Grand County listeners may be tuning in NPR on KUNC by summer | SkyHiNews.com

Grand County listeners may be tuning in NPR on KUNC by summer

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News

Pending fundraising success, a local tower should bring KUNC National Public Radio coverage back to Grand County listeners by summer, according to Will Arduino, KUNC Community Advisory Board member.

As many as 40 devout public radio listeners from Grand Lake, Granby, Fraser, Winter Park, Hot Sulphur Springs and Tabernash attended the station’s meeting in Granby last week to find out how and when programming could be returned to local airwaves.

Station officials mapped existing towers in Grand County and a consensus was drawn that two towers, both in the Granby area, would offer the best signal for Grand County.

Either of the two towers, one at SolVista and the other at Cottonwood Pass, reach a listening audience as far as the Grand Lake area to the north and Winter Park to the south. But whether a Cottonwood Pass transmitter would reach Kremmling to the west ” although a possibility ” is still an unknown.

“Mountains can get in the way of radio waves,” said KUNC Development Director Nancy D’Albergaria, who cannot say for sure whether an identified line of sight to the community would mean actual KUNC reception.

Kremmling’s chance at reception is two-fold as well, with possible changes to Summit County’s KUNC services in planning stages, D’Albergaria said.

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KUNC’s access to a Granby-area tower rests on raising $42,900, about half of which pays for a translator license. The remainder accounts for transmitter equipment and a buy-out of the existing tower lease.

A Grand County community campaign to raise those funds for the public radio station, operated by Community Radio for Northern Colorado Inc., a Colorado nonprofit, is under way.

Already, a commuter missing KUNC’s programming while traveling through the county pledged $10,000, according to Arduino. And other checks are coming in, he said.

Leading the campaign are Arduino of Grand Mountain Bank and Granby business owner Jill Miles.

KUNC has a special account to accept Grand County-specific donations.

According to station officials, if KUNC is not able to complete the project due to a lack of funds, KUNC will return the money to donors.

The public radio station hopes to accomplish the project within 60 to 90 days, banking on the site, FCC approval and funding.

Grand County national public radio listeners lost the radio signal to KUNC’s programming when the station moved its transmitter last July in an effort to provide better reception to Front Range and West Slope listeners. The fact that Grand County radios were picking up the former FM signal was considered a fluke, since there is no direct line of sight from Greeley to Middle Park. It was thought the signal bounced off a mountain to find its way to Grand County.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@grandcountynews.com.

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