free to anyone who is unable to read normal printed material.
“This is a great opportunity for KPR to bring our programs to an underserved part of the state,” Campbell said. “KPR2 features some of the best radio news reports in the country, and with the BBC broadcasts, some of the best in the world. We hope everyone gets a chance to tune in.”
KPR, licensed to the University of Kansas, broadcasts on 91.5 FM in Lawrence, 89.7 FM in Emporia, 91.3 FM in Olsburg-Junction City, 89.9 FM in Atchison, 90.3 FM in Chanute and 99.5 FM and 97.9 FM in Manhattan. KPR can be heard on the Internet at kpr.ku.edu. KPR also operates KPR2, a news-talk channel on HD Radio. Those broadcasts can be heard on a high definition receiver or on KPR’s website.
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