Utah Public Radio Returns to Student-Programmed Broadcasting

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Utah Public Radio Returns to Student-Programmed Broadcasting

Jun 27, 2008 12:02 PM

Quincy, IL - Jun 27, 2008 - Students at Utah State University will have their own radio station once again, after an installation of Broadcast Electronics HD Radio multicast equipment made possible through Utah Public Radio supporters. Utah Public Radio added a BE HD Radio exciter and importer for multicasting its traditional program channel along with a live, student-run HD3 digital channel on low-powered KUSR 89.5 FM. With this addition, students returning to the university this fall will program and operate a separate HD Radio station, known as Fusion HD3, piggybacked onto 89.5MHz.

National Public Radio newscaster Corey Flintoff ceremoniously flipped the switch to the new station in April, commenting that "what was old is new again" in reference to a return of the days of student-programmed public radio. Not since the 1970s has the university had a student-run station offering a hands-on radio experience and preparing journalist students for careers in broadcasting. Like many public stations, Utah Public Radio went on the air as a student-operated radio station but began full service public broadcasting with professional programming distributed by NPR, and funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the late '70s.

The pubcaster has two FM stations, KUSU 91.5 FM and KUSR 89.5 FM, and 31 translators covering the state of Utah.

The station installed a BE FXI 250 digital FM exciter and a BE XPI 10 to generate the HD Radio digital signal. A BE IDI 20 HD Radio data importer is being used to provision the HD Radio bandwidth for multicasting the main audio channel and the additional student-operated Fusion HD3 channel now, and will require a simple setting change for adding another broadcast channel to come.

Starting in September, Utah Public Radio will alternate music and news magazine program blocks on the main and the HD2 channels in order to provide program continuity to its listener base. In addition to KUSR 89.5 FM, Utah Public Radio will broadcast alternate programming on its 90kW KUSU 91.5 FM and has acquired a BE FMI 301 HD Radio transmitter along with BE FXI 60 digital FM exciter, XPI 10 HD Radio generator and IDI 20 importer for this purpose.

The digital upgrade of KUSR 89.5 FM and KUSU 91.5 FM was funded with two grants by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and a grant by the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program, as well as private donations. Associated Students of Utah State University (ASUSU) helped make the needed match to qualify for the grants and is helping to mentor the student station.