CU's AM student radio station, Radio 1190 KVCU, acquires FM signal.
In an effort to improve its sound and add listeners, CU Boulder’s student-run, music-heavy AM radio station has acquired an FM signal.
That means come fall, Boulder Valley listeners will be able to tune in Radio 1190 KVCU’s programming at 98.9 FM as well.
The move is intended to draw additional listeners in the Boulder Valley by offering the stronger sound and stereo quality of FM, said station general manager Mikey Goldenberg (Econ’02), the nonprofit station’s only full-time employee. That in turn should bring new opportunities for sponsorship and community involvement, he said.
“FM is the standard,” Goldenberg said. “It legitimizes the station to another level.”
Fans as far north as the Wyoming border and as far south as Colorado Springs will continue to get KVCU’s commercial-free programming at the 1190 AM location.
In December 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened a window for existing AM stations to apply for an FM Translator signal. Radio 1190 leapt at the opportunity, spending about $100,000 over seven months to obtain one, upgrade transmission equipment and secure a contract with a local FM tower owner.
The CU Board of Regents owns the station’s 10,000-watt AM transmitter and its license.
Supported by student government and the College of Media, Communication and Information, KVCU broadcasts from the University Memorial Center. Students manage production, programming, marketing and promotions. Goldenberg, a 17-year radio industry veteran, oversees daily operations.
The station has a collection of 26,000 albums representing 400,000 songs in a variety of genres, including hip-hop, Louisiana gumbo, hard rock and spoken word. It hosts a live band in the studio weekly.
“FM is going to make us sound a lot more professional,” said student manager Natalie Graham (MCDBio’17).
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