Help is on the way for NPR listeners in Grand County | SkyHiNews.com
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Help is on the way for NPR listeners in Grand County

by Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News

Grand County has not been forgotten in National Public Radio country, said Neil Best, general manager of KUNC radio.

“We’re still working on it,” he said.

For the NPR-devoted, addicted to Ira Glass’ quirkish stories and “Click and Clack” laughs, this is comforting news.

Grand County became a KUNC 91.5 dropout last July when the nonprofit community-licensed public radio station, operated by Community Radio for Northern Colorado Inc. relocated a transmitter to upgrade its radio signal. Transmission was moved from Pierce, 19 miles north of Greeley, to Buckhorn Mountain, about eight miles west of Fort Collins.

The upgraded radio signal served to bring a stronger transmission to the station’s primary listening area of Larimer and Weld counties and to the Denver-metro area.

But the move inadvertently caused NPR dropouts in the mountains and foothills.

A translator south of Granby has since come available to KUNC in order to return programming to Grand County. Best met with the owner of the FM translator on Tuesday and this week plans to file an application to the Federal Communications Commission.

“Projections are that we’ll get pretty good coverage,” Best said. The tower is deemed high enough to reach all of Grand County.

When exactly static will disappear from listeners’ FM dials, however, he didn’t venture to say.

“It’s a slow and tedious process, but we’re working on it,” he said. “It’s something that is worked on every day here.”

The fact that this side of the Continental Divide caught a signal at all was a fluke caused by a bounced signal. Signals follow lines of sight, but there is no clear line of sight for a 600 foot tower from the East Slope to Grand County.

The original signal is thought to have hit Longs Peak or some other mountain and was redirected to find its way to Middle Park radios.

Best said Summit, Steamboat, Routt, and Eagle counties have since recovered the signal, but the station is still working to fix problems along the I-70 corridor and in the Evergreen and Morrison areas.

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


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