New station hopes for good reception
Post Independent Staff
Community radio, with a freewheeling musical stew ranging from classical to hip-hop, has found a receptive home in Battlement Mesa.
KSBP-FM, a 100-watt station, recently started broadcasting pre-recorded music 24 hours a day from a studio in the Battlement Mesa Activity Center.
Within three months, radio station organizers hope to organize up to 50 volunteer DJs of all ages to spin CDs and phonograph records in which ever direction they see fit.
“We might have a classical DJ from noon to 2 p.m. … kids can play their rock from 4 to 6 p.m. … there’ll probably be country music and oldies,” said KSBP board member Harlan Hansen.
KSBP joins KDNK of Carbondale and KAJX of Aspen in the local community radio family.
Community radio means no paid advertising, although short underwriting messages are sold to businesses and individuals. Money is also raised through memberships to the station, grants, contributions and fund-raisers.
Each community station determines how much programming is locally produced, and how much is beamed in from National Public Radio, Pacific or other syndicated sources.
“We can’t afford NPR,” Hansen said. “Someday, but not now.”
Hansen, a retired Rocky Mountain Natural gas executive, said he and a handful of other Battlement Mesa residents first thought of organizing a community radio station two years ago. Since then volunteers raised almost $20,000 for equipment and applied for a Federal Communications Commission license.
“We don’t owe anything,” Hansen said.
Some of the station’s money, $2,600, went toward purchasing recorded music that KSBP will broadcast during the broadcast signal’s testing phase, which is currently under way, and until the volunteer DJs are on board.
“We got 2,600 pieces of music,” Hansen said. “They were a dollar a piece.”
KSBP-FM broadcasts at 100.1 FM. “We cover Parachute and Battlement Mesa real well,” Hansen said. When the station is fully powered, radios as far away as DeBeque and Rifle might be able to pick it up.
The station is run by a nine-member board of directors that includes Grand Junction resident Jim Seaney and Battlement Mesa Co. president Tom Beard. “Our whole board is ancient,” Hansen joked. “We average 50 to 65 years old. But this feels great.”
In addition to broadcasting to a wider area and airing some national programming, the board hopes to hire a paid station manager.
The station is working to obtain its nonprofit status to qualify for grants. The station also goes by the name KSUN Community Radio, because that’s the name used to apply for nonprofit status, Hansen said.
Adam Ford, 22, is one of the station’s youngest volunteers. Ford helped set up the complicated computer system that a modern-day radio station requires.
“It’s fascinating how music is broadcast … the technical side of it,” Ford said.
Ford said he might also get involved as a volunteer programmer.
“I like a little bit of everything,” he said. “From Mozart to Eminem.”
Contact Lynn Burton: 945-8515, ext. 534
KSBP seeks members
KSBP-FM, doing business as KSUN Community Radio, is selling annual memberships: $5 for youth level, $10 for individuals, $15 for families, $500 for business sponsors. An individual lifetime membership is $100.
The station broadcasts at 100.1 FM and reaches Parachute and Battlement Mesa.
For information, call (970) 285-2246 or fax to (970) 285-2247.
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