Another college station goes NPR


NPR / National Public RadioHere’s a big format change at Knox College’s Galesburg, IL non-comm WVKC-FM. In an LMA to Macomb, IL-based Tri States Public Radio, the longstanding student station (since 1961) will begin carrying NPR content instead of student-driven programming within a month.

With the agreement, WVKC will broadcast NPR content 24 hours a day, with student programing being pushed to HD2 and online streaming. The change is slated to hit the airwaves in mid September, according to a Register-Mail story.

Galesburg is approximately 50 mi NW of Peoria.

Knox spokesman Peter Bailley said the college’s current technology does not allow for adequate online streaming services: “It brings much expanded public radio programing to the community and makes the streaming much better in terms of reliability.”

The new NPR programing will feature a mix of national radio shows along with local and regional programs, according to the college. Tri States Public Radio will open an office in Galesburg, employ two full-time and allow Knox student’s the ability to intern with the new station.

“Galesburg is a great community, and it needs and deserves a strong public radio station that is active full-time,” Jonathan Ahl, general manager of Tri States Public Radio, stated in the news release. “Our staff will be engaged with students and with the community.”

WVKC already broadcasts NPR programs courtesy of Tri States during the morning hours. The rest of the station’s programing was handled by student programmers and DJs. Students will still be active in those roles, but their content will be relegated to HD2 and the web.

“We are delighted to partner with (Tri States) in this creative partnership. Our plan creates a more technologically advanced radio station at Knox College and expands internship opportunities for Knox students, while serving the Galesburg community with a broader range of public radio programs,” said Knox College president Teresa Amott.

Talks between Tri States Public Radio and Knox were ongoing for about a year before the deal was reached this spring, Bailley told the paper. Knox will not receive a share of the ad revenue generated from the new public radio affiliate, Bailley said.

See the Register-Mail story here

RBR-TVBR observation: They should have explored a local translator option for the HD2 format so the student-curated programming can still be heard in the community, sans online. We doubt many students there have HD Radios in the dorm rooms. Also of note, according to the Pew Research Center’s “State of the news media 2013” study, for the first time since 2004 when HD radio receivers became available for retail sale, more radio stations dropped their HD signal than adopted the technology. By December 2012, 2,048 radio stations were broadcasting an HD signal, down from 2,103 during the same period in 2011, according to BIA Financial Network data and analysis from the Project for Excellence in Journalism.