Student Life Archives (2001-2008)

KWUR upgrade denied

Jack Darcher/Student Life

Last Friday, the Federal Communica-tions Commission (FCC) rejected KWUR’s application for an experimental license that would have upgraded the station’s power from 10 watts to 100 watts for a two-year trial period.

According to Jim Hayes, coordinator for Washington University’s radio station, this upgrade would have allowed KWUR to reach a much larger audience.

“A 100-watt KWUR would have a tremendous impact on the community the station serves, as a greater number of community members would be privy to the eclectic programming that KWUR provides,” he said.

The FCC deemed the station ineligible because the experimental license division is designed primarily for non-broadcast entities as opposed to radio stations such as KWUR.

The staff at KWUR decided to explore the two-year experimental radio avenue because of failures in the past to procure a permanent license.

“Basically, this was a kind of test balloon to float before the FCC,” said Hayes.

According to Hayes, applications for permanent status were rejected in the past because of FCC worries that KWUR’s signal would bleed into UMSL’s NPR-affiliated radio station, KWMU.

To avoid this problem in their next application for permanent status, they are seeking a contour agreement with KMWU. This agreement would be a statement from KWMU in support of the 100-watt upgrade. Along with the new application, KWUR will include a petition of over 2,300 signatures collected last summer in support of expanding KWUR. Supporters include people from the WU community and surrounding areas.

“KWUR means a lot to the WU community and the local St. Louis area,” said station engineer and junior Bryan Packman. “We have two shows designated for local music, so that is good for the community.”

Spenser Kathol, a junior and the general manager of KWUR, said he was disappointed with the FCC’s decision on the experimental license and supportive of the move to try for the permanent upgrade.

“It is a little bit frustrating because we’ve applied a number of times and always been denied,” he said. “Every time it’s just a little bit of a blow but we will just keep on trying.”

Hayes plans to have the application completed by the end of April and if the application is accepted, hopes to see KWUR as a 100-watt station before the beginning of the fall semester.

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