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March 8, 2013 — Wyoming Public Media is in the process of changing frequencies in the Lander/Riverton area, a move that will make public radio more accessible to residents and travelers throughout the Wind River corridor.
Listeners will be able to hear Wyoming Public Radio without interference on 90.9-KUWW. Those who enjoy classical music will now be able to receive Classical Wyoming on 91.9.
The move was made possible through a transfer of the KFTW educational frequency, licensed to Fremont County School District 21 at Fort Washakie, to Wyoming Public Media. Essential to the transfer and implementation is a cooperative agreement with the Shoshone and Arapaho Joint Business Council to broadcast from a tower site in the Sand Hills, located on the Wind River Indian Reservation near Fort Washakie.
The transfer was precipitated by Richard McClements, superintendent of Fremont County School District 21, who approached WPM in early 2012 to explore the possibility of transferring the frequency. The school district no longer considered radio broadcasting as a core mission, but still owned equipment subject to federal grant requirements and needed to transfer the obligation to another public radio entity. Operating as the sole state network, WPM was the logical partner for this transfer.
“WPM was in the right place at the right time,” says WPM General Manager Christina Kuzmych. “We were able to help Dr. McClements and Fremont County School District 21 and, at the same time, provide a more secure and diverse listening service in Lander/Riverton and the Wind River corridor.”
The move of Wyoming Public Radio’s signal from 91.9 to 90.9 was necessary because the 91.9 signal broadcasts over a translator. Typically, these are low-powered repeaters that often receive interference from stronger adjacent signals, which creates static and dropouts in the signal. The stronger KUWW 90.9 ensures an improved signal and has a broader reach, representing a power increase from 10 watts to 8,000 watts.
The transfer brings WPM’s total number of translators and station licenses to 29. WPM covers close to 90 percent of Wyoming and is the third-largest state network in the United States. It operates four services: Wyoming Public Radio, Classical Wyoming, Jazz Wyoming and wyomingpublicmedia.org.
WPM is licensed to the University of Wyoming and is part of the Outreach School.