Improving a station’s coverage area is a very complex and, at times, seemingly impossible task to accomplish. Public airwaves are highly regulated, and most stations are already broadcasting with as much power as the FCC will allow without impacting other nearby signals. For KLRC on 101.1 FM, that level was set at 6,000 watts, which is comparatively low — most stations in NWA are operating between 50,000 and 100,000 watts.
That left KLRC with two options when exploring signal improvements. You can buy an existing station for prices that soar into the multi-millions, or you can build a new station. Of course, building a new station isn’t simple either. Most frequencies are already taken, which means that the FCC doesn’t award construction permits (the right to build a station) very often.
In July of 2007, the FCC opened a window for broadcasters to apply for a permit to build the only remaining non-commercial frequency in our area — 90.9FM. This was the first window in more than a decade, so we decided to file for the frequency. We weren’t alone. In all, 17 other broadcasters from around the country applied for this same signal. We knew our odds were slim, and the journey over the next four years was one of watching and waiting as the FCC slowly made their way through the list of applications. The moment of truth came in May, 2011 when the FCC finally awarded the construction permit… to another organization. We were understandably disappointed because we knew this was probably going to be the last opportunity ever to build a new station in our area. Thankfully, this isn’t where our story ends.
While this certainly looked like a closed door, we made one final phone call to congratulate the organization selected by the FCC. God prompted us to inquire about this organization’s plans for the new signal. In the first of many miracles we experienced along the way, we learned that this organization no longer had an interest in building a radio station. They said they would be willing to entertain the idea of selling this construction permit to KLRC.
By the end of 2011, we finalized a deal to purchase the construction permit for 90.9 FM from the other organization. The FCC has to approve any such transations, so we still weren’t able to discuss the project publicly. Finally, the FCC granted their final approval on the sale and our revisions to the original construction plans in June of 2012.
Today, over six years have passed since we first filed for this opportunity. We held a special pledge-drive to raise just over 50% of the funding needed for the project in September of 2012, and 90.9 KLRC finally launched on February 18th, 2013.
Your help is still needed to finish funding what we started one year ago. We’re more than halfway there! With your help today, we can finish what we started last year and share hope in Christ with more people than ever before! Learn more about the costs involved and make your gift today!