KAFM raising funds to pay for improving studio, signal

Special to the Sentinel—The KAFM lineup includes Jessica Downing Ford, host of a monthly show “Order From Chaos,” which focuses on tips for personal organizing for individuals and businesses. KAFM has federal approval to increase the power of its signal significantly, which will eliminate “dead zones” around the Grand Valley, said the station’s executive director, Marc Foster.



The federal government has given KAFM radio the gift it most wanted.

Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission decided that KAFM, a Grand Junction station at 88.1, could increase its power from 16 to 300 watts.

“Isn’t that thrilling?” KAFM Executive Director Marc Foster asked. “It was the best little gift the FCC could give us.”

Once the FCC’s decision came down, the KAFM staff began a capital campaign almost immediately in an effort to raise the $116,000 needed for updating the studio and improving the signal tower west of Grand Junction.

“There will have to be major engineering construction on the tower,” Foster said.

With minimal publicity, the station, which does not sell advertising, has raised more than $70,000 in less than one year. Now, it is openly pushing for the final $46,000 from listeners and other supporters.

Foster said no changes to the community-minded programming will result from the power boost.

The wattage increase will enhance KAFM’s signal, particularly in those areas that Foster called “dead zones.”

The signal reaches Palisade to the east and toward Loma to the west. With the current wattage, however, listeners in some areas, particularly in the shadows of Colorado National Monument, lose the signal completely.

The increased wattage won’t substantially increase KAFM’s signal area, Foster said. The added signal strength will push into those “dead zones,” giving listeners a consistent signal.

Since KAFM received its broadcast license in 1999, listeners in surveys repeatedly have asked for a stronger signal.

And the listeners aren’t alone. The FCC’s decision to allow KAFM to increase its wattage was met with resounding enthusiasm by the station’s employees and a myriad of volunteers who work the control room board.

“It’s been the long-term strategy of this radio station to do this when possible,” Foster said. “We have approval.”

To donate to KAFM’s capital campaign,  stop by the station, 1310 Ute Ave.; visit http://www.kafmradio.org; or contact either Foster at 241-8801, ext. 210, or campaign chairman Barry Barak at 640-8214.


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