Tri States Public Radio has an agreement with Knox College to broadcast public radio programming around the clock.
The college’s student station WVKC, 90.7 FM, currently airs Morning Edition. The new arrangement calls for WVKC to carry all of TSPR’s programming.
However, Knox students won’t be shut out. TSPR General Manager Jonathan Ahl said there will continue to be a station that is programmed 100% by students.
“There will be two ways to hear it,” Ahl said. “Online with an improved Internet stream that Tri States Public Radio is helping provide, and then also on HD2.”
HD Radio has yet to catch on, but Ahl feels it’s important for the student station to have an over-the-air signal. In addition, he said there continues to be hope that HD Radio will eventually become as common as HDTV.
Ahl said the change was supported by the current student staff of WVKC as well as by the student newspaper.
Ahl said Galesburg has been on the fringe of several different public radio signals. Now there will be a strong public radio signal throughout Knox County.
“The feedback I was getting … was that there was a strong desire to have a full-time public radio station there that could be heard very, very well and be active and engaged in the community,” Ahl said.
He hoped to begin broadcasting by the time Knox students return in mid-September, and he hoped to staff a Galesburg bureau by early next year. There will be training opportunities for students once the bureau is staffed.
Ahl said he will judge the success of the change by whether it proves to be good for Galesburg, good for TSPR, and good for WVKC and Knox College.