Jamestown College debuts KJKR-FM


Jamestown College’s student radio station went live 3/16 in front of a crowd of enthusiastic student supporters. The 4,000-watt station located in Jamestown, ND on 88.1 mHz, officially launched at 10 p.m. during a celebration party on campus.

Following work the college’s television station, JCTV-16, in 2007, the college was awarded a permit to begin building an FM station. Last fall, the college then was able to garner enough help, time and resources to use that permit by hanging the antenna and start broadcasting a signal, according to a Jamestown Sun article. This was one of the final pieces as part of a project several years in the making to build up the college’s Student Media Center and communications department.

“Things took off with Dakota Central Telecommunications (Daktel) and other donors — and that allowed us to have a great space for JCTV and The Collegian (newspaper),” Student Media Center Director Steve Listopad told the paper. “But none of this work with the radio station would be possible without [KSJB-AM/KSJZ-FM VP/GM] Rick Pfeiffer with Chesterman Communications as well as Daktel,” he said.

Listopad said Chesterman provided the initial funding to begin build-up of the station’s antenna and transmitter, and Daktel was a major component in providing technical services afterward.

RBR-TVBR asked Pfeiffer:

Why did you decide to help the station out?
I decided to help for a) Sentimental and b) self-interest reasons. I’m the product of a college station, good old WRST, at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh (Radio Station of the Titans!) I did a shift, was the campus movie critic for the radio and TV stations. Lots of great memories. I know first-hand that nothing beats hands-on experience.

Second, in this age of diverse media I think it’s just good business to keep radio relevant to young people as an exciting and viable career option and what better way to do that than with a student radio station?

What assistance did you provide?
We provided $3,000 cash; some used equipment; some help connecting with industry professionals like contract engineers, and my Program Director Jarrett Stevens gave them a lot of help with their automation and EAS setups. We also have done a $600 annual scholarship to a Communications Student at Jamestown College for several years.

How might your stations and KJKR share resources down the road? Any cross-promotions or staff sharing?
I would think it would be a natural for student staffers to wind up as paid part-timer help at our stations and eventually even employees. I don’t envision a lot of cross-programming or communication between the entities on a programming basis, but who knows? Never say never. This thing is still in its infancy.

Listopad said KJKR will also be a great opportunity for the community to reach an entirely new audience: “We’re one of very few stations in the area, so we want to let the community know that this alternative format can reach an audience many businesses and community members haven’t been able to reach in the past — high school students, college students and just young people in general,” he said.