Got some questions about KLRC’s “Powerful Difference” signal project? We’ve got answers! Check out some Frequently Asked Questions below. If your question isn’t addressed here, please feel free to contact us.
Q. When is 90.9 FM going to officially launch?
A. It already has! We launched 90.9 FM on Monday, February 18th. Check it out today!
Q. So you’re launching at 90.9 FM – does that mean you will no longer be at 101.1 FM?
A. Great question! The short answer is yes. KLRC will eventually be moving completely away from broadcasting at 101.1 FM. However, we’re currently planning on simulcasting (providing our audio on 90.9 FM and 101.1 FM) for at least six months to give listeners ample time to find us at our new home on the dial. Learn more about our frequency change plans.
A. The most immediate impact depends on where you live, work, and commute. The best way to answer this question is to look at the coverage map our engineers have created. Almost everyone on the I-540 corridor has seen some level of improvement. This is especially true from Springdale to Bella Vista. One note, though – terrain can definitely impact signal. If you live in a particularly hilly area (like in Fayetteville, Bella Vista, or southern Missouri), there still may occasional interference or static – though hopefully not nearly as frequently as with 101.1FM.
If you live in or travel through Oklahoma, you’ll notice a big difference with the new signal. We have you covered for a far greater portion of your drive to Tulsa. Tahlequah, Grove, Pryor and Wagoner… you all have a vast improvement over our old signal (which didn’t even reach all of these areas).
Visit our coverage page to learn more about how the new signal affects listening in your specific area.
Q. I didn’t have any problem picking you up before. Why is the new signal necessary?
A. We’re glad that you didn’t have any problems with the KLRC signal. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for everyone. In fact, more than 80% of our listeners reside outside of what the FCC considered to be 101.1 FM’s interference-free coverage area. Most of the I-540 corridor, for example, experienced static and interference on occasion – especially on hot summer days. Most in this area couldn’t listen to 101.1 in a home or office as the signal wasn’t strong enough to make it through walls.
The new signal is necessary to improve the signal for many of our listeners and so that we can reach people who have never been able to listen before (especially in NE Oklahoma).
Q. Didn’t you resolve your signal issues with 103.5 and 99.1?
A. Our translator stations in Springdale and Bentonville were a tremendous help to KLRC! They’ve helped us grow listenership in both of these communities at very little cost. However, there are inherent challenges with translator stations. They require people to flip between a few different channels to find the best coverage for their specific area. While quite effective for in-home or office listening, their coverage area is limited. This makes them less effective in reaching people in their vehicles.
Perhaps even more importantly, translators are recognized by the FCC as secondary services. Basically, this means that they could be forced off the air if an existing or future full-power station believes they are interfering with their signal.
Our new signal at 90.9 FM allows everyone to listen to the same channel and doesn’t face the uncertain future that a translator station could face.
Q. Will I still be able to listen on 99.1FM or 103.5FM?
A. We’ll continue to broadcast on 99.1FM as well as 103.5FM for at least six months. Beyond that, we’re not sure. We’re hoping 90.9 FM is so powerful that you’ll be able to listen clearly on a single frequency in Springdale, Bentonville, and all of NWA!
Q. I would think increasing power from 6,000 watts to 100,000 watts would make an even bigger difference than what I’ve seen/heard.
A. While it’s true that we increased our power more than 16x, we didn’t be increase our coverage area 16x! That’s because as a general rule, it takes a ten-fold power increase to double a radio station’s coverage area.
The FCC also limits our coverage increase because we need to protect the coverage of stations in Joplin and Ft. Smith. You’ll note on our coverage map that the 101.1 signal is a perfect circle, but the 90.9 signal is not. If our new signal would not interfere with stations in Ft. Smith or Joplin, then our new signal would also be more circular in shape (and would then cover even more area).
Finally, portions of our listening area feature geographical features (like really big hills!) that make it tough for any signal to reach, no matter how strong. If you live in low-lying areas (especially on the east side of a large hill) in Fayetteville or Bella Vista, for example, you may still experience static.
Q. Why did you have to move to a new place on the dial? Couldn’t you have just increased your power on 101.1 FM?
A. That would’ve be ideal, but unfortunately it wasn’t possible. 101.1 FM is licensed for a maximum power of 6,000 watts in Northwest Arkansas. The FCC determines the maximum power of every radio station on the dial. They determined that if 101.1 FM were to broadcast at more than 6,000 watts of power, it would cause interference to other radio stations that are close to our dial position. We researched this possibility for more than a decade and it simply isn’t possible today to increase the power of 101.1 FM.
Q. What will happen to 101.1 FM now?
A. Honestly, we don’t know the answer to that question today. This will largely be determined by how quickly we can raise the necessary funding for 90.9FM. If the funding comes quickly, it is possible that we might be able to keep 101.1FM and launch a brand new Christian radio ministry for NWA. Of course, it is also possible that we might need to sell 101.1FM to help cover the $900,000 cost of moving KLRC to a more powerful signal. For now, we are simulcasting 90.9 KLRC on 101.1 FM while people make the switch.
Q. $900,000 sounds like a lot of money. Did cheaper options exist?
A. $900,000 is a lot of money, no doubt! However, this is actually an amazingly low cost to sign-on a new 100,000 watt signal. You can learn more about the details of the cost versus potential alternatives on our Budget Breakdown page.
Q. What happens if you don’t raise the full $900,000?
A. We’ve seen God move in some amazing ways over our five year journey to launch 90.9 FM. We’ve seen His fingerprints on this project in so many ways. So, we believe He’s asking us to move forward in faith that He will provide through His people as He has always done for KLRC.
For this reason, we’ve already built out and launched the new signal. It is certainly our goal to take care of the financial needs for the project as soon as possible. We’ll likely hold an additional fundraiser to try and complete the project’s funding in the fall of 2013. Unfortunately, depending on how long it takes to secure full funding, the cost of the project could rise due to fundraising costs and increased interest costs.
Q. Couldn’t you have just waited until you raised the full $900,000 before pursuing the signal upgrade?
A. Unfortunately, raising the total project costs before moving forward wasn’t an option. That’s because of the extremely rare nature of an opportunity like this. We pursued signal expansion research and engineering for more than a decade, and We never had an opportunity like the one with 90.9 FM. To our knowledge, there won’t ever be another opportunity to build a new 100,000 watt signal in Northwest Arkansas.
After much prayer and counsel and with the blessing of our owners (John Brown University), we decided to step forward in faith. God has confirmed that His hand is on this project for KLRC in numerous ways through this journey. We literally asked God to close the door on this project if this wasn’t what He wanted for His ministry through KLRC. Instead of closing doors, He opened doors for us that only He could have opened. For those reasons, we pressed on trusting that God can and will provide the funding so that we can share hope with more people than ever before!
Q. Did you really been work on this project for over five years?
A. Yes! We began the engineering and legal work on this project in July of 2007. Visit our project history page to learn more about the long, winding road that lead us to this point.
Q. How are funds donated to the signal project different than the funding you receive during your regular Sharathon?
A. Great question! Our annual Sharathon in March covers the operational costs we incur to run this broadcast ministry. In September, all money given to the Powerful Difference Pledge Drive went directly to help fund this signal opportunity. Gifts given that continue to be designated as “Signal Project” will not be used to cover any station cost except those directly related to building the new 90.9 FM. In the same manner, gifts given during our upcoming Spring 2013 Sharathon will only go towards covering operational costs, and will not be used to fund the new signal.