KTRU Lives On At KPFT In Seven-Year Lease

WTF Radio sticker feb5.JPG
Marc Brubaker
KTRU (91.7 FM), the student-run station at Rice University sold to the University of Houston just before the start of school last fall, will begin broadcasting on Pacifica station KPFT's (90.1 FM) high-definition channel, it was announced today.

This means the station won't be reduced to just broadcasting on the Internet, a move that didn't make too many radio station supporters very happy when they were told that's how they could continue operations. Although the Federal Communications Commission has still not given final approval to the sale, KTRU's entire programming schedule will begin broadcasting at 9:01 a.m. Monday, Feb. 14, on KPFT's 90.1-HD2 FM channel.

Rice President David Leebron took a lot of heat for the sales agreement, which was negotiated privately between Rice and UH -- even from people who didn't listen to the station at 91.7 but who felt the matter should have been open for discussion by students before the universities made their deal.

Rice sold its broadcast tower and license for use by KUHF. Leebron said in a press release today that some of the money from the sale -- its approval is still pending before the Federal Communications Commission -- will be used to help pay for the seven-year lease.

KTRU Station Manager Joey Yang said they will also be reviewing their playlist in their new operation. "KTRU is also adding new and exciting music we haven't traditionally played before," he said.

Listeners will need an HD radio receiver to listen to the KTRU broadcasts, but there is no subscription fee, the press release said.

KTRU's two salaried employees, the general manager and chief engineer, will say on, and the entire slate of programming will be fed from KTRU's current studios to KPFT's transmitter. The programming will also stream online at both ktru.org and kpft.org.


Houston Press writer William Michael Smith contributed to this report.



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Jim Radio
Jim Radio

As for today's Save Student Radio simulcast from Berkeley...it will NOT air on KVRX. KVRX UT-Austin student radio apparently will NOT be taking part in the simulcast. Ding DANG! I just spoke again with someone there, and she said "we're not really informed about that..." and "one of our advisers said we don't have any plans to do that..." and "as students we don't really have any say as to what's on Facebook..." SORRY! > She never even heard of KUSF or Rice Radio. < So much for student solidarity... What exactly were you expecting from UT?

Duce630
Duce630

Who actually listens to HD radio?

Evan
Evan

Apparently KTRU will be using some money from the sale to buy and distribute free HD radios. That's cool, I guess?

GlenW
GlenW

I think this is sort-of good news. Like whenever Dean Dalton lauded about NPR programing being available on KUHF HD2 when the main station was playing classical all day I would scream, "WHO ON EARTH HAS A FUCKING HD RADIO? I've never even seen one, much less heard one."So, in other words, KTRU is effectively an internet only station starting Feb 14.Can KTRU, KPFT, or the Houston Press take a pole on how many people have an HD radio?

Mark
Mark

You mean "poll," illiterate moron?

Hey, how about that great education they have at Rice! How about the dumbing down of American education thanks to the Democrat party?

comment
comment

Typos aside (Rice has policy institute named after a Bush cabinet member) the general premise is correct. HD radio has almost no market penetration. The forced migration to internet / HD could result in an audience reduction by 10 fold.

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

Who says they're ceasing broadcast in 91.7 on Feb. 14?

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

Upon rereading, I can't tell if they're going to switch over entirely on Feb. 14, or broadcast in both frequencies until the hammer comes down from the FCC.

anonymous
anonymous

How much of that $9.5mm from the proceeds of sale of KTRU will go to fund Leebron's golden parachute when its time for him to move on? Maybe $3mm...?

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