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ARCHIVED  December 1, 1996

Backers of public radio seek new local voice

What would a community be without its own public radio station? Not as cohesive as it could be, say some local residents.

“Community radio is as important to society as public libraries,´ said Fort Collins graphic artist Karen Hawkins. “Right now, we have to resort to commercial radio or the student-run KCSU [out of Colorado State University in Fort Collins]both of which are lacking in diversity and informative, creative local news.”
KUNC in Greeley does serve Northern Colorado, but members of Public Radio for the Front Range want their own hometown, Fort Collins station.
Earlier this year, they incorporated PRFR as a nonprofit 501(c)3 and applied for a Federal Communications Commission license that could be approved by early 1997. Additionally, two members of PRFR’s board of directors have donated land and an old house on East Vine in Fort Collins that the station can use for the first two years of broadcasting.
Jo Ann Hedleston, a veteran broadcaster and PRFR volunteer, squeezed between her paying jobs as a professor of philosophy at Front Range Community College and waitressing at Kanino’s, said, “Good, intelligent music programming ought to push the boundaries, introduce something new to the audience without alienating them.”
However, national news feeds will have to wait. “It takes awhile to get the support to afford NPR feeds, for example,” Hedleston said.
PRFR has completed the engineering studies to determine at what frequency it can broadcast and how it might interfere with other radio and TV stations, and now it’s just a matter of waiting for the government to grant the license. “We’ve given up the dream of having a larger signal,” Hedleston said. At first, they’ll be able to at least broadcast to the tri-city area of Greeley, Loveland and Fort Collins.
Additionally, “In order to get a license, you must show a minimum amount of assets to stay on the air for a year. For us, that means $100,000 to $150,000 for just the first three months,” Hedleston maintains.
“We also need $50,000 to purchase a transmitter,” Hedleston said. “We could use computers and other basic equipment, so we’re asking for donations from local companies.”
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What would a community be without its own public radio station? Not as cohesive as it could be, say some local residents.

“Community radio is as important to society as public libraries,´ said Fort Collins graphic artist Karen Hawkins. “Right now, we have to resort to commercial radio or the student-run KCSU [out of Colorado State University in Fort Collins]both of which are lacking in diversity and informative, creative local news.”
KUNC in Greeley does serve Northern Colorado, but members of Public Radio for the Front Range want their own hometown, Fort Collins station.
Earlier this year, they incorporated PRFR as…

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