The sun rises again for Battlement Mesa radio station
Citizen Telegram Editor
BATTLEMENT MESA – A longtime low-power FM radio station will greatly expand its coverage area, as Battlement Mesa-based KSUN Community Radio planned to start broadcasting on Wednesday, July 10, as a full-power, commercial station.
Organized in the early 2000s, KSUN Community Radio Inc., a Colorado nonprofit corporation, began broadcasting as a low-power FM radio station on Dec. 11, 2002, on 101.1 FM, However, due to Federal Communications Commission regulations and other factors, KSUN, which used the call letters KSBP, was required to switch to 103.9 FM in 2007.
Now, the station will return to its original 101.1 position on the FM dial.
Station manager Floyd McDaniel said the switch was made possible by the July 1 acquisition of the license of KDBN from Townsquare Media. That station, started by Cumulus Broadcasting of Grand Junction, ceased operations, McDaniel said.
Upgraded equipment was to be installed and tested, and McDaniel said some issues with the Federal Communications Commission regarding emergency broadcasting compliance and recordkeeping had to be cleared up before KSUN could return to the air as KDBN, Energy 101.1.
“The programming is going to be basically classic rock,” McDaniel said. He will continue to host the station’s early morning weekday program.
Other programs will include many of the same shows that aired on the low-power station, including live classical music, religious shows and music and a weekday public affairs interview show, “Community Connections,” hosted by KSUN board of directors President Mary Lee Mohrlang.
“During the past 13 years, KSUN has served the Battlement Mesa, Parachute and nearby area with quality programming, including eight weekly, locally generated programs,” Mohrlang said in a statement. “In addition, KSUN broadcasts all of the local Grand Valley High School football and basketball games. We want to continue to serve our local listeners, but by moving to the 101.1 FM frequency, and the ability to broadcast at up to 3,000 watts, we will be able to reach and serve many more listeners in the Grand Valley. We are excited about the change and look forward to becoming the ‘station of choice’ in the Grand Valley.”
McDaniel said the full power station’s signal would range from 400 to 500 watts using the current transmitter, which should stretch from New Castle to Grand Junction along I-70 and surrounding areas. The station will continue to stream its signal online as well, McDaniel said.
As a low-power, 100-watt FM station, KSUN’s signal, broadcast from the roof of the now-Grand Valley Recreation Center, was only able to reach Battlement Mesa, Parachute and nearby residents.
The new station will also be a commercial station and accept advertising, McDaniel said. Previously, the station sought paid underwriters, as public radio stations commonly operate.
However, KSUN Community Radio will continue to be a nonprofit entity.
“As long as no member of the nonprofit board derives any personal income from the advertising, we can stay a nonprofit,” McDaniel explained.
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