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OSU's new KOSU now serving OKC and central Oklahoma

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Public Radio Capital and nationally recognized, award-winning KOSU 91.7 FM “Oklahoma Public Radio” announced the completion of a new 1,110-foot tower and high-definition broadcast facility serving more than 1.3 million listeners in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area and north-central Oklahoma.

PRC, which broadens public radio's reach nationwide through partnerships with educational institutions and public broadcasters, has built a new tower and HD broadcast facility. PRC has agreed to manage and operate the new facility with Oklahoma State University’s noncommercial station, KOSU.

“PRC has worked with educational institutions and broadcasters for several years to secure new channels for public radio and assist with capital projects,” said Marc Hand, Public Radio Capital managing director.

PRC managing director Susan Harmon said the organization was established to help stations like KOSU expand its public service.

"Just as the Trust for Public Land steps in to buy a property to preserve land for public enjoyment, this was an opportunity to build a facility to provide an important public broadcasting service in central Oklahoma,” she said.

This project extends KOSU’s reach into the Oklahoma City metro and the central Oklahoma area. The construction of the new facility began in early June.

“The expansion will create new avenues of understanding and civic dialogue when the station’s news and information is available statewide,” said Craig Beeby, KOSU director and general manager. “The KOSU expansion initiatives are part of the university’s commitment and leadership toward extending higher education and public service to all Oklahomans.

“KOSU has attempted to serve the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas long distance with our one facility since 1971. The station’s ultimate goal is to improve service in all directions.” The new station facility provides the opportunity to improve the signal strength into the major metro areas as well as many rural areas not served before by public radio or KOSU.”

Dr. David Schmidly, president and OSU System CEO, said one of Oklahoma State University's primary missions is outreach to Oklahoma.

"The KOSU expansion is an extraordinary opportunity," he said. "The expansion extends our campus outreach beyond the physical boundaries of the university grounds, making it accessible by simply tuning 91.7 FM on the radio dial. It is a historic day for radio in the state and a great way to celebrate KOSU’s 50th anniversary."

In another project, PRC and KOSU teamed up to improve the signal quality serving the Tulsa metropolitan area and northeast Oklahoma by purchasing a radio station and converting it to 107.5 KOSN, a noncommercial public station.

“The two stations will allow KOSU to become not only a statewide network but a regional resource. It’s exciting for our listeners,” Beeby said.

The following three development projects include an improved signal in the southern part of Tulsa, a new signal in Okmulgee, and an improved signal in northern Oklahoma. With these three projects, KOSU is waiting to receive approval from the Federal Communications Commission so that PRC can complete the construction.

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