Public radio still found at 88.5 FM

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— The future of public radio broadcasting in Steamboat Springs is more secure thanks to the recent success of a fundraising effort on behalf of KUNC radio based in Greeley.

Now, the official call letters assigned to the station's signal in Northwest Colorado is KRNC -- 'R' is for Routt County.

KUNC General Manager Neil Best announced in Dec--ember 2005 that the station had until Feb. 16 to raise $70,000 to purchase a broadcast frequency in Steamboat and begin broadcasting with locally based station equipment.

"We did reach our goal, and we received some very generous contributions from inside Routt County," Best said. "The most important thing is that now we have a permanent signal that can't be taken away from us."

The public radio programming remains at 88.5 FM.

In all, KUNC received monetary pledges from 79 individuals and organizations during its fundraising campaign, totalling $75,000. In addition to the pledges from inside Routt County, KUNC received a gift of $35,000 from an anonymous donor outside Routt County, Best said.

Of the total amount raised, $20,000 was used to purchase equipment to improve KRNC's reception.

"We've already had reports of improved reception in Phipps--burg and almost to Craig," Best said.

The need for KUNC to purchase its frequency arose when another broadcasting company, Educational Communications of Colorado Springs, filed with the Federal Communications Commission to purchase the 88.5 FM frequency. The move was approved by the FCC in 2003.

KUNC was vulnerable in Steamboat because it was relying on radio signal translators on Walton Peak and Emerald Mountain. In the eyes of the FCC, Best said, stations operating with translators do not have the standing of holders of station licenses.

Best said Edu--cational Com--munications was willing to work with KUNC. The station will use $50,000 of the funds raised here to purchase the license from ECCS. Best said the price was very reasonable.

-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205 or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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